What is it like to be an international student in Malaysia?

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Answered by: Robelle, An Expert in the Studying Abroad Category
Being an international student in Malaysia can be quite daunting yet exciting at the same time. You are suddenly being whisked away in a new environment that is completely different from things back home. It is a big challenge to study overseas yet it is full of enriching experiences as well. There are a lot advantages and disadvantages when it comes to pursuing your studies in a tropical country like Malaysia.



Be ready to get culture shocked, especially if you are not from an Asian country. There are customs and manners in Malaysia that may be a bit or completely different from what you are used to. What you may consider rude in your country may be considered polite in Malaysia and what may be considered polite in your country may be considered rude in Malaysia. For example, when entering a home in Malaysia you must take off your shoes as it is proper etiquette and outside dirt from the shoes cannot be brought in the house whereas in western countries it is normal to wear shoes inside the house. In Malaysia there are a lot of different languages spoken around the country especially Malay, Chinese and Indian dialects. Although English is widely spoken the type of English they speak might not be the type of English you speak. They like to mix different native words with English as to add a little Malaysian touch to it which may be a turn off for some foreigners. If you study in one of the less urban places in the country it is inevitable that you will become homesick. You would long for things in your country that is unavailable in Malaysia or even if it is available in Malaysia it would be very expensive.

On the upside studying in a different country is an adventure full of rich experiences. Since there are a handful of different ethnic groups in Malaysia, you could pick up a handful of different words in learning a new language. Being familiar with different cultures gives you a colorful travel background. One of the very satisfying experiences that foreign students should definitely never skimp out when it comes to Malaysia is the food. Malaysia is a food haven with various tasty dishes influenced by many cultures. Those unique dishes with flavorful ingredients such as nasi lemak and rendang are unforgettable experiences that your stomach will always yearn for. Most of Asia's cuisine can be found in Malaysia once you go explore around town. Culture and custom aside many universities in Malaysia especially in the urban areas provide world class curriculum. They offer diplomas and degrees with partner universities in other countries like UK, Australia and USA as well as entrance to those universities if you decide to undertake further studies.



These are just a few of the experiences that studying in Malaysia as a foreign student will entail you. Whether there are good or bad experiences it is up to you to decide how you can make the most of your experience once you decide to become an international student in Malaysia. We should not be intimidated by things that are different just because we are not used to them. If we truly desire to go further we should take courage and move forward to grow into a better person.

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