Is Malaysia living expenses too high for a student? Are you planning to further your studies in Malaysia? You’ve come to the right place!
Malaysia is, according to UNESCO data, the world’s No. 11 most popular study location. In fact, Malaysia’s rising reputation in higher education global rankings is beginning to attract even more international students in the past 10 years.
Access to accredited education, Malaysia’s vibrant environment and affordable student life factors international students love in this country. But how cheap is cheap?
We’ll break down the costs students need to consider living and studying in Malaysia comfortably.
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Main Costs Components of Your Education:
- Course Fees/ Tuition Fees payable to the institution
- Living Expenses (accommodation, lifestyle, utilities, etc.)
Since the cost of Tuition Fees depends on the university of choice, the primary focus of this article is on the Malaysia living expenses alone.
For international students, the low cost of living in Malaysia is a huge perk. Both on and off-campus housing are cost-effective in this country.
Kuala Lumpur (the capital of Malaysia) has been listed as one of the world’s most affordable cities to live in. So, students will be delighted to learn that their actual living costs will depend on where they reside and how they spend their time. With a budget of RM2,000 (US$500) a month, most Malaysian students can live comfortably.
Breakdown of Student’s Living Cost in Malaysia
Average Accommodation Cost for Students
You should expect to pay between RM300 (US$75) and RM600 (US$150) each month for your lodging. Depending on the location, type of accommodation (on-campus living in a hall of residence; or off-campus living in an apartment, condominium or single-story house), the facilities provided in the place (e.g. with or without air-conditioning), and the number of people sharing the room, the rental price will vary greatly (or the apartment or house).
Food and Housekeeping costs
Your food and housekeeping costs can range between RM600-900 (US$150-225). This is based on RM20-30 (US$5-7.50) for three meals per day. Naturally, if you cook and share your cooking costs with your friends, it will be a lot cheaper.
In Malaysia, a fast-food meal can be purchased for less than RM10 (US$2.50). A McValue meal at McDonald’s, for example, costs between RM10 and RM20. Meal sets at KFC and pizza deals for group meals at Domino’s are also available for less than RM10 per pax.
Rice and noodles at food stalls or coffee shops cost RM5-10 (US$1-2.50). A meal in a mid-range restaurant will cost you between RM20 and RM40 (US$5 and $10). Starbucks coffee costs about RM12-16 (US$3-4).
Clothing and Laundry
A self-service laundromat’s laundry costs, including washing and drying, are about RM10 per visit. The amount you spend on clothing depends on your personal style and how often you treat yourself to a new wardrobe.
Students who live on or near campus may not have to pay for transportation to and from school. However, additional trips may cost between RM80 and RM150 (US$20 and 37.50) each month, depending on the destination.
Mobile Phone Bills and Utilities
Malaysia’s mobile phone plans are among the most affordable. Depending on how much you use the service and the promotional package you select, you may wind up paying more or less. RM30 to RM50 (US$7.50 to $12.50) a month is not uncommon for a university student.
Books, Reading Materials and Stationery
Depending on the course you’ve signed up for and the number and variety of assignments in your course, the cost of books and stationery might range from RM50-100 (US$12.50-25) every month.
Medical and hospitalisation insurance
If you need outpatient treatment at a private clinic in the year, putting away RM50 (US$12.50) per month would be sufficient for you. There is a medical and hospitalisation insurance premium of roughly RM500 (US$125) per year that is not included in this estimate.
What you spend each month is determined mainly by your personal habits. Between RM100 (US$25) and RM200 (US$50) might be approximated as the cost. This covers things like toiletries, a haircut, clothing, a movie, and so forth.
According to the calculations presented above, a student’s annual Malaysia living expenses can range from RM2,000 to perhaps a staggering RM24,000 (US$6,000). It really depends on your lifestyle, which may increase your personal expenses.
When preparing your personal budget for studying in Malaysia, it’s vital to keep in mind that the previous estimate is just a starting point and that factors such as your location and personal lifestyle should be considered.
Aside from personal finances, you might want to check out other tips to thrive in Malaysia as a student HERE!