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Cost of Living in Malaysia

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Cost of Living in Malaysia – Malaysia is one of the top international hubs for education, especially in the domain of Engineering and Technology. Quality education, ease of immigration and the wide variety of research opportunities available can be considered to be some of the reasons why Malaysian institutions are internationally popular. But the primary reason why Malaysia is one of the most sought after student destinations in the world is due to the cheap cost of living in Malaysia.

As compared to some of the top student destinations around the word, the average cost of living is much lower for students who want to study in Malaysia. Therefore making Malaysian institutions even more popular amongst international students. The average cost of living in Malaysian Ringgits for a single student for one month is around MYR 2,025 which can be considered equivalent to INR 34,500. The cost of living in Malaysia for smaller cities is further reduced and therefore economically viable for students pursuing education in Malaysia.

Top Universities for Education in Malaysia

Some of the best programs in the domains of Engineering and Technology as well as Social Science and Management in the world are available at Malaysian institutions. In particular, education and engineering are some of the best programs for masters in Malaysia. Malaysian institutions like Universiti Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia are also some of the top universities in the world in many domains. Some of the top universities in Malaysia as well as the best areas of study they offer are given below.

Domain

Institution

QS World Rank

QS Subject Rank

City

Arts and Humanities

Universiti Malaya (UM)

87

65

Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

207

91

Gelugor

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

184

113

Bangi

Engineering and Technology

Universiti Malaya (UM)

87

22

Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

228

53

Johor Bahru

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

207

60

Gelugor

Life Sciences and Medicine

Universiti Malaya (UM)

87

154

Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

207

234

Gelugor

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

202

249

Serdang , Bintulu

Natural Sciences

Universiti Malaya (UM)

87

141

Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

207

197

Gelugor

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

202

215

Serdang , Bintulu

Social Sciences and Management

Universiti Malaya (UM)

87

45

Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

207

63

Gelugor

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

184

92

Bangi

Top Student Cities for Education in Malaysia

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is highly ranked on the QS Best Student Cities list and is one of the best student destinations for those who want to study in Malaysia. Apart from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is home to many other cities with some of best educational institutions in the world. The best cities for students in Malaysia as well as notable institutions and the average cost of living for these cities are given below.

Top Malaysian Student Cities 

City 

Notable Malaysian Institutions

Ave Expense

Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Malaya, UCSI University

2,025 (34,405)

Penang

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Wawasan Open University

2,050 (34,835)

Johor Bahru

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Southern University College

2,109 (35,831)

Bangi

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia

2,080

Petaling Jaya

Malaysia Institute of Science and Technology, IACT College, Segi University College

2,126 (36,127)

Kota Kinabalu

Universiti Malaysia Sabah

1,963 (33,352)

Cost of Living in Malaysia for Students

Malaysia is one of the most economically viable countries for students seeking education at an international level. The cost of living in Malaysia is cheap as compared to other countries with the average cost of living in Kuala Lumpur being equal to MYR 2,025 which is equivalent to INR 34,405. The cost of living in Malaysia for other cities fluctuates around this range depending on the city of study in Malaysia. The primary categories which constitute the overall cost of living in Malaysia include:

1. Rent and Residential costs

Rent and residential costs are staggeringly lower than that in other popular student cities around the world. Using the Malaysian Ringgit as the standard currency basis, the rent for a single bedroom flat in Kuala Lumpur is around MYR 2,390 and in Penang, the price is around MYR 1,104. On the other hand, the same rental in London would cost around MYR 9,274 and in New York the same would cost MYR 12,926. Therefore, the cost for individual accommodation is easily affordable for students who want to study in Malaysia.

In addition to rental costs, the cost for basic utilities such as electricity, heating etc. is also required for students who want to study in Malaysia. On an average, this can be covered in under MYR 200. Living expenses in Malaysia for internet has an average of MYR 125. Therefore, the cost of living in Malaysia in terms of rent and residential costs is much lower than that in other countries.

2. Food and Drink

The cost of living in Malaysia for food and drink varies slightly with the city of residence and study in Malaysia. Where larger cities like Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur are more expensive in terms of food and groceries, smaller cities like Bangi are more economically viable for students seeking education in Malaysia. The living expenses in Malaysia for food can be further reduced by purchasing groceries and cooking at home.

Living Expenses in Malaysia for Food and Drink

Type of Expense

City 

Kuala Lumpur

Bangi

Johor Bahru

Penang

Petaling Jaya

Meal (inexpensive restaurant)

10

10

9

12

10

Meal (mid-range restaurant)

65

50

80

60

50

McDonald’s meal

14

13

12

13

12

Domestic Beer (0.5 l)

15

12

16.50

14

15

Imported Beer (0.33 l)

16.50

12.50

12

15

15

Cappuccino

10.88

10.60

9.35

10.77

10.60

Soft Drink (0.33 l)

2.33

2.17

2.66

2.38

2.18

Water (0.33 l)

1.37

1.17

1.42

1.42

1.27

3. Clothing

The cost of living in Malaysia is relatively cheaper than many other popular student cities around the world but in terms of clothing Malaysia is not far behind. The cost of basic clothing items from chain stores like Zara, H&M and Nike are in the range of MYR 100 – 300 varying slightly with the city of study in Malaysia. Some of the average prices in the top student cities in Malaysia are given below.

Living Expenses in Malaysia for Clothing

Type of Expense

City 

Kuala Lumpur

Bangi

Johor Bahru

Penang

Petaling Jaya

Jeans

238.97

214.45

254.20

210.08

214.45

Summer Dress

127.63

140.79

102

96

127.16

Running Shoes

293.84

279.20

282.38

280.83

279.20

4. Car and public transport

Transportation costs are low and public transportation is highly economical for students who want to study in Malaysia. The cost of living in Malaysia involved in public transportation is very low and can be further reduced for students through discounts and monthly passes. Some average costs for public transportation for students seeking education in Malaysia are given below.

Living Expenses in Malaysia for Public Transportation

Type of Expense

City 

Kuala Lumpur

Bangi

Johor Bahru

Penang

Petaling Jaya

One-way ticket (public transport)

3

4.50

2.32

2.40

3

Monthly pass (public transport)

100

150

45

92.50

100

Taxi (1km)

1.68

1.38

1.75

2.80

1.38

Gasoline (1 l)

2.25

2.18

2.22

2.24

2.24

5. Medical Expenses

Like all other expenses constituting the cost of living in Malaysia, medical expenses in Malaysia are also quite affordable for student residents. Various medical insurance plans are provided by the Malaysian institution of education and the student has the option to pick the most suitable plan generally costing less than MYR 1000 for students above the age of 16 and under the age of 60. Medical insurance is necessary in order to obtain a student visa for Malaysia.

The cost for visiting a doctor is also not economically burdensome for students with doctors’ fees for a short visit being approximately equal to MYR60. Comparatively, medicines are slightly towards the expensive end in Malaysia but are still easily affordable for student residents.

6. Entertainment

The cost of living in Malaysia in terms of entertainment is nearly the same in all cities in certain aspects but staggeringly different in others. For example, the cost for a gym membership in larger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru are lower than that in smaller cities like Bangi. Whereas the cost for a cinema ticket or a night out at a pub is lower in Bangi and higher in the larger cities. Some average costs for the top student cities for study in Malaysia are given below.

Living Expenses in Malaysia for Entertainment

Type of Expense

City 

Kuala Lumpur

Bangi

Johor Bahru

Penang

Petaling Jaya

Public Cinema

16

15

16

15

15

Fitness Club Membership

158.84

260

122

136.58

144.25


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