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Iskandar Puteri, Malaysia's Ultimate Education Hub

International schools can be the ultimate choice for expat students to further their studies due to the affordability and reputation of the international schools here in Malaysia. Children attending international schools in the country can experience the same global benefits as those who are studying in schools globally, enjoying the same education standards as their foreign counterparts with a more affordable price. Students can opt to study in the American or British curriculum modes of study along with the others. Thus, their education in these international schools can set the foundation for their transition to higher levels of education overseas.

Making a choice on where and which school to enrol in might seem daunting to many especially those who are thinking of making Malaysia their second home. Settling in in a new environment could be seen as challenging to some but rest assured we will bring you along the necessary steps with you for greater understanding. Although the admission and enrollment processes may vary from institution to institution, the information that we have compiled is generally what you would expect and encounter during the journey of finding the best school for your child here in Malaysia.


Education in Malaysia

In general, schools in Malaysia can be divided into three categories namely public schools, private schools and international schools. Public schools in Malaysia are in abundance and fees are the most affordable out of the three due to the support by the government. However, the high teacher to student ratio and language barrier could prove to be quite challenging for children of expats to enrol in. Private schools, on the other hand, are known to enable international students to adapt better with the help of experienced teachers who know how to handle students from different cultural background. Despite the lack of communication barrier, the fees could prove to be on the high side. Expats who wish to enrol their children in a curriculum similar to the one in their home country can do so by enrolling them in the international schools in Malaysia. Admission into international schools is fairly easier and students are less likely to experience culture shock and difficulties in adapting thus, able to focus on their studies. International schools provide international accredited qualification that opens doors for you globally such as the international baccalaureate. 

Fees and Affordability

As mentioned before, fees for the public schools in Malaysia are usually on the lower side. Public schools are supported by the Malaysian government and governed by the Ministry of Education. Tuition fees often are affordable and facilities in the schools are fairly adequate where most basic needs for education are met. Public schools generally adopt a two-session system to cater to a large number of students. Private schools run for three terms per year and fees per term could prove to be expensive. Most classes are usually from 8.30 a.m to 4 p.m. Similar to public schools, private schools follow the set of rules and guidelines from the Ministry of Education. Let’s face it, international schools in Malaysia do not come cheap but the benefits and facilities that come with enrolling in an international school make this form of investment to be the best one that you could make for your child’s education. There are in fact, a number of quality international schools in the Klang Valley that cost less than RM300k for you to choose. Extra fees are charged for other facilities such as for boarding.

Language Requirements

Primary instruction in international schools may be any language where some international schools teach multiple languages in their curriculum but English is usually the primary language used. The same goes for private schools where the main language of instruction is usually English. It can be said that children of expats would face little to no problems at all when studying at private schools and international schools and thus, no culture shocks to be experienced. Plus, the learning environment at international schools tend to reflect the ones in their home country with teachers and staff coming from overseas as well. It is important to highlight the fact that students who wish to study at international schools or private schools in Malaysia have to be able to communicate and understand English as it is inevitably the primary language of instruction in these schools. Main subjects such as Science and Mathematics are taught in English where multiple languages are taught. Out of the three types of school, expats should find it easier to send their children to international schools. Potential students are accessed and may undergo placement interviews in gauging their academic level prior to enrolling along with their language competency before placing them at the appropriate grade. 

Student Visa Requirements

More and more international students are expected to enrol in schools in Malaysia and this has led to new visa requirements being set out. According to the Malaysian law, schools that accept international students have to be placed under the jurisdiction of either the Ministry of Higher Education or the Ministry of Home Affairs and all international students are required to have a valid Student Pass from the Department of Immigration in order to study in the country. International students who wish to enrol in a public or private school in Malaysia are to make a student visa application at the State Immigration Office via schools. Extension of Student Pass can be made at the respective State Immigration Department.

Applicants of the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) are allowed to bring their children who are under the age of 21 years old and not married as their dependants under the programme. However, those who are enrolling in tertiary educational institutions must have a Student Pass and therefore, have to terminate their MM2H Social Visit Pass and be insured throughout their stay. The procedures for permission to study under the MM2H programme are as below.

1) Applicant must be below 18 years of age where those who are older have to apply for a Student Pass.

2) Original and copy of applicant’s passport.

3) A passport size photo

4) A completed Student Personal Data Form which can be obtained at the Immigration Unit.

5) Letter of Acceptance from the school.

6) A copy of the approval letter and letter of intention by the principal or sponsor.

7) Letter from the Ministry of Education (except international schools).


Studying in a foreign country and settling in could prove to be overwhelming for most people but fret not as studying in Malaysia can be an exciting and fulfilling experience which can be an eye-opener. 

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