A major advantage for international students when choosing to study in Malaysia is the relatively cheap cost of living. The total expenditure for accommodation, either on-campus or off-campus is very affordable. While your actual cost of living will depend on the location of your accommodation and your personal lifestyle, students will be pleased to know that KL has been ranked one of the least expensive cities in the world to live in.
For most students, a monthly budget of RM1,500 (USD500) will provide them with a rather comfortable living in Malaysia.
Breakdown of Living Cost in Malaysia, The average international student should be prepared to spend about RM1,000 (USD350) to RM1,500 (USD500) per month for living expenses in the vicinity of a city. The cost is broken down as below:
You should estimate about RM600 (USD200) to RM1000 (USD350) for your accommodation per month. The rental will vary depending on the geographical area, the type of accommodation (on-campus living in a hall of residence; or off-campus living in an apartment, condominium, singlestory house, double-storey house, etc.), the facilities provided in the house (e.g. with or without air-conditioning) and of course, the number of people sharing the room (or the apartment/house).
- Food / Housekeeping
Your food and housekeeping expense is estimated to be around RM400 to RM600 (estimated USD200). This is based on about RM15 to RM20 (USD5-7) for three meals per day. Naturally, if you cook and share the cooking expenses with your friends, it would be cheaper.
Your clothing expenses like washing, ironing, dry-cleaning, etc. may cost around RM60 (USD19) per month.
- Public Transport
Students who stay on campus or near campus may not incur any cost of travelling to and from classes. However, other travelling may cost approximately RM30 to RM50 (estimated USD13) per month.
- Telecommunication / Mobile Phone Bills and Utilities
The mobile phone packages in Malaysia are very competitive. How much you spend will depend on your usage and the promotional package you choose. The average student may spend about RM30 to RM80 (estimated USD17) per month.
- Books, Reading Materials and Stationery
We have estimated the cost to be around RM50 to RM100 (estimated USD30) per month, but it would largely depend on the course you have signed up for and and the number and nature of projects in your course.
- Medical / Hospitalisation Insurance
Although you may not need to pay for medical expenses every month, if you keep aside RM50 (USD16) per month, it would be sufficient for you in case you need outpatient treatment at a private clinic during the year. This estimate includes the amount you will have to pay for your medical and hospitalisation insurance (from your institutions).
- Personal Expenses
How much your personal expenses would be per month would depend on your personal lifestyle. However, the cost can be estimated to be between RM100 (USD32) and RM200 (USD64). This includes your socialising needs, toiletries, haircut, clothes, movie, etc.
Using the estimate above, the total cost of living will average from between RM1,000 and RM1,500 (USD350 to USD500 ) per month or about RM12,000 to RM18,000 (USD4000 to USD6000 ) per year (12 months) for one student.
It is important to remember that the above estimate is only a guide in planning your budget to study in Malaysia. Individual expenses will vary according to the location you are at, course taken and your personal lifestyle.
Students should notice that The cost of education varies from country to country. Malaysia has always offered a cost advantage as a study destination for international students. The cost of education in Malaysia is much cheaper than many other overseas countries for foreign students.