How to Study in Malaysia for Free (7 Steps)

Have you ever wanted to travel to Malaysia and experience the world in the eyes of this Southeastern country? Seeing what the world has to offer, and experiencing it firsthand is a totally different experience should you want to study in Malaysia as an international student. Malaysia is known for having one of the most famous capitals in the world, Kuala Lumpur, which is both a financial and business powerhouse.

Aside from numerous historical sites and cultural spots, Malaysia also offers a wide range of opportunities for international students wanting to study there. International students would do well to consider this as an option since Malaysia also has educational universities and institutes that are part of the top universities around the world. In this article, we will be looking at ways on how you can study in Malaysia for free.

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How to Study in Malaysia for Free

1. Look for universities in Malaysia tailored to your chosen profession

The first step to any university education is knowing the kind of professional you want to be. Some universities offer teaching methods in holistic or Christian-centered ways, while other focus on a more modern and research-based type of education. Thus, it is important to know what your chosen profession will be, since this choice determines the direction your final years in the university will take. Some courses may have an option for further studies, such as medicine and engineering, while others may only be limited to bachelor’s degrees. Finding out what courses Malaysian universities may offer you as international students can work wonders when it comes to developing a more globally-competent practice.

2. Prepare an application that highlights your strengths

Good applications are not made in a day. They take work, perseverance, and consistent revision to fit the needs of top universities. To prepare a good application for any university, it is important to begin with knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are. Are you a student-athlete? Are you an academic achiever? Or are you an award-winning writer? All these and more should be placed in your application and written in such a way that shows that you should be chosen as one of the university’s future students. Preparing a stellar application will definitely help you to study for free in Malaysia.

3. Research about the universities in Malaysia and know what they offer

Researching and doing your own due diligence when it comes to information regarding Malaysian universities is a must. By researching on such universities, you will be able to answer questions such as: “What accommodations do these universities offer international students?” or, “What grants and fees do I have to pay when I want to study in said University?” All these questions can only be answered when you conduct your own research as to what is available. Many internationally-recognized universities have their own internet sites for you to peruse, which is why researching about them is easier in this day and age as compared to past times.

4. Look for affordable universities in Malaysia

Studying abroad can be intimidating when you start to look at the fees that are associated with such endeavors. But that does not mean that there are no longer available universities that offer more affordable opportunities for international students who want to study in Malaysia. Attending affordable universities in Malaysia and getting scholarships are some of the ways that you can study in Malaysia for free. Oftentimes, the most affordable and welcoming universities are those that are located in the capital of any country.

An example in this case, would by the University of Malaya. The University of Malaya is located Kuala Lumpur, and has a number of degree programs that they offer to international students. They also have scholarship grants and opportunities for international students who cannot afford the costs of tuition and living expenses. They even offer scholarships for all types of degree levels, namely, bachelor’s degrees, master’s and doctorate degrees. According to their site, they grant scholarships to students based mainly on the financial needs of the students. Scholarships in the University of Malaya may be obtained by contacting their Scholarship & Sponsorship Unit.

Another university that you may want to consider as an international student is the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, which is located in Seri Iskandar. Here, their scholarship is more in the form of a sponsorship, or loan. The financial aid it provides to students are given in partnership with other companies and services, such as the Maybank financial aid or other listed offers as stated in their site.

As such, looking for affordable universities in Malaysia is really about knowing whether there are certain financial aids being offered by the university, which may or may not be in partnership with external financial resources. The average cost of tuition in Malaysia is at MYR 7,000 per year, while the average living cost is at MYR 24,000. If you are interested, check out the cheapest universities in Malaysia for international students.

5. Apply for Scholarships and Grants from External Sources

Scholarships and grants are offered for a reason by external sources, such as the government, private institutions, or public institutions. Investing in the possibilities of educating a better youth in any country has its perks in both the private and public sector, since the more educated their professionals are, the more efficient the economy will be. More innovations will also be introduced, which is why international students will do well to consider looking for scholarships form external sources. If in case there are no more scholarships or financial aid available from the university you are applying for in Malaysia, there are more sources to choose from outside of said universities.

6. Work in Malaysia or Get a Part-Time Job While Studying

Some countries like Malaysia allow students to work a part-time job while studying in universities. Once an international student obtains a student visa, they can apply for being able to work for part-time jobs. According to the Malaysian government, as stated on their site, international students can work but only up to a limited number of 20 hours per week during semester breaks or holidays. This can be a good way for you to be able to study in Malaysia for free. Moreover, international students are limited to certain jobs, and are not allowed to work as cashiers, singers, masseurs, musicians or guest relation officers. As such, if you plan on working in Malaysia, part-time jobs are allowed subject to certain conditions.

7. Try to lessen costs of miscellaneous expenses

As students in a foreign country it is not uncommon to incur expenditures that are more than a student’s allotted budget. Thus, in order to curb the possible costs of studying in Malaysia without any grants or scholarships, an effective alternative available to international students is to lessen costs of miscellaneous expenses. Examples of these include the expenses for tourism, recreation, or expensive food and clothing.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page.