Location and Geography
The Federation of Malaysia, in total about the same size (329,750 square kilometres) as the U.S. state of New Mexico, is in Southeast Asia and comprises two regions: Peninsular Malaysia (11 states) and the Island of Borneo (which includes two states, Sabah and Sarawak). The South China Sea separates the two regions. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand, and to the south, Singapore. Indonesia surrounds Sabah and Sarawak, and the latter shares borders with Brunei as well. The landscape ranges from coastal plains to hills and mountains, as well as lovely sand beaches. Trees cover nearly three-quarters of the total area. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur.
Located near the equator, Malaysia experiences a tropical climate. While it can get very humid (with monsoon seasons) it never gets extremely hot – average temperatures are from 20° to 30°C.
The Malaysian economy is known for its relative stability and general growth track. After an economic boom in the 1970s, Malaysia diversified successfully and transitioned from being a mainly raw materials producer to a top exporter of manufactured goods, earning it the designation “newly industrialised country.” It is a significant producer and exporter of palm oil and rubber; crude petroleum and liquefied natural gas; cocoa and pepper; apparel; and timber and wood products. Major markets for Malaysian exports are Singapore, the U.S., Japan, and China. The currency is the Ringgit.
Living Conditions and Cost of Living
The cost of living in Malaysia is exceptionally low for a newly industrialised country. Kuala Lumpur has in fact been ranked as the most affordable student city to live in as recently as 2014. Housing/renting, food, and eating out are very reasonable, and taxes are relatively low. The average Malaysian spends around 150 Euros every month on food.
For more information on the cost of living in Malaysia, please visit: https://www.studymalaysia.com/education/top-stories/the-cost-of-living-for-an-international-student-in-malaysia.
The living standard in Kuala Lumpur (KL) is in general quite high. Malaysia has a good health care system, good hospitals, good international schools, excellent highways, and modern communication systems.
Study Malaysia notes: “For most students, a monthly budget of RM1,500 ($469USD) will provide them with a rather comfortable living in Malaysia.”