Malaysia is recently becoming one of Asia’s top study destinations. In fact, according to the University World News, in 2019, Malaysia is host to more than 130,000 foreign students taking higher education courses in the country’s private and public institutions. 

Thus, in the coming years, and as more and more countries continue with their vaccine rollouts and ease their restrictions, Malaysia can expect to host more foreign students. 

Here’s a quick guide to adjusting to life in Malaysia for students who want to go there to study. 

Prepare for Malaysia’s Climate

The weather and climate in Malaysia can be difficult for newcomers and it involves a lot of heat and high humidity levels. Plus, heavy rainfalls and showers are common. 

During summer, especially in March, expect very hot weather. Meanwhile, expect cool weather in January. 

To survive Malaysia’s climate, bring a lot of clothes made of cotton or linen. Those clothes will help you keep cool in the country, especially during the daytime. If you can’t bring a lot, worry not, as many clothing stores in Malaysia sell these types of clothes at an affordable price. 

Also, do not forget to always hydrate yourself. Thus, bringing your own water bottle everywhere you go is also important. 

Adjusting to the Local Culture

Remember that despite its cosmopolitan cities, Malaysia is still a predominantly Muslim country and is made up of various cultures, with the majority being Indian, Chinese, and Malay. Thus, expect various cultural practices and ideas you may be unfamiliar with. 

Thus, it would always help to be cautious with your actions, especially when interacting for the first time with new people. You can do your own research or ask your local friends how to act depending on the situation. For example, when visiting another person’s house, leave your shoes at the door. If you are visiting a Muslim house, do not bring alcohol or other non-Halal products as a gift to the host. Instead, bring sweets or pastries for the hostess, and if there are kids, bring toys for them. 

When it comes to the right way to act in public, if you are a woman, do not wear revealing clothes when going out, especially when visiting places of worship. Also, public displays of affection are frowned upon in Malaysia (such as embracing or kissing), so do not do that too in public. 

All About Tipping

Tipping is not required in Malaysia, thus, if you go to a restaurant or other service or hospitality-related establishments, employees won’t expect that from you. However, if you do want to give a tip, the receiver will not refuse it. 

Moreover, many establishments also have service charges included in your expenses. For example, in hotels and restaurants, there’s usually a 10% service charge. 

Adjusting to life in Malaysia may seem confusing at first. However, once you get used to it, you will realize how much fun it is, and you may even have a hard time leaving it. 

Learn more about Malaysia, from its culture to the education sector, to its must-try foods by reading our articles at MSM Unify.