Language courses in Malaysia are perhaps the most budget-friendly option for studying English. Courses here are cheaper than in other Asian countries: Singapore, Hong Kong, or the Philippines. Malaysia is chosen by students who value safety, a comfortable climate, and also want to combine learning English with outdoor activities and getting to know a unique culture.

Advantages of English courses in Malaysia

  • Low costs. The average weekly cost of English courses in Malaysia is 132 USD. This is less than the prices in other relatively cheap destinations. For example, in neighboring Singapore, a week of courses will cost 221 USD, in the Philippines — 363 USD, and in Australia and New Zealand — about 258 USD each.
  • Course variety. In addition to standard and intensive programs, language schools in Malaysia offer practical training, exam preparation courses, summer programs, and master classes in various fields.
  • Busy extracurricular life. In their free time, students of language courses go on organized excursions around Kuala Lumpur and national parks, and also visit museums, galleries, aquariums, and zoos. In addition, schools organize sports and recreational activities on campus.
  • Easy visa process. Students from many countries can stay in Malaysia for up to 30 days without a visa. For longer courses, you need to obtain a student pass. This is done by the host school or university[1], and the student does not need to be present in Malaysia. A temporary document for crossing the border will be sent by mail, and the student will receive the visa itself upon arrival in the country.
  • Security. According to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Malaysia ranks as the 23rd safest and most stable country in the world[2]. The countries in this list are ranked by crime levels, the number and frequency of military conflicts, political stability, social security of the population, and environmental factors.

Disadvantages of English courses in Malaysia

  • Special English. English in Malaysia has been influenced by the Malay, Chinese, and Indian languages. It differs from American and British English in grammatical structure and pronunciation. Students may have difficulty speaking with local residents outside of school.
  • Lack of accommodation. Language schools do not provide accommodation for students. Students most often live in hotels and hostels or rent apartments with other people.
  • Long-term visa processing. The term of consideration for a student pass application can take up to 8 weeks.

Cost of English courses in Malaysia

Awesome English CenterExpress English 30*16-24186-200 USDKuala-Lumpur334-793 USD/month34 USD/day
Intensive English 15*20-36124-139 USD
Skills Program 15*20-24107-113 USD
Holiday English 15-30*1283-162 USD
Holiday English 15-30*886-164 USD
MDISCertificate in English Language1.5 years3,087 USD/courseKuala-Lumpur109-228 USD/month34 USD/day

* number of lessons per week

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Types of language courses in Malaysia

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelAvg. cost per week
General English208-10Beginner106 USD
Intensive English158-12Beginner124 USD
Express English308-12Beginner178 USD
Holiday English15-308-12Beginner162 USD
Business English208-15Beginner134 USD
Exam Preparation10 -208-12Beginner / Intermediate140 USD
English for Specific Purposes15-208-12Elementary107 USD
Skills Program158-12Elementary107 USD
English for Kids5-156-12BeginnerOn request
Part-Time English5- 106-12BeginnerOn request
One-to-One LessonsIndividual1BeginnerOn request
  • General and Intensive English are general English courses for students of all levels. Duration — from 1 week to a year.
  • Express English. Accelerated programs with an intensity of 30 hours per week. On average, such programs last from 16 to 24 weeks.
  • Business English. Special courses for those who want to work in English-speaking countries. The main focus is on developing speaking, presentation, and negotiation skills, as well as learning the vocabulary needed in a business environment. Duration — up to 24 weeks.
  • Exam Preparation. Courses to prepare for international language examsIELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge. During the classes, students practice the skills necessary to successfully pass the tests: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. In the classroom, students not only learn the language, but also solve mock exam tasks. Many language schools conduct the test itself for 166 USD. At some schools, you can study without any knowledge of the language, while others require an Intermediate base level.
  • English for Specific Purposes. Students learn specific skills in these courses. These include writing workshops for bloggers and journalists, language learning through modern literature, and debate clubs for those who want to learn how to properly argue and convince an interlocutor. There are also Skills Programs at Malaysian schools — practical training in oral and written speech, as well as classes for the development of critical thinking in English. Duration — from 4 to 24 weeks.
  • English for Kids — programs for children aged 6-12. Children learn the language through games, drawing, songs, and performances. The duration of the course depends on the initial language level — the lower the level, the longer the course will be.
  • One-to-One Lessons — individual lessons with a teacher. The student can independently choose the intensity and duration of his course. The teacher makes a unique program for each student in accordance with his language level and goals.

Some courses can be combined with each other. For example, Holiday English summer programs can be taken on the basis of an Intensive English course, Express course, or Skills Program. Often, English for Specific Purposes is taught in the format of master classes, which can be combined with any general course. Those who are not ready to devote 10-20 hours a week to English can study in the evenings for 1 or 2 hours a day.

Summer and winter programs

Language schools in Malaysia offer students summer programs — Holiday English. They combine language learning with active recreation and entertainment. All extracurricular activities are held in English, which allows you to apply the acquired knowledge to practice. The duration of such courses varies from 8 to 12 weeks. You can also choose the intensity of classes — from 3 to 6 hours a day. The course fee includes accommodation and extracurricular activities.

University courses

Malaysian university centers also offer English language courses, which are aimed at preparing students for studies at a university. Such programs last from 1 to 1.5 years. An Upper-Intermediate language level is required for admission[3]. You must also pass entrance exams or provide certificates of international tests[4]. The main advantage of studying at university centers is access to the campus, student library, sports facilities, as well as the opportunity to study in university classrooms.

Features of admission to Malaysian language schools

Enrollment in Malaysian language schools takes place once a month. You can apply for university programs in January, April, and September.

To enroll in a Malaysian language school, you need to:

  • Choose the appropriate course
  • Fill out an application on the school or university website
  • Receive an invitation and a list of documents for a student visa
  • Pay the consular fee and send documents scans for a student pass
  • Pay tuition, accommodation, and other fees (registration fees, deposits, medical insurance)
  • After the visa is approved, the school sends a temporary document to the student, with which he can enter the country

Some courses in Malaysia require a certain language level. Upon arrival, students are tested for their knowledge of English, according to which they are divided into groups. Some schools have the option to take this test online before arriving in the country.

Admission to university courses is similar to the process of enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs. 2 months before the start of the course, you need to send the following to the admissions committee:

  • Completed application for admission
  • Passport
  • Passport photo
  • Health certificate
  • Legalized documents on previous education with a notarized translation into English
  • Language exam results (if required by the program)
  • Tuition payment receipt and necessary deposits

After enrollment, the university sends a list of required documents for the student pass. Document scans must be sent to the university by email.

Learning process in Malaysian language courses

In Malaysia, you can learn English both at language schools and university centers. In the latter, lessons are held in the format of lectures and seminars.

Classes at language schools are more variable. They offer Business English courses and international exam preparation programs. Special practical programs are also available to develop individual skills: reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking. Elective courses for bloggers and journalists, along with debate clubs with native speakers deserve special attention.

Language school students combine learning English with outdoor sports and recreational activities: excursions, visits to museums and galleries, trips to national parks, and evening movie screenings. All events are closely related to the curriculum and are held in English, which allows you to put your acquired knowledge into practice.

At the end of the course, students write a final exam and receive a course completion certificate.

Language schools in Malaysia do not provide residence or host family accommodation for their students, but they can help with renting an apartment. Universities offer dorm rooms.

University preparation programs

There are no Pathway programs in Malaysia. However, some schools, such as Sheffield Academy, offer counseling and career guidance — students learn how to write admission applications, motivation letters, and academic resumes in English. They are also introduced to undergraduate and graduate programs at Malaysian universities.

Accommodation options while studying in Malaysia

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomAvg. cost
HotelOptional1-234 USD/day
ApartmentNone1-4706 USD/month
Student residenceNone1-3132 USD/month

Additional expenses

ExpensesAvg. cost
Consular feeUSD13 USD
Registration fee63 USD
Deposit104 USD
International language exams at the school166 USD
Medical insurance177 USD
Teaching materials21 USD
Airport transfer73 USD
Delivery of an invitation by express mail45 USD

Check the schools website for additional costs.

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Visa for language courses in Malaysia

Students from some countries can stay in Malaysia without a visa for 30 days.

For courses longer than 1 month, a student pass is needed. It is issued by a language school or university.

The process of obtaining a student pass to Malaysia:

  • The student pays the visa fee and sends the necessary documents to the school or university.
  • The educational institution sends them to the immigration service.
  • After the visa is approved, the student is sent a temporary document that is needed to enter the country.
  • Within 2 weeks of arriving in Malaysia, the student contacts the immigration service and receives a student pass, which the student must paste into the passport.

The application review process takes 6 to 8 weeks.

Documents for a Malaysian student pass:

  • Completed application
  • Passport photo
  • Passport copy (pages with a photo and active visas)
  • Copies of previous educational documents and transcripts
  • Invitation from a language school or university
  • Medical insurance
  • Proof of financial solvency (bank statement)
  • Medical examination certificate
Work while taking a language course in Malaysia

With a Malaysian student pass, you can work up to 20 hours a week and only during the holidays. Moreover, foreign students are not allowed to work as cashiers, musicians, masseurs, and hotel administrators[5]. Most often, students of language courses work at gas stations, mini-markets, restaurants, and hotels.
To legally find a job in the country, you need to get the approval from the Department of Immigration. You must apply for a work permit through a school or university.

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Most popular language schools in Malaysia

Awesome English Center

Awesome English Center opened its doors in 2012. It offers a wide range of courses for different language levels: intensive and express English courses for 30 hours a week, summer programs, practical training and workshops, as well as courses for children from 6 to 12 years old. The duration of the courses varies from 16 to 36 weeks.

The school is located in the center of Kuala Lumpur, next to the famous Petronas Twin Towers. It is within walking distance of gyms, museums, and zoos.

The average cost of courses is 137 USD per week. This includes registration and visa fees, medical insurance, and airport transfers. For study materials, you need to pay an additional 21 USD.

MDIS Malaysia

Affiliated with the Singapore Management Development Institute, MDIS Malaysia offers undergraduate programs in management, marketing, finance, and banking. The university also has English language courses. Duration — 1.5 years. They are aimed at preparing for studies at English-speaking universities. Students study in the auditoriums of the institute and live in a student residence on campus. At the end of the course, students receive a certificate.

The average course cost is 3,087 USD. Additional expenses (registration fee, visa fees, accommodation deposit, etc.) amount to 2,296 USD.

Sheffield Academy

Sheffield Academy has campuses in Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand. It offers hospitality management, business management programs, and a variety of English courses. Here, you can learn the language in intensive programs or summer and winter camps, as well as prepare for the IELTS exam. Moreover, the college offers workshops to improve writing, special training for journalists, and debate clubs.

The average course cost is 459 USD per month. Elective courses and seminars cost 250 USD per month.

Learn English in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and largest city of Malaysia. Most of the language schools in the country are located here, and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city encourages active language practice in your free time. Of course, there are language schools in other cities of the country — but their variety is much smaller and extracurricular activities will still be held in Kuala Lumpur.

  • High quality education. The rankings of Malaysian universities are growing as rapidly as the country's economy. For example, The University of Malaya ranked 65th in the QS World University Ranking[6] — 10 years ago, it was in 156th place.
  • Tropical climate. The temperature in Malaysia never drops below 27°C. However, the one thing you need to take with you to class is an umbrella. From April to October, the country has a rainy season — a tropical downpour can catch students at any time.
  • Diverse fauna. Kuala Lumpur is surrounded not only by endless beaches, but also by picturesque, tropical forests and national parks. They are inhabited by elephants, tigers, tapirs, and the national symbol of Malaysia — the kalao bird. Language school students regularly go on excursions to national parks, where they get acquainted with the diverse nature of the tropics.
  • Modern architecture. The visiting card of Kuala Lumpur is the Petronas twin skyscrapers. The buildings, 452 meters high, house the headquarters of the oil company of the same name. Another attraction of the city is the Menara Kuala Lumpur TV tower. It has a fully glass balcony at an altitude of 276 meters, which overlooks the city. Of course, not everyone is brave enough to go on it.
  • Cost of living. The average cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is 435 USD per month without rent[7]. For comparison, a month in Singapore will cost 991 USD, in Hong Kong — 1,087 USD, and in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia — 462 USD.
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