Solid education was always a priority for me. I believe that a diploma of the reputed university is a good step to career promotion. It has nothing to do with money, though it matters, indeed. The point is that a qualified specialist might be involved in promising, inspiring and significant activity for the sake of people. Unluckily, even the secondary education level in out province leaves much to be desired. I know that the best tertiary education institutions to apply include those based in Britain and America but I really doubted the profoundness of my knowledge to apply to these universities. Despite my great aspiration for education opportunities and my quite good command in English, I realized that my family cannot afford my study at a British or American university.
How to get British or American education in Malaysia
I seemed to be in dead-end until I found out about tertiary education system adopted in Malaysia. Almost every tertiary education institution in Malaysia appears to be the representative of a British or American university. Upon graduation, the student gets two Bachelor diplomas: the one diploma is of Malaysian qualification, and the other one – of British or American university. Furthermore, the English language is the second official language in the country. Whereas the student should have a good command of the English language and the state language of the country of study as a student in one of EU countries, the English language proficiency is enough to study in Malaysia. Unfortunately, I was not proficient in English though my vocabulary is solid. I am not satisfied with my pronunciation and grammar necessary to write an essay. I was not surprised to fail my IELTS test with less than 6 credits required.
There was no doubt that I would fail again next year since I had never practiced my English with English-speaking people to correct pronunciation and pass Speaking test. On the top of it, I am rather good at exact sciences and humanities are something difficult for me. I was in the tight spot to write an essay, in fact.
Language training courses in Malaysia
I found out that Malaysia offers a wide range of language proficiency courses for international students. I hesitated between honing my English skills at home and attending such courses in Malaysia that is to get sank in the language-specific environment.
There are two types of language proficiency courses in Malaysia: common courses and those that run at particular education facilities. I made my mind to apply for the Bachelor programme majoring in Information Technologies; the targeted university was one of the best universities in Malaysia. Upon graduation, I will get a Malaysian diploma and a diploma of the Stanford University.
At first, I planned to attend specific-purpose courses at the university but later I founded other centrally managed courses cheaper for 1.5 times but with the similar level of education.
The Malaysian currency is ringgit. The exchange course to USD is about 3$ per 10 ringgits. I had to pay about 500$ per month for my courses. During my stay in Malaysia I found out cheaper courses but with lower level of training and study intensity. I planned to get enrolled to the university at the first try and I was afraid to stay short of money for the second try.
Submission deadlines to Malaysian language schools
It is better to submit documents for language schools at least three months prior to study (the deadline is two and a half months in advance but risk is undue in here). This is the period when the language school sends documents to the Immigration service in Malaysia. When the visa is ready, the applicant will get an Approval Letter via e-mail. Then, it’s time to arrive to the place to study.
International students in Malaysia
I got my Student visa with the validity of half a year. The language center of mine was located in Kuala Lumpur. I was in the group of Intensive English to study for 23 hours per week for four months in duration. I was surprised to see students aged 18 to 50. My classmates came from China, CIS-countries, India, Pakistan, Iran, Africa and Levant countries. At the very beginning I was really shocked to appear in multi-lingual environment that erased boundaries in speaking English. The language spoken by the Malaysian, Malaysian, Arabian, Indian and Kazakh students was really diverse having nothing in common. I hardly comprehended the situation since I could not understand others and my classmates did not understand what I was saying. However, we joined together and made friends and we managed to cope with all difficulties in understanding. The teaching staff was superior, indeed.
I would like to warn those who plan to arrive to Malaysia: take your warm clothes and bedding items. Surely, the climate is tropical in here, but all premises are air-conditioned all the time. It is too easy to get chilled. The bedclothes are not provided at rent flats and thus, you’d better have them on you.
Once a month we used to have excursions for low prices (part of travel cost was covered by our tuition amount). I was greatly amazed with Malaysia, with its charming nature, caring and responsive natives, mild climate and abundance of fruits. This is a special topic to discuss: 300 ml of fresh juice in Kuala Lumpur costs less than a dollar. I found a new lease of life in such an environment which contributed to rapid improvement of my language skills. I had 7.5 IELTS credits upon completion of the course. That was enough to apply for the University.
Enrollment requirements in Malaysia
The Malaysian universities do not set fixed academic period start study. It means, the year might start in November, April or whatever month depending on particular university and school of study. To get a student visa, applicants should send the following to the university authorized persons:
- Leaving Certificate;
- blood test results for drugs;
- X-ray results;
- vaccination list since birthday;
- English language proficiency test results.
The documents should be sent three months prior to study period. Then, applicants may wait for the letter of invitation to arrive to Malaysia.
Foundation and Bachelor programme in Malaysia
Some tertiary education institutions in Malaysia offer programmes that allow school leavers applying for a Bachelor degree avoiding Foundation courses. They are also entitled to transfer to British or American universities after two years of study. That was not my intention, though. I told you earlier that I was short of financial resources.
Thus, I applied for Foundation and studied for three terms for a year. Since I planned to apply for a Bachelor majoring in Information Technologies, I made the focus on Math, Physics and Informatics at pre-university courses.
Upon completion of Foundation, I was enrolled to the Bachelor programme where I studied specialized mathematical disciplines for three years (mathematical analysis, theory of chances, complex variable theory, statistical theory and others), as well as applied and system programming. We rather highlighted practical aspects of study. During my study I lived at a well-based and comfortable student campus with everything arranged for a good rest. We regularly visited tennis courts, swimming pools, workshops and libraries. Upon graduation of the university, I was awarded two diplomas: one of Malaysian origin and the second one – of Stanford University. Malaysia is a well-developing country which requires qualified specialists. So far, I am employed in here though in future I plan to go and settle in Europe.