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Malaysia: Destination Guides

Should you study locally or go abroad? Top 5 things to consider…

Students often question if they should study locally or abroad. After all, there are so many factors to consider. Hotcourses has helped thousands of Malaysian students make that all important decision, so we’ve put together top 5 things that both students and parents need to consider. Read on to find out more…


  • University recognition

Universities in Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK are all very well known for quality education. Take the UK for example – every single study fair and UK education brochure stresses on its strong reputation for research and education, attracting some of the world’s leading academics and industry professionals. In fact, a quick look at the Times Higher Education World University rankings (as of 2014) will reveal that the UK’s prestigious Oxford University and University of Cambridge are in second and seventh places respectively. Of course, Malaysia has recently made headlines with its strong emphasis on better education too. With the rise of international universities setting up campuses in Malaysia, such as The University of Nottingham and Heriot-Watt University, our home soil now is providing education similar to those overseas. Twinning programmes like the 2+1 and 3+0 have proven to be popular in local colleges and universities too. So whatever the decision, students can be rest assured that they can receive prestigious qualifications from foreign universities locally here in Malaysia.


  • Costs

Going abroad is often misunderstood as being very expensive. We’ve heard of horror stories where Malaysian students end up surviving on instant noodles whilst pursuing their studies overseas. Whilst this is not always true, our advice is to conduct a thorough research on the courses you’re taking and the options of going abroad. Say you’re thinking of spending two years abroad, compare the costs of living and tuition fees (including other miscellaneous expenses) locally to a few different countries. Your top choice may be Australia, but consider the US and the UK too. Most people think that because Australia is so much closer and the exchange rate’s lower compared to other countries, naturally Australia would be the most reasonable choice. But, look at the UK and the US as you may end up having to study longer in Australia to complete your degree as opposed to other countries, which might ultimately take a shorter duration, resulting in lower costs. Sometimes, it’s also worth looking at universities in the suburbs or ones that are away from the capital. Fees could vary tremendously. In short, widen your net, look at as many options as possible and slowly narrow them down. Register, shortlist and compare your choices of universities here.


  • Scholarships

If you think going overseas is impossible, think again. There are so many scholarships available on our website, that it’s worth exploring your options. These scholarships are for undergraduate and postgraduate students in various fields such as business, creative arts, science, engineering and more.


  • Exposure

We’ve all heard of amazing student experiences, particularly from those who have studied abroad. It’s true that universities abroad emphasise a lot on student participation; from lengthy debates and discussions to completing a year’s worth of industry-related work experiences. This no doubt, develops a thinking student and helps prepare the individual for the workplace. On the other hand, Malaysian universities are usually accused of spoon-feeding its students. Students are also known to be quieter in lectures, keeping opinions to themselves. Whilst this may mean a little less exposure to its overseas counterparts, local universities are aware of this and have put in place grades for student involvement in classes, hence encouraging them to share ideas and speak up. Because Malaysia is after all still a more reserved culture, students will learn to be more opinionated slowly, but surely.


  • Career opportunities

In a job interview, employers no longer focus too much on exam results or where students graduate from. Of course, those factors still play a role, but what employers really want in potential employees are the skills they have and whether they’re willing to learn. To demonstrate that, students need to make sure that they complete work experiences and internships during the course of study. Another good way to display your skills is through your final project or dissertation – it’s a testament to your abilities.


Why not read more on our advice and articles about studying in Malaysia and abroad? If you can’t find what you’re looking for, leave a message at the bottom and we’ll include that in our next article!

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About Author

An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.


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