Study Abroad in Malaysia, Easily & Affordably

Study abroad in Malaysia in the exciting capital city of Kuala Lumpur! Malaysia is quickly becoming a top study destination for students from all over the world, ranking 9th on UNESCO’s top countries for international students in 2015. Affordability, high quality of life, diverse culture and warm climate, combined with top-class education make this South-East Asian country an ideal study abroad destination.

Universiti Putra Malaysia counts among the top universities of the country, with educational standards based on the Oxbridge model of teaching. The stunning variety of attractions and free-time activities in thrilling metropolitan area of Kuala Lumpur ensure you will never run out of things to see and do. A study abroad semester in Kuala Lumpur is the best choice for anyone looking for both academic excellence and unforgettable experiences, all in one.

Why study abroad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?

  • Studying n Kuala Lumpur, one of Asia’s most important business hubs, will give you a better understanding on Asia’s growing importance in today’s globalized world.
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia is one of the leading research universities in Malaysia and ranks well internationally. There are hundreds of courses available from various different faculties every semester.
  • English is widely spoken in Malaysia. This gives you a great opportunity to improve your English skills.
  • Kuala Lumpur is the melting pot of cultures, religions – and food!
  • There are plenty of things to see in Malaysia. From KLIA airport you can reach numerous beautiful destinations in Southeast Asia after the semester has ended.

Malaysia – the melting pot of cultures

Malaysia – a country of contrasts and surprises, a bubbly blend of people and ideologies. Malaysia has all the necessary elements for the perfect holiday: pristine beaches and breathtaking, gorgeous islands, a rich tapestry of cultures and history, well-preserved heritage treasures, top-class modern facilities, an astonishing collection of flora and fauna, lush and well-maintained nature reserves, a delightful array of mouth-watering cuisine. Studying in Malaysia allows you to immerse yourself in this unique and exciting environment for a semester or two.

One of the best student cities

The laid-back, friendly Malaysians love to socialize and welcome you to their country with a smile. Malaysia is, after all, the 9th most visited country (UNWTO 2012) and the 10th friendliest country (Forbes Online 2012) in the world. In addition, Kuala Lumpur is one of the best student cities in the world (QS Ranking 2012, place 44), with 139 500 students in total!

The Greater Kuala Lumpur, Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7,2 million inhabitants. It is among the fastest growing regions in the country in terms of population and economy. Kuala Lumpur, or simply referred to as KL by the locals, means a “muddy river confluence” in the Malay language. The city, no longer a muddy town but a lively capital of around 1,6 million inhabitants, is a prime example of Malaysia’s culture of contrasts in which towering skyscrapers and old shacks built on stilts co-exist. Well maintained parks, heritage areas, museums and lakes make KL a melting pot of delightful attractions and diverse entertainment options.

High quality of life at low cost

Interested in affordable five-star hotel luxury accommodation even as a student? How about never-ending shopping opportunities? Delicious dining and natural wonders? There are endless opportunities for adventure-lovers to explore Kuala Lumpur– everything from cultural treats to wellness services.

  • Key facts

    Official name: Federation of Malaysia
    Capital City: Kuala Lumpur
    Government: Constitutional Monarchy
    Population: 29.1 million
    Area: 329.847 sq km
    Major languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam
    Main religion: Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism
    Life expectancy: 77 years (women), 73 years (men)
    Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), 1 ringgit = 100 sen
    Main exports: Electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, chemicals, palm oil, wood and wood products, rubber, textiles
    GNI per capita: US $8,420 (World Bank, 2011)
    Time Zone: UCT + 8

  • Best of Kuala Lumpur

    Petronas Twin Towers

    Towering at almost half a kilometer above street level, the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers is one of Malaysia´s most famous icons and Kuala Lumpur City Center´s (KLCC) most recognizable shape. Currently Petronas Twin Towers holds the title of the world’s tallest twin structure and fifth tallest skyscraper. The skybridge on the 41st floor functions as an unforgettable viewing platform of the KL skyline. Featuring futuristic glass-steel exterior and traditionally-inspired interior, the majestic building reflects Malaysia´s aspirations in moving forward while preserving its national identity.

    National Museum

    Located in the KL Lake Garden, the National Museum is the principle museum in the country. Built in 1963, the museum acts as a prime information hub on the nation´s culture and history, art and handicraft, flora and fauna.

    Kuala Lumpur Tower

    The Kuala Lumpur Tower is one of the city´s most significant landmarks, and also the highest tower in Asia and the fourth highest in the world. Its observation tower offers a view of the city from the bird perspective. Savour sumptuous cuisine while enjoying a 360´ view of the city´s skyline.

    Chinatown and Little India

    Jalan Petaling is the centre of Kuala Lumpur’s original Chinatown, and also known as the busiest street in KL. Shoppers enjoy this lively street 24 hours a day. Officially launched in 2009, Little India is quickly becoming one of the city´s most popular spots for tourists. This colorful, lively ethnic enclave features a brick-paved street, decorative streetlights and arches.

    Central Market

    Spend a morning wandering through what was once a busy “wet market” Here you can shop for souvenirs and Asian articrafts as well as meet local artists presenting their work.

    Sultan Abdul Samad Building

    Kuala Lumpur’s most photographed building, designed by architect A.C. Norman.

    Istana Budaya

    “The Palace of Culture”, the site of many international shows and concerts.

    Merdeka Square

    8.2 hectare area of historical interest. A 100 metre-high flagpole marks the spot where the Malayan Flag was hoisted on August 1957, signifying the independence of the country.

    Batu Caves

    Site of a Hindu temple and shrine. Approximately 13 km north from Kuala Lumpur.

    Lake Gardens

    The oldest and most popular park in Kuala Lumpur.

    For sights outside Kuala Lumpur, head for Ipoh where you can find the famous colonial-era buildings. History enthusiasts will find Malacca interesting. Penang is known for its food, and Kota Bharu for its strong Islamic influence.

  • Geography and areas

    Geographically Malaysia is as diverse as its culture. Situated in the midst of the Asia Pacific region, Malaysia enjoys a strategic location and year-round hot and humid tropical climate. Malaysia consists of two distinct geographical parts: Peninsular Malaysia to the west and the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo Island to the east, both of which sit north of the equator and are separated by the South China Sea. The geography of Kuala Lumpur is characterized by a majestic valley known as Klang Valley. The valley is bordered by the Strait of Malacca in the west, Titiwangsa Mountains in the east and a several minor ranges in the north and the south.

  • Climate and weather

    Kuala Lumpur has a warm and sunny tropical rainforest climate, along with abundant rainfall, especially during the northeast monsoon season from October to March. Temperatures tend to remain constant all year round. Maximums hover between 31 and 33 °C, while minimums between 22 and 23.5 °C.

  • Shopping

    After a day in class there’s nothing quite like retail therapy. It’s fair to say that Kuala Lumpur is a shopping mecca. According to CNN (2012), KL is the 4th best shopping city in the world! It also holds the position of the second best shopping destination in Asia Pacific (Globe Shopper Index 2012). Most visitors will find Malaysia quite cheap, meaning it is affordable even if you’re on a student budget. You can find everything from street markets to luxury boutiques.

    Generally shops are open from 10:30 until 21:30-22:00 in the large cities. Traditional Malaysian fabrics, namely batik, are a popular souvenir.

    The main shopping district is Bukit Bintang in the Golden Triangle area where you’ll find the high street and designer stores along with the shopping malls such as Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Starhill Gallery, Suria KLCC and Lot 10 Shopping Center. Bukit Bintang is suitable for all budgets. In addition to shopping, there are various cafes and dining opportunities. There are also many malls outside the city, such as Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre, Mid-Valley Mega-Mall and One Utama Damansara.

    Try out some of the city’s nice markets, like Central Market in Chinatown’s Petaling Street. You can surely find arts and crafts as well as souvenirs here. For fabrics, head to Little India.

    For some serious shopping needs there are two annual mega sale events, Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival and the Malaysia Year End Sale, to satisfy your craving. For everyday purchases, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is one of the best known shopping streets for locals in Kuala Lumpur.

    Popular shopping malls

    • Suria KLCC: Perfect location right next to Petronas Twin Towers.
    • Pavilion Kuala Lumpur: Modern complex with a wide range of international brands.
    • Avenue K: Located near Petronas Twin Towers, this six-storey mall sells high-tech products as well as handmade Asian products.
    • The Weld: Between Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan P. Ramlee. Shop for shoes, handbags, cosmetics, clothes, fabrics, paintings, wood handicraft…
    • Ampang Park Shopping Centre: KL’s first shopping complex! Go admire the first escalator in the country among the shopping!
  • Food and drink

    Malaysian food is a colorful mix of tastes, inspired by the Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. For an authentic Malaysian dining be sure to try Kuala Lumpur’s famous hawker food. Some of the best coffee shops and stalls are located in Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle district and in Chinatown. Also curry houses (kedai mamak) are very popular. After a night of dining, finish with a drink at one of Kuala Lumpur’s rooftop bars such as Skybar at Traders or View Rooftop Bar.

  • Transportation and getting around

    Airlines: Malaysia Airlines is the primary national air carrier that flies to and from KLIA.

    From airport: Klia Express, a 28-minute non-stop trip from KLIA to KL Sentral, costs RM35.00 per person.

    KTM, the national railway network, provides train services that run from Singapore to the Thai border and along the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. KTM Komuter also connects suburban districts to Kuala Lumpur. More than 200 trains run daily at a frequency of every 15 minutes. Malaysia Rail passes are available for periods of 5, 10 or 15 days.

    Rapid KL is the country’s main service provider of public transportation in the Klang Valley. It operates the Kelana Jaya RailLine (previously known as PUTRA) and the Ampang Rail Line (previously known as STAR), together with a network of 165 bus routes. RapidKL’s integrated transportation network transports approximately 4.8 million passengers every week with 992 buses and 48 rail stations operating daily.

    KL City Buses offer several types of service in the city and the suburbs from 6:00 AM to 12 midnight. The frequency of these buses depends on the destination. Feeder buses run from Lot 10 on Jalan Sultan Ismail to Hentian Dua (the Airport Bus Terminal) on Jalan Duta. The trip takes around 30 minutes depending on traffic and the frequency is every 20 minutes. From Hentian Dua, there’s an hourly bus to KLIA (the duration of the journey is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes), with combined fares ranging from RM 18 to RM 25. Public buses and interstate air-conditioned buses travel between most cities and towns in Malaysia. They are comfortable and the fares are reasonable.

    Taxis are conveniently available in all Malaysian cities. Fares are charged according to kilometers.

    Modern ferry services are offered from the mainland to major islands such as Penang and Langkawi in Peninsular Malaysia. Regular boat services are also available to Pangkor Island and the Mersing-Tioman Island routes. In addition, longboat service is available from Labuan to mainland Sabah in Malaysian Borneo.

  • Currency

    The currency is the Ringgit, informally known as the dollar and abbreviated RM or MYR. It’s divided into 100 sen (cent). ATMs are commonly available in cities. Credit cards can be used in most shops, restaurants and hotels.

  • Safety

    Kuala Lumpur is generally very safe for travelers, but be aware of the over-friendly locals trying to con you. Police presence, particularly around tourist areas and at night has increased in recent years. Malaysian law requires that visitors carry their passport at all times.

  • Vaccinations

    Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio and Tetanus-diphtheria should be kept up-to-date. Hepatitis A and B are recommended. Typhoid for travelers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels. Japanese encephalitis is recommended for those who are planning on spending a month or more in rural areas or who are going to spend a lot of time outdoors in rural areas after dusk. Yellow fever required for all travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas and for travelers who have been in transit more than 12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Rabies for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, or at high risk for animal bites, or involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats. If you will be visiting an area of Malaysia with malaria, you will need to discuss with your doctor the best ways for you to avoid getting sick with malaria.

Study in Malaysia – The International Education Hub

Malaysia is considered Asia’s emerging higher education hub and keeps attracting more and more international students. The Malaysian higher education landscape has witnessed significant progress in the past decade with rising student enrollment. Malaysia is ranked the 9th most preferred study abroad destination in the world.

The teaching at Universiti Putra Malaysia reflect the international standards of an education system based on the Oxbrige (Oxford and Cambridge) model of teaching, and many of the lecturers are foreign or have international experience. The typical participants are students of business, technology, humanities, social sciences, political science and natural sciences. You have the chance to study together with both local and international students.

Be part of Malaysia’s dynamic higher education landscape

Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one of Asia’s most important business hubs, will equip you with a better understanding of Asia’s growing importance in today’s globalized world.

The study abroad period will be seen as an asset when entering the job market and competing for jobs. Studying abroad will develop creative thinking skills and intercultural competence, which are highly valued by employers in today’s globalized world. Ask your home institution about transferring the study credits into your degree.

Find out more about Universiti Putra Malaysia below.

Universiti Putra Malaysia


Universiti Putra Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur is ranked as the second best university in Malaysia (Times Higher Education 2016) and acknowledged among the top 400 universities in the world (QS World Ranking, place 376). UPM is a public university, founded in 1931. It has 16 faculties and approximately 32 000 students. The university is located in the capital of Kuala Lumpur and is among the elite institutions in the city.


  • Universiti Putra Malaysia in brief

    Established in 1931, Universiti Putra Malaysia is recreating itself as a major global player with an internationally reputable community of intellectuals. It is one of the leading research universities in Malaysia and ranks well internationally. In the popular Times Higher Education university ranking it attained the position of the second-best university in Malaysia in 2016.

    Universiti Putra Malaysia is a public university that was founded in 1931 and the university achieved its modern state as a multidisciplinary institute in 1973. Its 16 faculties and approximately 32 000 students are divided between the Serdang main campus and the Bintulu satellite campus. UPM has already welcomed students from nearly 60 countries into its programs.

    UPM was first establishes as the School of Agriculture in 1931. The establishment of Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, UPM’s previous name, came about when the College of Agriculture in Serdang merged with the Faculty of Agriculture of University of Malaya in 1971. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Agriculture, and a Division of Foundation Studies were the first programs for students at Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, and the first three faculties have only grown in excellence since and are still among the most cutting edge departments at UPM today.

    Since the early 1980s, UPM has aggressively extended its area of studies to include more and more fields of study. In 1997, the name Universiti Pertanian Malaysia was changed into Universiti Putra Malaysia by the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, as a strategic gesture to portray the changing status of UPM as a centre of higher education capable of providing various fields of studies at an internationally recognized academic level.

    The main teaching language at UPM is English and, hence, the majority of the degree programs are studied in English. This makes it convenient for exchange students who can choose courses that best complement their study background and ambitions. Degree students, Malayan and international, as well as other exchange students attend the same courses with Asia Exchange students.

    Find out more about studying at Universiti Putra Malaysia and how to apply.

  • Courses and studying

    You need to be enrolled at a university at home when applying to Universiti Putra Malaysia. There are hundreds of courses available every semester. Most of the courses are Bachelor’s level courses taught in English. You can choose courses from various different faculties.

    You can study Agriculture, Food Sciences, Biotechnology, Biomolecular Sciences, Computer Science, Information Technology, Design, Architecture, Economics, Management, Educational Studies, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Technology, Forestry, Human Ecology, Science and Veterinary Medicine.

    Read more about courses and studying at Universiti Putra Malaysia.

  • Semesters and application periods

    There are two semesters available at Universiti Putra Malaysia, autumn and spring.

    Autumn: September–January
    Application deadline: End of April

    Spring: February–June
    Application deadline: End of September

    See the exact semester dates and application deadlines on the Universiti Putra Malaysia page.

  • Fees

    Tuition fee: 1990 EUR / semester

    Application fee: 75 EUR.

    See what’s included in the fees.

    Are you from outside of Europe? Find out more about fees.

    There are some additional fees which become payable upon arriving in Malaysia, such as registration fee, library fee, health fee and transportation fee (approx. 100 EUR in total). Please note that these fees are subject to change.

    There are also some academic expenses (such as books) for 200 MYR (approx. 50 EUR).

    The student visa costs about 1100 MYR. Read more about the visa

    Benefits when applying via Asia Exchange

    • Confirmation within one week
    • Asia Exchange Guide with lots of information about studies, visas, accommodation and other tips
    • Orientation days
    • No English proficiency test required
    • 100 EUR discount when applying for two semesters.
  • Accommodation

    Most international students from Western countries live in apartments rented from the private market and located off campus.

    In the Asian business culture, it’s common to do business face-to-face and arranging accommodation in advance by email or phone may be difficult. This is nothing to worry about, though, because taking care of housing arrangements once you are at the destination is straightforward. This is also when the details of the rental agreement and the final price are agreed upon.

    It’s recommended to stay at a hostel/hotel for a few days after arriving in Malaysia and to compare different housing options. This also allows you to meet the fellow students and find roommates.

    Read more about accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.

Find out more & apply

What students have said about studying in Malaysia

Here’s what some former students have said about their experiences of studying abroad in Kuala Lumpur:

"If someone had told me I would be studying in Asia, I wouldn't have believed them"

Soon our time here has come to the end and I have to admit it has been pretty awesome to study and live in Malaysia. All the people we have met and places we have visited have made this such a unique experience. If someone had told me when I started my studies that I would be studying in Asia, I wouldn’t have believed them. I'm so glad I had this opportunity and that I had the chance to come here with my good friend, it could have been more difficult alone. I'm sure we will both miss this place and all our new friends here.

Assi, Finland

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"It truly was as great an experience as it was said to be"

Asia Exchange was very interested in its customers and was quick to offer comprehensive assistance whenever we required it. It was especially great to have Asia Exchange visit us personally in Kuala Lumpur at the university and for dinner. They told us about their own experiences, gave tips concerning the culture and other matters and hung out with us during the evening. We were very satisfied with Asia Exchange’s performance and the exchange studies themselves in Malaysia. It truly was as great an experience as it was said to be. We will surely recommend Asia Exchange to other students as well; perhaps we’ll even do another study abroad semester ourselves! Thanks once again for everything!

Antti & Sara, Finland

Blogs from Kuala Lumpur

Far East Finnish

Pilvi and Arttu are environmental engineering students from Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. In Autumn 2017 they are on exchange in Universiti Putra Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Follow their adventures on Instagram!

Follow Pilvi and Arttu


Study abroad in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia - malaysialife student blog

Janni and Assi are Hospitality Management students from Karelia university of Applied Sciences. On their second study year they wanted to do something different and study abroad in Malaysia.

Check the blog

 Become a blogger

Do you want to write a blog during your study abroad semester? We’re always on the lookout for good bloggers. If you’d like to write a blog and have us link to it from this page, let us know! Check out our hints and tips for bloggers.

Videos from Kuala Lumpur

Want to read more student experiences?

Student Interviews from Kuala Lumpur


Asia Exchange in Kuala Lumpur since


shopping malls


number of the floors of the Petronas Twin Towers

Reasons to choose Kuala Lumpur

An unbelievable wealth of natural beauty and a mild, tropical weather 12 months a year.

A whole range of activities to indulge in – you name it, KL has it!

The 12th most popular study abroad destination in the world. You get high quality of life at a low cost.

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