Moving to a new country can be daunting, and Malaysia is no exception to that. If you have never been to Malaysia before, you will want to know that although many cultures live in Malaysia, it is predominantly an Islamic country and you will need to show respect for the religious customs while attending school or living in the country.
Students may live in college dorms or, as many do, in high-rise apartments in the city or in condominium complexes where they can enjoy swimming, working out in the gym, and having ample area for parking their car. Foreign residents living in Malaysia for university will need to take a written examination to convert their valid driver’s license to one that is legal to drive in Malaysia. There are also a few things you will want to take note of, especially as a college student who will want to have an active social life outside of school.
What to Wear
The way you dress while attending school as well as when out away from campus is very important. Conservative clothing is expected in most public places, and if you attend a mosque or go to the temple, you need to dress moderately. Women should have clothing that covers their legs and arms. If you want to go swimming or take advantage of one of the beautiful beaches, be sure to wear a modest swimsuit. Bikinis are never allowed and most women tend to swim fully dressed to be appropriate in public.
Due to Islam, physical contact, especially intimate contact, is forbidden in public. If you are a man, it is advisable to never try to shake a woman’s hand in public when saying greeting someone as it is not allowed. It is just fine to have lunch or dinner with a member of the opposite sex, talk to them and enjoy their company but when it comes to being physical, it is best to leave things alone to avoid unwanted negative confrontations or other issues.
Working Off Campus
Many students have part-time jobs off campus to help supplement their financial situations to allow them to go out in the evenings, buy clothing, or purchase items for entertainment while attending school. Many work full-time jobs while attending school to pay for apartments and other living arrangements off campus. In Malaysia, you are apt to find work in hotels, markets, kiosks, restaurants, and other shops. International students are not allowed to work as cashiers, massage therapists, or singers.
Bringing Your Car to School
Many international students want to bring a car to Malaysia for personal use. While most students try to find a home near campus, many opt for apartments that are farther away and having a car is beneficial. There is public transportation for students, but it can often take time to get to and from one place to another and driving a car can simplify travel. To have a personal car delivered during a move for school, you will need to hire a professional international moving and auto shipping company such as ThreeMovers to move it overseas and deliver it for you. To have a car shipped, you will need to provide the following documents to the shipper:
- Vehicle Title
- Vehicle Registration
- Sales Invoice
- Residence Permit
- Proof of Ownership
You will also be required to pay shipping fees, customs fees and taxes prior to the car leaving the port to be moved overseas.
You can drive for up to three months with your current license but will need to take a test and obtain an international driver’s license after that time. You will need to have a work or school visa that extends one year from the date of application to obtain the license if you are not from Malaysia.
As a student, it is important that you carry your identification with you always when you are away from home and in case of illness, you may also want to check with the university to see if student medical insurance is available and where the nearest hospital, clinic or student health center is located. Knowing the local language, or at least having a general idea of how to speak will help you communicate with others at school and the community around you.