Once you are in Malaysia for your higher education, you will have multiple options for accommodation in the country. This of course will depend on your monthly budget, the city you are based in and accommodation options provided by your institute. One important thing to keep in mind is when you apply to/ accept a course at a particular college or university, you will need to mention that you will need accommodation. Because although international students are given priority over others, you must never assume that you will automatically be provided accommodation.
Every university in Malaysia will have their own accommodation office which manages applications, accommodation enquiries etc. For our students we often arrange meetings with the respective accommodation offices.
Broadly Student accommodation in Malaysia can be categorized into the following categories:
On – Campus
Almost all Malaysian universities will provide some kind of on-campus accommodation options for international students. This kind of accommodation will differ from the US and UK concept of On Campus accommodation where residing ‘on-campus’ typically means directly living in a residence hall inside the campus premises. In Malaysia, on-campus housing can either be a residence hall or student hostel – each with its own set of amenities and rental costs.
Universities which offer the option of residence halls, the latter becomes the most desired and popular choice for international students, as you get to stay right in the center of the buzzing campus life. Some halls might be situated at few minutes’ walk from campus, but they are never very far from that. Very broadly, students will be likely to pay anywhere between MYR600-MYR3000 (US$184-US$920) per semester for a single bedroom. Shared occupation will be a little less than that, whereas a double bedroom cost will be almost double.
To apply for a residence hall, you need to research your options well ahead of your arrival in Malaysia. You will need to apply for a place in a residence hall and submit your request directly to your host in accordance before the deadline.
Student hostels are the most commonly offered types of accommodation for students. These hostels are packed with loads of facilities and turns out similar to staying in a college hostel where students might need to share their rooms or live in a dormitory. Rent is usually payable per semester, and students must submit a booking form to the university in order to secure a place. Rooms are furnished and equipped with Wi-Fi, a bathroom and toilet and a communal living area.
OFF – CAMPUS
It is not uncommon for international students to opt for off-campus housing. Most of these off-campus housing areas are located within a short distance of the institution. These could be shared houses, apartments or studio flats, usually with three- four bedrooms. Like on-campus accommodation, students will need to apply for off-campus housing directly through their host university.
Rent is payable monthly and usually does not include amenities. The rooms are usually equipped with Wi-Fi, beds, desks and wardrobes. Students may choose to live in a single room with shared facilities.
Managed apartments and studio flats
Studio and managed apartments are the more expensive options than shared flats or some residence halls and enable students to live more independently. Some universities offer these types of accommodation to students over and above other on and off-campus housing options just to provide some extra choices to students.
Managed apartments are mostly shared and come in both serviced and non-serviced variants. Although a lot depends on the place you are staying, you can expect to pay something in the range of MYR1500-MYR2500 (US$460-US$767) per month, including facilities for these types of accommodation.
Student agencies and renting privately
There also are several housing agencies which deal in student housing. We often re-direct our students to these agencies for better and more choice of options. On an average, rental costs per month for a single bedroom apartment in a city area will be around MYR1,530 (US$470). Although some select housing agencies might be help you with accommodation before your arrival in Malaysia, it’s always advised that you are in the country before you apply for this type of accommodation.
Additional things to note
Most rental costs in Malaysia will depend on whether the accommodation has facilities like an air conditioning or not. You need to make these things very clear when you are looking for an accommodation.