Internships Abroad in Kuala Lumpur

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Kuala Lumpur

If you are looking for an internship in a big city with an exotic touch, the capital of Malaysia might be the place for you. Kuala Lumpur, or KL as the locals call it, is a bustling global city with an Asian soul, where mosques, Hindu temples, and Chinese restaurants blend perfectly together and make for a unique international experience. Kuala Lumpur is a dream for shopping enthusiasts, and a bus, train, or short plane voyage away from great Malaysian attractions for any type of traveler. Internships in Kuala Lumpur are a great choice for dynamic individuals looking for a challenging and professional enterprise abroad.

Internships in Kuala Lumpur

Even after Malaysia’s recession, Kuala Lumpur is still a financial hub in Southeast Asia. Internship opportunities in business and IT in Kuala Lumpur are endless, but you can also find internship placements in non-profit organisations or the growing tourism industry. No matter your field of choice, interning in Kuala Lumpur is an amazing way to develop your professional skills, and a unique platform for challenging yourself, meeting new people, and discovering a new way of life; you will return home with more than a few new facts on your resume. 

Hospitality Industry. As the tourism industry continues to boom in Malaysia, there are many internships in Kuala Lumpur at hotels and restaurants. Maybe you’d like to work as a researcher for a burger restaurant or live in a 5-star hotel for a few months? Whatever your choice, an internship placement in the hospitality industry will provide great experience for those wishing to improve their skills in management, economics, marketing, and communications. English language skills are required for most hospitality internships in Kuala Lumpur, and interns will typically be provided with free accommodation and meals.

Non-Profit Organisations. Malaysia is a great place for those looking for a unique experience in charitable institutions in Southeast Asia. There are a range of internship opportunities in Kuala Lumpur in education, as well as many other fields, including accountancy, design, and management, that will make for a perfect first professional experience. Most interns receive accommodation and food during these types of internships, and possibly even an allowance for more long-term positions. Non-profit internships in Kuala Lumpur can last from three to 12 months, and will provide interns with the chance to be involved in humanitarian activities and social enterprises that work to improve the quality of life for Malaysians. 

Life In Kuala Lumpur

With consistent temperatures between 28 and 32 degrees Celcius, combined with regular thunderstorms, Kuala Lumpur is known for its tropical climate. The city’s sunny days and green surroundings provide a pleasant respite to the sultry weather.

KL is a city for shopaholics who long for window shopping seven days a week; with over 60 malls and countless street markets dotted across the capital, there is no running out of places to shop. From international haute couture brands to bargain-priced hawker markets, be ready to dip into your pockets. Kuala Lumpur is also a fantastic place for food lovers with countless restaurants and food stalls on every corner, 24 hours a day. Enjoy the Asian flavours and spices, and diversity of influences ranging from Chinese, Indian, traditional Malay, and Western.

If life in the big smoke is too much, KL is just hours away from popular holiday destinations and nearby cities to visit. A bus or train ride can take you to the green mountains of Cameron Highlands and the heritage listed cities of Georgetown and Malacca. Remember though, while Kuala Lumpur is a global city, Malaysia is a Muslim country that is quite conservative, especially concerning dress code for women and public displays of affection, so dress and behave appropriately. 

Salary & Costs

The cost of living of Kuala Lumpur might be slightly higher compared to other places in Southeast Asia, but you can also find a wide range of spending options, depending on which part of the city you live. You will likely need at least $500 per month to cover all of your expenses. However, if you can find an internship in Kuala Lumpur that provides accommodation, you can probably make do with less money. The price for an apartment can vary drastically depending on the location you choose; the city centre is much more expensive than the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

On the other hand, food prices in KL can be relatively low; you can have an inexpensive meal for less than $3 at a street restaurant or in a food court. Some internships in Kuala Lumpur may provide interns with meals, especially those working for hotels or with non-profit organisations. 

The cost of transport in the city is much lower than in most Western countries; a one-way ticket in Kuala Lumpur is less than $1. If you commute every day, count on $25 per month for transportation. Transport between urban cities in Malaysia is also affordable, ranging between $5 and $15 for a bus ride, depending on the destination.

Accommodation & Visas

To undertake an internship in Kuala Lumpur, or anywhere in Malaysia, you will need to obtain a valid visa. The visa for interns is called a Professional Visit Pass (PVP) and must be requested by a host company in Malaysia while interns are still in their home country. This visa can be valid for up to 12 months, and can be renewed for another 12 months thereafter, but only after a three month break in between.

As mentioned above, some internships in Malaysia will provide free accommodation, or will ask for a small fee to organise board for you, especially if you are interning at a hotel or restaurant. Non-profit organisations sometimes provide accommodation in the form of a bed in a dorm or at a local house. If you have to rent a flat or a room, the prices will vary depending on the location in the city. While a flat in the city centre can cost around $500, you will be paying nearly half that for a place in the suburbs. 

Benefits & Challenges

Exotic Experience. Kuala Lumpur is a great destinations for internships abroad for those who are looking for a professional experience with an exotic taste. The economic rise of Malaysia and the influx of skyscrapers provides a great contrast to the nearby forests and Asian architectural style of the city.

Travel Hub. Another perk of an internship in Kuala Lumpur is the proximity of both KLIA and KLIA2 airports to some of the most exotic and affordable destinations in Asia. If you want to travel in Malaysia, you can reach many interesting destinations by bus or train at a cost-effective price too. 

Malaysian Culture. The complexity of Malaysian culture is one if its main challenges, but also can be one of the most interesting aspects of an internship in Kuala Lumpur. Learning how to deal with different customs and traditions is tough and rewarding at the same time, and is the best way to open your mind. 

Friends From Everywhere. The best part of your internship in Kuala Lumpur will be the people from around the world that you meet. Chances are that you will end up living in a vibrant environment, where you will learn about traditions and stories from all over the world. Your international colleagues and friends will turn your work experience in Malaysia into some of the most unforgettable times of your life. 

The capital of Malaysia is the perfect place for interns looking for a challenging international professional experience in a sensational crossroad of Asian cultures and flavours. The rise of business and Kuala Lumpur’s position as an economic hub lends a plethora of burgeoning industries. With highly skilled workers in demand, internships are a great way for companies to increase their output, while enhancing your career.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Kuala Lumpur


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