Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, or “KL” if you wish to fit in with the locals, is a thriving urban center, where an array of Asian cultures meet in an energetic and rapidly developing atmosphere. Kuala Lumpur oozes modernity while maintaining strong links with its Malay cultural roots and boasts a blend of cultures from Malay to Chinese to Indian and more. When you study abroad in Kuala Lumpur, you’ll benefit from a forward-thinking and driven-learning environment while having world-class street food at every turn and transport connections to explore of the rest of the country!
Popular Ways to Study in Kuala Lumpur
As one of the most popular cities in Asia for studying abroad, KL has a lot to offer with regards to the subjects, length, and style of programs available. Throwing yourself into the deep end of this globally renowned center is an ideal way to kick-start your career with some valuable skills and experience, that’s for sure.
Popular subjects to study. The city’s stereotype as an innovative development hub makes it the perfect spot for degrees in engineering and information communication technology. Students of these disciplines will benefit from world-class knowledge and ample opportunities to apply their learning in real-life scenarios. This creativity is well supported by the business, finance, and accounting sectors — integral to maintaining the cities forward momentum. Not to mention that students studying these majors will also find plenty of potential for applying their skills in KL.
Short term and summer vs. long term programs. With so much to see, do, learn, and experience, you may find you never want to leave Malaysia. Fortunately, study abroad programs in Kuala Lumpur offer a range of durations, from single semester to one year, and even complete degree length programs!
Attending universities vs. studying with other programs. Most Kuala Lumpur study abroad programs are provided by Malay universities, placing you amongst an international cohort of students. Not only will this open up incredible networking options, but it will also give you the opportunity to connect with Malay students who can help you learn your sambal from your satay after class and offer a more unique insight into life in KL!
Student Life in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the type of city that never sleeps, and with so much to explore, you won’t want to either! Between classes, take some time to connect traditional Malay culture at the Batu Caves, Merdeka square, or visit some of the many mosques, temples, and religious sites across town. Contrast these adventures with a trip up the Petronas Towers to see how development has taken such a stronghold in the city. Kuala Lumpur is also well connected to the rest of Malaysia, so spend some time exploring on the weekends or during breaks to see how the city differs from more rural parts of the country.
Being a modern hotspot, the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is higher than in rural parts of Malaysia, so you’ll want to identify some favorite street food vendors and get acquainted with the local market to help keep your bank account ringit-healthy. Don’t be afraid to bargain! Some study abroad programs offer accommodation inclusions, which helps with logistics and affordability. If you do need help finding somewhere to stay, be sure to ask your hosts for advice, as the locals always know how to get the best deal!
GoAbroad Insider Tips
If you aren’t already convinced that studying in Kuala Lumpur is ideal, consider this: English is a compulsory language taught in all schools. This makes KL the perfect place for a first-time traveler (or study abroad student!), as getting around, shopping, and exploring will be considerably easier! It also means you’ll have ample options for connecting with the locals (minus awkward sign-language attempts!) — opening up opportunities for a much deeper experience of “real” KL life.
If you really want to get the most out of your time in KL, just follow these three golden rules. Street food is not an option, it’s a necessity! Try all of the dishes and use meal times to mingle with the locals too. Get acquainted with the train system — the city is your oyster. Seriously, you have no excuse to stay home; explore everything! Right is always the way to go. At least when it comes to choosing which hand you want to eat with, pass something with, greet someone with — always right and you can’t go wrong!
Opportunities to study in Kuala Lumpur are rife, and there is plenty you can learn from this bustling city of contrasts. With influences from across the continent in terms of culture and religion, it’s a diverse hotspot, and you’ll never be short of something to learn or of a chance for a new experience.
Read our comprehensive guide on studying in Malaysia for even more fuel for your wanderlust!