Moving to a new country can be a very daunting task for most people, and moving to Malaysia is no exception to that. If you have never been to Malaysia before, you will want to know that although many diverse cultures live in Malaysia, it is predominantly an Islamic country and you will need to show respect for the religious customs while you are attending school or living in the country.
Students may live in college dorms or, as many students prefer to do, in high rise apartments in the city or in condominium complexes where they can enjoy swimming in the pool, 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 with in Malaysia. You cannot drive in Malaysia without a proper driver’s license. 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 WearThe way you dress while attending school as well as when out away from campus is a very important thing to consider. Conservative clothing is going to be expected in most public places, and if you attend mosque or go to temple, you will need to dress quite 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 you will see at the beach or at swimming pools in Malaysia tend to swim fully dressed to be appropriate in public.
Physical ContactDue to Islam, physical contact, most especially intimate contact, is forbidden in public. If you are a man, it is very advisable to never try to shake a woman’s hand in public when saying a greeting to someone as it is not allowed. It is just fine to have lunch or dinner with a member of the opposite sex or to 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 confrontation or other issues.
Working Off CampusMany students in Malaysia 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, as an expat, 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 but working in other positions is a great way to save money during school for travel during school breaks and to pay for necessities during the school year.
Bringing Your Car to SchoolMany international students in Malaysia 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 auto shipping company 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 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.
Jason Mueller is an expat from Canada who has settled in different foreign countries and loves to travel. His business A-1 Auto Transport INC allows him to travel and work. Liked this post? Subscribe now to read more post like this one! Tweet