Studying in Malaysia
Malaysia has long been the choice of study destination for international students from ASEAN nations, South Asia, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. You will discover a delightful fusion of Asia’s oldest civilizations – Malay, Chinese and Indian, with colorful celebration of festivals, customs, and traditions and an array of multicultural cuisines. Eating out in Malaysia is an adventure for food lovers. There is a great variety – from gourmet restaurants to hawker’s stalls to please any taste and pocket!
Malaysia is easily reached by air, land and sea from all over the world. Malaysia enjoys a warm tropical climate that is either dry or wet. Temperatures normally range from 21ºC to 35ºC. Annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm to 2,500mm. Although humidity is high, inside the ICOM campus all rooms are air-conditioned.
Malaysia’s official language is Bahasa Malaysia. However, English is spoken by a majority of people throughout Malaysia, linking the various ethnic groups. Other everyday languages you will hear are Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tamil.
The official national religion is Islam and its tenets are visible in the architecture, language, culture, food and clothing. Freedom of religion and worship is constitutionally guaranteed for non-Muslims hence there are numerous Buddhist and Hindu temples and Christian churches. Major religious observation days are treated as national holidays such as Aidil-Fitri, Deepavali, Wesak and Christmas.
The local currency is Ringgit Malaysia (RM). It is generally easy to convert currencies at a currency exchange and/or banks throughout Malaysia. Major credit cards are accepted widely at any official establishment and ATMs are available to obtain cash via debit/cash cards from your home bank.
You will need both professional and casual attire. On campus, smart casual attire is required (shirts, slacks/jeans, dresses, blouses, skirts, and shoes). For official stage performances, professional attire is required (suit (or dinner jacket) and tie, cocktail dresses or evening gown). Shorts and sandals are more suited for the beach.
You can make phone calls through residential phones, public phone booths, and mobile phones. IDD call cards are available from most 24-hour convenience stores. Wireless Internet access is available on campus and broadband Internet subscription is very affordable to offer wired and wireless home Internet connection. Post offices are located throughout the country, with typical services provided for letter and package sending/receiving. Courier companies also operate throughout the country.
ICOM is located in the city of Kuala Lumpur or KL, as it’s fondly referred to, so public bus and taxi services are easily available to and from the ICOM campus to downtown KL. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system is also available within walking distance.
The power supply in Malaysia is 220 – 240 volts / 50 cycle AC system. Most electrical points on campus, homes, and eateries use 3-pin plug. A travel adaptor is a must have!
Off-campus apartments or rented houses are available for international students close to the vicinity of the campus. Rented accommodation in Malaysia generally ranges in price from RM 250 for a basic room to RM 2,000 for a fully furnished apartment. Rental rates depend on the location and standard of facilities provided. The average living costs for a student is between RM1200 to RM1800 per month, including food and accommodation (excluding tuition fees).
Please read the following important information carefully to ensure all application documentation are met for admissions, and to know of the travel and immigration requirements prior to departing your country:
Complete the online application thoroughly. To avoid delays, please ensure that all information is complete, with the following documents attached:
- One (1) recent passport type photo with sky blue background (3.5cm X 5.0cm).
- One (1) set photocopy of your passport – include all pages, including blank pages. (Passports should be valid for at least one year from the intake date).
- One (1) set certified true copies of all relevant academic transcripts and examination results
- School Leaving Certificate or Completion Certificate, if you graduated from an international high school in Malaysia
- If financed by scholarship / study loan, documented evidence must be attached
- If you have previously studied in another higher education institution (college or university level) in Malaysia, additional documents needed are:
- Release Letter (from former institution) and
- Attendance Report (must be at least 80% attendance).
- International students from other higher education institutions in Malaysia who intend to change institutions before successfully completing their courses will need approval from the Ministry of Higher Education and Immigration Department.
- English translations of all documents submitted, where applicable
- RM350 application fees payable via Visa, Master Card, or Direct Bank-In from most local banks.
- If you are from any country in the African continent, you must provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your Ministry of Education or relevant government authorities to support your application to study at ICOM. A sample of the contents of the NOC is found here.
- If you have the NECO/WASSCE certificate, you must get a Scratch Card from the Embassy High Commission of your country. (Applicable to Sub Saharan Africa ONLY)
Once your application for admission is approved, the International Student Office will email you the offer letter together with the enrolment information. In addition, we will send you the original hardcopy of the offer letter via courier.
Upon receipt of the offer letter you must:
- Make payment for the sum of RM10,000 to the College to confirm your placement and to process the Student Pass (visa)
- Make payment for the sum of between RM200 and RM2000 to the College for the International Student Bond:
Country/Countries FEES/RM Singapore 200 Thailand 300 Indonesia 500 Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka 750 Japan, South Korea, Macau, Hong Kong 1000 Saudi Arabia, Africa, Australia, British C.I., Brunei, China, Europe, Iran, Iraq, Portugal, Taiwan, Tunisia, Vietnam 1500 Canada, USA, Colombia, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic Congo, Republic Democratic Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Western Sahara 2000
- Payment must be made in Ringgit Malaysia through bank transfer or credit card payment (Visa or Master Card)
- Submit the signed Declaration Form along with a parent’s or sponsor’s signature
- Submit the Pre-arrival Medical Screening
- Submit your Housing Request Form, if applicable.
- Delay in receiving your payment and forms will lead to delayed processes for application of your Student Pass. As such, it is important that you submit your payments and forms as soon as possible upon receipt of the offer letter.
Application for Student Pass
- Once we receive your payment and the Declaration Form, the International Student Office will apply for your Student Pass through the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS). This process of application will take between four (4) to eight (8) weeks.
- You are required by Malaysian Immigration law to be outside of Malaysia at the point of application for the Visa Approved Letter (VAL).
- Once your Student Pass application is approved. You are required to make Full payment of your tuition obligation to the college as per your invoice. The International Student Office will scan a city of the VAL and email it to you for your reference once full payment has been received.
- The International Student Office will then send you the original VAL via courier. Please expect to receive this important document via courier service and arrange for someone to receive this document in the event you are not at home when the courier arrives.
- Once you receive the VAL via courier, you need to bring the following documents to the nearest Malaysian High Commission or Consulate Office to apply for your single entry student visa. The documents required are:
- Original VAL
- Original ICOM Offer Letter
- Original Passport
- Source of funding
- Certain consulate offices may require additional documents from you so it is always best to call ahead and request for the documentation required.
- Depending of the Consulate Office, your single entry student visa application may take two (2) days to two (2) weeks to be ready.
- When you have received your student single entry visa stamped on your passport, you MUST inform the International Student Office of your plans of arrival into Malaysia.
- A credit card will be handy. It is advisable that money should be brought into Malaysia in Travellers Cheques. Ensure you have sufficient funds to pay for the first 3 months’ expenses such as food, accommodation and books. Important personal items to pack:
- Personal Items (clothes, toiletries and medicine)
- Bed Sheet (2 pieces)
- Towel (2 pieces)
- Mobile phone
- Adapter plugs
- Basic Stationeries
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash due to risk of theft or loss. Never put cash into checked-in luggage
- Important documents to bring along:
- Flight Ticket
- Driver’s License
- Acceptance Letter and Visa Approval Letter
- Original Academic Qualification transcript – in English (compulsory)
- Receipts / proofs of payment for all fees
- It would be a good idea to make a copy of your ICOM documents (for example, Acceptance Letter, Approval Letter, Original Academic Qualification transcripts, receipts).
- Upon confirming your flight details, you must email/fax the ‘Arrival Detail Form’ to the International Student Office at ICOM.It is mandatory that you inform the International Student Office of your arrival (day, date, time, flight details) at least 5 working days prior to your arrival. Please inform the International Student Office of any changes to your flight arrival information.
- You must arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA or KLIA 2) during ICOM’s office hours (9am to 5pm), Monday to Friday. This is to facilitate airport pick-up by the International Student Office staf
- Should you arrive after office hours on a weekday (after 5pm), you will be charged a surcharge of RM 200.00. Arrival on weekends and Malaysian public holidays will be subject to a surcharge of RM 500.00.
- Your only point of entry into Malaysia will be via KLIA or KLIA We are not able to accommodate your arrival at any other point of entry into Malaysia
Arrival in Malaysia
The student pass and visa are endorsed onto your passport by the Malaysian Immigration Department through EMGS (Education Malaysia Global Services).The endorsement indicates your visa type, the length of stay in Malaysia, the number of entries permitted into Malaysia and the validity of the student pass (which is for one year). The Malaysian Immigration regulations require all international students to enroll as a full-time student throughout your stay in Malaysia. While we will assist in your Student Pass application, ICOM cannot be held liable for any change in policies by the Malaysian Immigration Department in regards to issuance of Student Pass.
Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay and for travel purposes. Your respective home country consulates or embassy in Malaysia can assist with your passport renewals. The International Student Office will help provide you letters certifying your enrolment should you need it to assist in renewing your passport. It is advisable to keep your passport valid in order to be eligible for certain insurance benefits.
Original Copy of School Certificates
You must bring your original school certificates for confirmation of authenticity of the documents submitted during your application.
Single Entry Visa
You must obtain your Single Entry Visa after receiving your Visa Approval Letter. You must get your Single Entry Visa approval before leaving your country. All students and visitors to Malaysia are subject to the Immigration Act 1959/6
Check with your travel agent to make your airline reservation. If you already have your accommodation arranged, you are advised to arrive in KL at least a few days before your program starts in order to settle down into your accommodation and the new environment. During holidays or peak travel season, flights may be fully booked on your desired dates, so make sure you make your ticket reservation as soon as you receive your Student Pass approval letter.
Working in Malaysia
The Immigration Department of Malaysia allows International students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week while studying in Malaysia and only during semester breaks that are over 7 days in duration.
Leaving and Re-entry to Malaysia
When returning to Malaysia from your semester breaks, ensure that your Student Pass is still valid for no less than one (1) month from the date you re-enter Malaysia. You must inform the International Student Office of your travel plans and the length of your stay abroad.
Renewal of Passport
Please renew your passport at your country’s Embassy, High Commission, Diplomatic, or Consulate Office in Kuala Lumpur in order to facilitate transfer of Student Pass endorsement from your old passport to the new one. For the latest updates on Immigration requirement, visit www.imi.gov.my.
Expiry and Extension of Student Pass
You must remember the expiry date of your Student Pass. You must submit an application for your Student Pass extension at least seven (7) weeks before the expiry date. Failure to do so will result in a compound (fine) of RM500. You may also have to pay a compound fee to the Malaysian Immigration for overstaying in Malaysia.
Orientation and Assistance
The International Student Office will be able to assist you regarding any questions you might have related to admissions at ICOM. The Office will organize a range of orientation programs to familiarize you with the College and its policies and processes.
Please take note of the following prohibitions of the Malaysian Customs Department:
- TRAFFICKING OF ILLEGAL DRUGS CARRIES THE MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY IN MALAYSIA.
- A special permit is required for carriage of firearms and ammunition.
- Other prohibited items include flick knives, daggers and pornographic material. Taped video cassettes or DVDs should be submitted for Customs clearance.
- Export of antiques and historical objects is not permitted unless with an export license obtained from the Director General of Museums Malaysia or unless these items were originally imported and declared to Customs at that point.
- You must declare to Customs or the Plant Quarantine Inspector any plants or parts of plants such as seeds, flowers, fruits, soil samples, cultures of fungi, bacteria and viruses, insects or any other vertebrate or invertebrate animal, that is in your possession.
- You must satisfy program requirements by attending at least 80% of all scheduled classes and achieve a minimum satisfactory academic result of a CGPA of 00 out of 00 in any given semester of study. Failure to do so will result in the revocation or non-renewal of your Student Pass.
- Class attendance is compulsory at all times unless you are able to provide a Medical Certificate (MC) from a certified doctor. Consistent failure to do so will result in your Student Pass being revoked.
- You are required to take responsibility of monitoring the expiry dates of your passport and Student Pass.
- Where a renewal of the Pass is required, you must submit your passport to the International Student Office at least 2 months prior to the expiry of the pass to facilitate the extension. Failure to do so would result in a charge of additional RM500.00
- All penalties imposed by the Malaysian Immigration Department in the event of late extension or expiry of Student Pass will be solely borne by you.
- You must complete the Graduate Traceability Form and inform the International Student Office at least two weeks before completion of your final semester at ICOM. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of the Bond Deposit.
- Health care costs in Malaysia are relatively high compared to other countries in South East Asia. A sudden illness or accident requiring hospitalization can quickly result in medical bills ratcheting to thousands of Ringgit. Therefore it is essential that you have adequate medical insurance.
- Medical and health insurance is mandatory for International Students above 18 years old who intend to apply for a student pass in Malaysia.
- As an International Student, you are required to purchase Medical and Health Insurance from EMGS and it must be valid for the period of the Student Pass. EMGS Insurance meets the required minimum standard and they offer a range of packages according to the types of coverage.
- It is compulsory for all International Students to be covered by the International Student Insurance Scheme throughout the duration of your study at ICOM. For new students, the first year’s premium is paid upon application, together with the International Student Charge. This gives you medical insurance coverage from the time you arrive in Malaysia and begin classes at ICOM to cover any mishap or illness that may require hospitalization and / or surgery.
- A Medical Card will be issued to you when you report to ICOM together with a copy of the medical insurance coverage. You must maintain the insurance throughout your stay in Malaysia. You may use the card at selected hospitals, medical centers and clinics to seek medical treatment.
- Should you experience a medical emergency (i.e. accident), it may be difficult to contact your parents or guardian immediately when urgent medical attention is required and authorization is required before a doctor can proceed with particular procedures. As such, your parent(s) or guardian must authorize ICOM to sign on their behalf to facilitate your emergency treatment should such a situation occur.
- Know the locations of the emergency centers closest to you. Also ensure that you are aware of which hospital or clinics are your insurance policy’s preferred provider and where they are located. Carry your Medical insurance card with you at all times. Should you need to be admitted to the hospital, the Medical Card will ensure you can be admitted without delay. Please contact the International Student Office to inform of your hospitalization.