The Complete Study Abroad Guide For Malaysian Students 2024

2024 is coming and big plans are on the horizon for you, especially because of your plans to study abroad! Being able to do that is a privilege in itself, but before you can even experience all of this, you might be stuck asking yourself, “Where, when or how do I start?”

Before you panic, we’ve got you covered! Here’s the complete study abroad guide for Malaysian students, from pathways all the way to your plans after you graduate.

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Why Study Abroad?

The simple answer is, “Why not?”

Studying abroad brings many benefits, so let’s breeze through some of the key perks.

Experience different perspectives and cultures, making you a better citizen of the world.

Imagine yourself having a deep discussion over coffee with your assignment mates from Vietnam, Nepal, China and a local Australian amid the expansive green lawns outside the campus building.

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

You’re also going to get a higher quality education! Your lecturers abroad are prepped with real life experiences and are heavily involved in research in the field of study you are in. Plus, there will be state-of-the-art facilities that you will be able to use as well!

You’ll level up your employability, as studies have shown that studying in a foreign university significantly boosts your chances of getting hired. This is mainly due to most employers having an impression about international graduates, where they are more independent, culturally open, and being better educated. 

While there are many countries we can travel to, we will be focusing on two countries to study abroad in, Australia and the United Kingdom. 

These are the 2 most popular countries for Malaysian students to study abroad in, as per 2022 Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education data, where each country has housed 15,178 and 12,143 students respectively.

What Else Can I Do While Studying Abroad?


Here’s something that not many students would know about until it’s too late! 

As an international student, you get the privilege of a lot of discounts! As a Malaysian, that sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

All you have to do is to take note of these 2 cards to apply for (trust us, we weren’t sponsored to write about this):

Having these two cards unlocks many discounts, ranging from books, school supplies, food, technology, phone plans and tons more. 

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Studying in Australia

Australia has so much to offer to you, from beaches, barbies (BBQs), and culture that just screams: “Relax!”

Locally, the country also has so much to offer, all you can travel to during your time there. Enjoy sightseeing in national parks with a lot of history, loads of outdoor activities such as kayaking, or sunbathing at beaches (if that’s your vibe).

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

For the travel bugs, here are some places you can head to in order to satisfy your wanderlust:

  • Melbourne – Go on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road to marvel at the views.
  • Sydney – Need we say more, you get to see the Sydney Opera House in all its glory! 
  • Gold Coast – Beaches, beaches and theme parks galore!
unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Studying in the UK

The land of history, the UK has many monuments, buildings, and places to marvel at. Not to mention if you’re a football fan, the countless stadiums you can travel to, and if you’re lucky, catch a game or two. 

Apart from that, the UK is your gateway to many neighbouring European countries! The best part: since you’re already here, there’s close to no limitations for you to travel outside of the country! 

You’ll be able to enjoy an evening stroll while looking at the Eiffel Tower, cycle along the canals at Amsterdam, and enjoy the warm weather of Spain, all while studying abroad!

P.S.: While this sounds like a really great opportunity to go out and about, don’t forget to study!

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

What Are My Entry Requirements?

Entry Pathways and Requirements

Before we even start, let’s make sure that you know the initial requirements to study abroad. If you are looking to study Foundation abroad:

Minimum results from SPM / IGCSE O-Levels: 

  • AUS – 4 or 5 passes, depending on university
  • UK – 5 credits

Take note! Depending on the field you plan to study, you must achieve minimum results for certain subjects in your SPM/IGCSE:

  • Health Sciences – Credits for Mathematics, Biology 
  • Engineering – Credit in Mathematics
  • Other fields – 5 credits

Undergraduate prerequisites (Commonly used in Malaysia)

When entering degree, these are widely accepted qualifications and results in if you are aiming to study abroad in Australia and the UK

A Levels

  • Health Sciences – Minimum B in Maths, Biology and Chemistry (BBB)
  • Engineering – Minimum B in Maths, Physics and one more subject (BBB)
  • Other fields – Minimum C in Maths and other subjects (CCC)


  • Health Sciences – ATAR 75
  • Engineering – ATAR 75
  • Other fields – ATAR 65


  • Minimum 5B 

International Baccalaureate (IB)

  • Minimum 25 points

Now that you are familiar with the popular prerequisite requirements, here’s the general breakdown of your study abroad journey in both Australia and the UK:

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Visa Requirements

Before flying off to study abroad, take note that both Australia and the UK require student visas. 

Australia (Student Visa Subclass 500)

You need to apply for the visa 8 weeks in advance.

When applying for the visa, you must provide the following supporting documents:

  • Current passport
  • Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from your university
  • Evidence of sufficient finances during your stay (depends on level of institution)
  • Certificate of Insurance for the Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) 
  • A statement of purpose for the Genuine Temporary Entrant application (maximum 2000 words)

Application fees for the visa is AUD$ 710, and will usually take 2-4 weeks to be approved. Having the visa allows you to stay through the duration of your studies.

More information on the visa application process can be found here.

UK (Tier 4 Student Visa)

You are required to apply 3 months in advance, as the process is lengthy, although easy to obtain. 

When applying, you must provide these supporting documents:

  • Current passport
  • Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from the university
  • Proof of finances
  • A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you are doing your Masters, if your course that requires it
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Written consent from financial sponsor (for scholarship recipient)

Application fees for the Student visa is £ 490, and students are also required to pay an annual £ 470 health surcharge.

Approval of your visa may take 3 weeks, and this visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 5 years.  

More info on the visa application process can be found here. 

Uni Enrol will cover your visa fees!

You got that right! When you sign up with Uni Enrol, our study abroad counsellors will assist you in your visa application. Don’t worry about the cost, it’s on us!

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Language requirements

Should you take an external language proficiency test, these examinations are both usually used to apply to Australia and UK universities for Malaysian students.

  • IELTS – 6.5 overall or nothing less than 6.0
  • Pearson PTE – above 60

When Do I Start Applying To Study Overseas?

Based on Uni Enrol study abroad counsellors’ advice, if you are planning to study in the UK, you are recommended to start applying a year before your intake, especially if you’re planning to study health sciences or engineering, to be on the safer side. 

If your pathway is in Australia, you should start getting all your paperwork sorted 6 months before your intake, or 1 year before if you are planning to take Health Sciences. 

Let’s a have a quick look at the intakes for both the countries:

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

How Much Does Studying Abroad Cost?

When going abroad, there are several big commitments you should be aware of and plan ahead which are your tuition fees, accommodation costs and living expenses.

These costs will vary based on the course  you choose, the university, accommodation location and the lifestyle you lead.

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Here’s what you should be expecting when it comes to your weekly expenses as a student in Australia:

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Cost of Studying In UK

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Here’s what you can expect to spend in the UK on a month’s basis:

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

*Costs of living in Australia and UK are sourced from

How much do I need to save?

Want a breakdown so that you can see a clearer picture on your finances studying abroad? Check out: How To Plan Your Study Abroad Budget In 5 Effective Steps

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

How Do I Apply To My University Abroad?

Now that you are equipped with the basic knowledge of studying abroad, it’s time to apply! This part of your journey is a straightforward process, all you have to do is select the university of your choice and start the application process. Best part is, Uni Enrol can help you through this too. 

Study In Australia

  1. Apply to your university of choice with Uni Enrol study abroad counsellors
  1. While you are waiting for your offer letter, Uni Enrol counsellors will assist you in getting health checks for visa purposes sorted.
  1. After your application, you will need to wait 2 to 8 weeks for the offer letter, and check if it is a Conditional or an Unconditional Offer
  1. Once that is settled, you need to wait for your Confirmation of Enrolment. 

Study In UK

  1. You will need to create a UCAS account to start applying. This is usually if you are aiming for high ranking universities. Your Uni Enrol study abroad counsellor can assist you here.
  1. You can also apply to the university of your choice directly, with the help of your counsellors.
  1. You are required to write a personal statement to the university that you are applying to. Our counsellors will help you review.
  1. You are also required to get a reference letter from your academic advisor (i.e lecturers, teachers from your school)
  1. While you are waiting for your offer letter, Uni Enrol counsellors will assist you in getting health checks for visa purposes sorted.
  1. Upon successful application, wait 1 to 2 weeks for an offer letter from university to be issued, along with your Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).

What Can I Expect For My Study Abroad Experience?

When studying abroad, the quality and delivery of your courses can differ greatly from what you would have experienced here. Universities abroad also have fields of study that they are proud to highlight. Here’s what you can expect when you travel to Australia or the UK to do your courses. 


unienrol best field of studies in australia
  • Business (including MBA programs)
  • Medicine (encompassing Dentistry)
  • Accounting
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Education 
  • Computer Science

unienrol best universities in australia

Australia has 38 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2024, with 9 being in the top 100. Here are Australia’s best 10 universities:

  1. University of Melbourne
  2. University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)
  3. University of Sydney
  4. Australian National University
  5. Monash University
  6. University of Queensland
  7. University of Western Australia
  8. University of Adelaide
  9. University of Technology Sydney
  10. Macquarie University 
unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Australia also has the revered Group of 8, a collection of universities who are the most research intensive:

  • University of Western Australia
  • Monash University
  • Australian National University (ANU)
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Here are also some popular universities in Australia that Malaysians would enrol to:

  • University of Melbourne
  • RMIT University
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)
  • Monash University
  • University of Queensland

There are, of course, more universities in Australia that you can aim to apply to, and you can know more about them with the help of your study abroad counsellors. 

Take note! Spots in Australian universities, especially the top and popular ones are limited, as many around the world would be applying too. So it’s best to engage with Uni Enrol’s study abroad counsellors early to secure a spot and scholarships.

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Learning Culture in Australia

Australian universities carry a more practical approach to their studies. Here, the value lies in original thinking. The learning style in Australia encourages students to be innovative, creative and to think critically. 

Lecturers in Australia don’t just expect the students to memorise the textbook. Rather, they encourage open debates, even if it means the opponent is the lecturer himself. That’s due to the low importance placed on hierarchy in the dynamics between students and educators , where students can call their lecturers by their first names, and if they have any issues, it can be dealt with by the students with universities directly. 

Many universities in Australia will lean their grading towards assignments more than exams, which allows students to perfectly craft their work, rather than to cram all the information they need for an exam that will last only 2 hours. This method not only encourages students to focus on coursework properly, but encourages the importance of time management as well. 


unienrol best field of studies in uk
  • Business (especially MBA programs)
  • Natural Sciences (focused on Biological sciences)
  • Engineering
  • Medicine (including Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing) 
  • Social Sciences (particularly Psychology)
unienrol best universities in uk

The United Kingdom boasts universities that are placed at the top 1% in world rankings, particularly famous names such as University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. With practices dating back to a century old, it is no surprise that universities in the UK are so sought after. 

Here are the top 10 universities in the UK, based on the current QS World University rankings

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of Oxford
  3. Imperial College London
  4. University College London
  5. The University of Edinburgh
  6. University of Manchester
  7. King’s College London
  8. London School of Economics and Political Science 
  9. University of Bristol
  10. University of Warwick
unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Here are also some popular universities in the UK that Malaysians would enrol to:

  • University of Manchester
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Warwick 

The UK boasts a large number of universities in its region, catering to a multitude of courses. A quick search on the UCAS website, or recommendations from a study abroad counsellor can get you started!

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Learning Culture in the UK

Unlike the culture in Australia, the UK generally carries a more theoretical approach to their studies, focusing a lot on research and referencing past works. 

The way students are expected to go about their course revolves around 4 key characteristics; independent study, critical thinking, teamwork, and extensive reading. 

Students are expected to conduct projects, assignments and revisions by themselves. In fact, during your time of studies you will be expected to do a lot of independent study, which may come as a bit of a culture shock for Malaysian students.

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

While learning in the UK is different, where you are to apply what you have learned, it still encourages original thought. You would still need to reflect and critically analyse what you studied during your lectures, which applies to many subjects provided. 

While there is an expectation to do most of the studies alone, there are also instances of collaborative work, such as projects, and presentations, but this is usually conducted in small groups. Group projects typically make up a smaller portion of your assessments. 

Well known for its research, it comes to no surprise that students are expected to do extensive reading when it comes to their coursework as well. Sounds really dry, but it also goes to show the strength of information collected from countless researches conducted in the UK.

Can I get a counsellor, please?

How can our study abroad counsellor help you in your journey? Read on to find out:

Education Consultants: Your 8 Critical Steps To Study Abroad 

What Scholarships In Malaysia Are Available For Me?

Most universities in the countries we have mentioned have undergraduate scholarships internally, which you can research more once you have found the university of your choice. Alternatively, our Uni Enrol study abroad counsellors are also available to provide you with that information. 

In terms of external scholarships, there are a handful that can provide you with full scholarships to study abroad: 

Undergraduate Scholarships

JPA Scholarship – Program Penajaan Nasional (PPN)

A JPA sponsorship that allows high performing students to study abroad in the UK and US. The scholarship covers all expenses, including accommodation and living expenses. 

Bank Negara Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship is also for high performers, who are looking to study in the US, UK or Australia. This is an all-expense paid program, with the additional point of being employed upon graduation with Bank Negara. 

PETRONAS Scholarship – PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP)

A scholarship that has been around since 1975, it awards students who choose to study either locally, or abroad such as the UK. This is also another scholarship that not just gives 100% tuition fee waiver, but also secures the successful applicant employment upon graduation. 

Shell Malaysia Scholarship

Apart from giving successful applicants a full ride for their undergraduate studies abroad, this scholarship also sponsors 2-tiers of A-Levels studies. Students also have the opportunity to apply for more prestigious universities overseas. 

Yayasan Khazanah Global Scholarship

The scholarship also sponsors student’s Al-Levels studies at Kolej Yayasan UEM, while preparing them for an undergraduate degree at a selected university abroad. Students can also choose to pursue their postgraduate studies via this sponsorship.

CTA: Want to find out more about scholarships that can help you fulfil your study abroad dream? Read more here: Top 10 Full Scholarships in Malaysia for Your Overseas Study after SPM

Postgraduate Scholarships

If you are looking to pursue your Masters, you can also get yourself a sponsor to do it abroad!

Australia universities provide internal scholarships for their postgraduate programmes, which can be advised by our Uni Enrol study abroad counsellors, but there are some from the UK that we will highlight for you. 

Chevening Scholarship

This is the UK Government’s international scholarship program, where successful applicants are awarded to study a full year in the UK for their Masters. Not only will it be a 100% tuition fee waiver, students will also receive a stipend to cover their living expenses. 

GREAT Scholarship

This scholarship is part of the GREAT Britain campaign, where students from 14 countries including Malaysia will receive a minimum of £ 10,000 for their Masters studies. Students will have to study in selected participating UK universities. 

Commonwealth Scholarship

This is a scheme aimed at the countries in the Commonwealth, including Malaysia. The scholarship will fund a student’s postgraduate study, and helps to support future innovators and leaders. 

unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

Will I Be Able To Work Overseas After My Studies?

Yes, you can! However, you will need to take note that your student visa only allows you to work 20 hours per week in the UK and 48 hours every fortnight in Australia, therefore you would need to apply for another visa in order to work full time. 

Work After Studies in Australia

Graduates keen to pursue work in Australia should apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485.

This is a temporary visa that allows graduates to live, study and work in Australia after they have completed their studies. 

There are multiple streams that graduates can apply for, but they would usually apply for the Graduate work stream and the Post-study work stream.

Graduate Work Stream 

  • Open to international students who recently graduated with qualifications that are related to specific occupations.  
  • You are allowed to stay, study and work in Australia for 18 months. 
  • Application costs start from AUD$ 1,895.

Post-Study Work Stream

  • Open to international students who have graduated with a degree from an Australian university.
  • You are allowed to stay, study and live in Australia for 2 – 4 years, depending on the course that you graduated from. 
  • Application costs start from AUD$ 1,895.

Work After Studies in UK

Once you have plans to start working in the UK after graduating, you need to apply for the Graduate Visa.

  • This visa will be eligible for students who hold a Tier 4 Student Visa, and have completed their degree, postgraduate degree, or other eligible courses. 
  • This visa allows you to stay and work in the UK for 2 years.
  • You must apply for this visa online when you are in the UK.  
  • Application costs £ 822 and you will also have to pay the £ 624 annual health surcharge.
unienrol study abroad guide for malaysian students

You’re Ready To Study Abroad!

You’ve reached the end of the guide! All that’s left is to pack your bags and set off for your study abroad journey!

However, should you need more information about certain guidelines in applications or the courses you would like to pursue, Uni Enrol provides the best study abroad counsellors who are ready to help you from A to Z. 

So… Australia, or the UK?

Get the best advise for yourself from our study abroad counsellors! Let Uni Enrol ease your worries and make your application journey a smooth one!