Living Cost in Malaysia for International Students

Are you looking for living costs in Malaysia for international students? If yes, you are in the right place. This post will go over the costs of basic necessities in Malaysia, such as food, transportation, and lodging. Further, we also discuss budget-friendly cities in Malaysia and how you can reduce your costs. So, if you are planning to migrate to Malaysia, we hope this guide will be more important for you. Therefore, we request that you read this post until the end.


You also need to note that we are writing this post in the year 2023. These prices and cost amounts can vary depending on the date you are reading this. So, you need to be updated with the latest prices after reading this.

According to upgradobraoad.com, Malaysia is considered the 142nd country on the list of the most expensive countries to live in. Which means that it is one of the countries with the lowest living costs compared to other countries in the world. When you consider Singapore, you need to spend an average of 2169 USD as your living cost. In Japan, it averages 1370. But in Malaysia, you only need around 650 USD as your average living cost. However, this area can be changed according to the living area of Malaysia, accommodation, and lifestyle of a person.


Living costs for international students are very low and affordable when you compare Malaysia with other popular study destinations in the world. Therefore, Malaysia is renowned in the world as a country that provides high-quality education at an affordable cost.


Now on, let’s discuss the topic more deeply.

As an international student in Malaysia, you must pay for accommodation, transportation, food, electricity, mobile phone service, and internet access.


So first, let’s discuss the cost of accommodations.

If you are a single person, then you can apply for the university hostels. For them, you will have to pay around 350–1250 ringgit for a month. But the amount can be changed according to the university where you are planning to enroll. If you are a couple or looking for outside university accommodations, then you will have to pay around 500–2200 ringit per month. The amount can also be varied according to the city in which you are planning to live. The cost of accommodations in Kuala Lampur is much higher than in other places in Malaysia. As an international student, you should always remember it.


When you consider the transport costs in Malaysia, they are very low compared to the other nearby countries. If you live around Kuala Lampur, then you can use the LRT train system for your daily transportation. The cost of the buses is also very low, and you can find a free bus in Malaysia. International students can apply for a travel card from their universities, which will also reduce nearly 50% of their transport costs. To hire a taxi, you can easily use an app called ‘Grab. As well, you should note that transportation in Malaysia is much more efficient and safe than in most countries in the world.


When it comes to the cost of food, you will have to pay around 200–500 ringits per month. The amount can also be changed according to your lifestyle and interests. If you can cook your own food, then the cost of food can be reduced.


Instead of food, accommodation, and transport, you will have to pay for these things in Malaysia.

  • For electricity, around 100–250 ringits per month
  • For Internet and Mobile Facilities: around 150-300 ringit per month
  • For stationary and other educational requirements, around 50–100 ringits per month
  • For healthcare treatments and facilities: around 45–900 ringits per month (according to the illness)
  • Gym facilities: around 100-150 ringit per month


Here are the average costs for some food items per month:

  • Milk (1L): 7-7.5
  • White Bread: 3.5 – 4
  • Eggs: 6.5 – 7
  • Water (1.5L): 2 – 2.5
  • Banana (1kg): 5-6
  • Onion (1kg): 4-5
  • Chicken (1kg): 18-19


Here are some of the budget-friendly cities in Malaysia:

 – Ipoh
– Alor Setar
– Johor Bahru
– Mekala City
– Kuching
– George Town
– Kota Bahru
And here we can deliver you some of the tips and tricks to reduce your living costs in Malaysia:
  • Try to use the hostel facilities provided by universities.
  • Try to cook yourself in your accommodations, and try to buy foods from outside.
  • Try to use travel cards, free buses, and LRT trains for your transportation.
  • Try to buy essentials from low-budget marketplaces.


To cover these expenses, you can try to find a part-time job in Malaysia. It is legal for international students in Malaysia. You can do a part-time job for 20 hours during your semester breaks and holidays. But you must consider that some of those jobs are banned for international students. We will add a post about part-time jobs in Malaysia to our upcoming posts. You can refer to it to find out what the illegal jobs are for students.


So, here you have come to the end of this post. Thank you very much for reading it. We hope you gained a brief understanding of the cost of living in Malaysia for international students.

If you are someone who is willing to migrate to Malaysia for studies, then you can choose Agape Education as your trusted Malaysia education consultant. We are a registered education consulting company in Malaysia. No matter where you are on the planet, You can choose us.


For further details, you can contact us at:

  • Call: 071 781 2869 (if you are a Sri Lankan).
  • WhatsApp: +60 16354 2461 (worldwide)


If you have troubles or any other problems with studying in Malaysia, then we request that you register for our 100% free consultation session. It is a one-hour Zoom session, and follow this link to register for it: Register for the Agape Education Free Consultation Session