Cost of Living in Malaysia: A Complete Guide on Expenses

4 minute read
Cost of Living in Malaysia: A Complete Guide

Most international students while planning their study abroad journey only plan for some of the necessities like tuition fees, accommodation and travel expenses. But while planning, they miss out on one of the most important things which is the cost of living in a country. In this blog, we are going to take a look at the cost of living in Malaysia as this can help you plan your study abroad journey more effectively.


Why Study in Malaysia?

There can be a common question in everyone’s mind “Why should I consider studying in Malaysia”. Let us give you a heads-up that Malaysia is a country in Asia that is developing rapidly and here are some of the key benefits of studying in Malaysia:

  • There is a myth that studying abroad can always be costly which is not true in the case of Malaysia. One of the main reasons why you should choose to study in Malaysia is the affordability. The living expenses and tuition fees here are low compared to other countries
  • You get quality education at affordable rates.
  • Malaysia is a welcoming and diverse nation, you can find people from various nationalities like India, China, Indonesia and so on. This can help you in getting global exposure and in understanding other cultures.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Paris

Cost of Living in Malaysia

The cost of living can be extremely subjective. It completely depends on your preferences and your lifestyle. We will discuss some of the necessities and hopefully, this will give you a fair idea about the cost of living in Malaysia.


The most important expense in a study abroad journey is accommodation costs. This cost can highly vary depending on the features, size and location of the accommodation option. If you try to get accommodation in urban areas like Kuala Lumpur or Penang, they are more expensive than accommodation in rural areas or smaller towns. Off-campus and home stays in these regions are usually expensive in the range of USD 400-500 but they usually have fewer rules and are features loaded. Alternatively, if you are short on budget you can try getting an on-campus accommodation option of your respective University which can cost around USD 90 to 200. 


In terms of transportation, Malaysia has a well-developed public transportation system that can be comfortable and cost-efficient at the same time. Public transportation is the most common way of travelling around Malaysia as it covers most of the cities and towns. Buses, trains, and rail transit are available and the cost ranges from USD 0.2 to USD 2 per trip (can vary depending on the distance). However private transports are not too costly in Malaysia and can range from USD 1 to USD 10 depending on the distance and hourly charge. But can also include some additional expenses like refuelling, toll fees, parking fees and so on.


Food is a necessity for every human being but the cost can be highly influenced depending on your habits and preferences. If you prefer eating out from fancy restaurants then it can be a bit costly in Malaysia. Getting a decent meal from a local restaurant can cost around USD 2 to 5 whereas fine cuisines can cost even higher. The best way for an international student to save money on food is by cooking your food. On average it will cost around USD 200 for your monthly groceries. 

Also Read – Cost of living calculator

Detailed Costs

Now we will provide you with some detailed costs of some items and services in Malaysia. This can help you to have a fair idea about the cost of living in Malaysia and help you to plan your study abroad journey effectively:

Items/ ServicesAverage Cost
Meal, Inexpensive RestaurantUSD 2.63
Water (0.33 litre)USD 0.35
Cappuccino (regular)USD 1.54
Milk (1 litre)USD 1.55 
Loaf of White Bread (500g)USD 0.79 
Rice (1kg)USD 1.13 
Eggs (1 dozen)USD 1.52
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)USD 0.66
Monthly Pass USD 17
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)USD 0.88 
Basic Utility (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage)USD 43.91
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ DataUSD 8.76
Fitness Club, Monthly FeeUSD 33

Also Read: Cost of Living in Spain

Average Tuition Fees

Apart from the cost of living in Malaysia, you should also be aware of the country’s education cost to plan your budget properly. So, here are the average tuition fees you can expect to pay at a university in Malaysia:

Course Type Average Annual Tuition Fees
Undergraduate 25,176 MYR to 73,377 MYR
Postgraduate 27,000 MYR to 47,297 MYR
PhD 5,000 MYR to 30,000 MYR

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Q.1 What is the cost of vegetarian meals in restaurants in Malaysia?

Answer: The average cost of a vegetarian meal in Malaysia ranges from USD 2 to USD 8 per person.

Q.2 What are some of the ways to save money as an international student in Malaysia?

Answer: Here are some of the effective ways by which you can save money in Malaysia:
a) Share accommodation with roommates or friends
b) Cook your meals or eat at local stalls
c) Use public transportation or walk whenever possible

Q.3 Which are the top Universities in Malaysia?

Answer: Here are some of the top Universities in Malaysia:
a) University Of Malaya
b) Universiti Malaya
c) Universiti Putra Malaysia

This was all the details about the Cost of Living in Malaysia. If you are planning to study in Malaysia don’t forget to reach out to us at 1800 57 2000 and contact our Leverage Edu experts to make your study abroad process hassle-free. 

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