There are many great countries to live in.  If you are open to going anywhere in the world, it can seem a bit daunting as there are too many choices.  Think about what is important to you in a country to live in.  Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What do I value about a country?
  2. Is weather an important factor in where I live?
  3. Do I want to be able to save a lot of money?
  4. What travel opportunities excite me when I think of traveling?
  5. Am I willing to live in a culture very different than my own?
  6. Do I want to learn a new language while living overseas?


These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself when thinking of moving overseas.

Malaysia is an incredible place to live.  It is often overlooked because most people see it as a city to transit through when using the budget-friendly airline, Air Asia.  Perhaps it doesn’t have the most exciting “Top 10 List” compared to other countries, it should not be overlooked as a great place to teach and a great place to live.  Below I will outline 3 reasons Malaysia is a great choice for international teaching.


1. Cost Of Living

Malaysia is actually a reasonably cheap place to live in.  This photo is of the rooftop pool / artifical beach that I lived in while teaching in Kuala Lumpur.  The total price of this place was around $600 USD.  The building was new, the amenities were plentiful and the building was in a high-end expat neighborhood.

You can really live any sort of life you want to in Malaysia.  You can live off of local food and spend near nothing for food if you eat out all the time.  Alternatively, you can always eat in Western restaurants and have a fancy nightlife each weekend at rooftop bars, craft beer bars, and high-end nightclubs.  You will want to know what your monthly salary will be and make judgments about what kind of life you will be able to live.  Normally your school will cover your housing allowance and this means that most of your monthly income can go to eating out, fitness, bills and whatever other activities you want to involve yourself in.

Here is an estimate of what things could cost you if you choose to live in Malaysia.  I preface this by saying these amounts are totally dependent on if you are single, a couple or coming with children.  These prices are based on 1 single teacher living in an average sized apartment.

  1. Utilities: Your biggest expense will be running your airconditioner.  If you run an air-conditioner, expect to pay around rm150 ($35usd) per room that you run an airconditioner each month.  This will obviously vary depending on how large or small your apartment is.  On average, you can expect a utilities bill to run you anywhere from rm150 – rm250 ($35 – $55 usd) each month.
  2. Cell Phone Service: Again, depending on what you want, you can expect to pay around rm50 – rm100 ($10 – $20 usd) each month.  There are plenty of options when it comes to data service and you can find a plan that will fit your needs.
  3. Food: This may be your largest expenditure.  Eating out is cheaper than eating in your home country and you will be able to afford a Western-style of eating for a very reasonable price.  Groceries, if you are only getting shopping at Western grocery stores will run prices similar to buying groceries back home. Be wary of where you are shopping and shop around until you find a grocery store with reasonable prices.


2. Food

One of the most exciting things about living in Malaysia is the multitude of food options. Kuala Lumpur as the capital city is a blending of many cultures.  The three main cultures that call themselves Malaysian are Malays (Muslim), Chinese & Indian.  WIth these 3 cultures, you can imagine the fusion of foods that you can find and enjoy.  Not only can you find an array of local food delicacies, but you can also access foods from almost any culture in the world.  That is one of the beautiful things about Malaysia, it is a real metling pot of cultures making it a truely international city to live in.


If you are adventurous with your taste buds then you will be able to find some great food options that will challenge your spice tolerancy! Spicey is the name of the game when it comes to Malaysian food. Personally I don’t love spicey food but my tolerance for it has definitely grown over the years.


3. Travel


Travel is one of the most exciting reasons to live in Kuala Lumpur.  KL is known to be a hub of air transport because it is the home of Asia’s low-cost airline, Air Asia.  KL has two large international airports and flies to most major cities in the world.  If you are living in KL then you will quickly become familiar with AIr Asia and will be able to find incredibly low cost tickets to all asian countries.