LIVING IN MALAYSIA

Full country name:   Federation of Malaysia
Area:   329,847 sq km
Population:   3 million
Capital City:   Kuala Lumpur
People:   67% Malay, 25% Chinese, 7% Indian, plus indigenous tribes such as Orang Asli and Iban.
Language:   English, Tamil, Chinese, Malay
Religion:   61% Muslim, 20% Buddhist, , 9% Christian, 6% Hindu, 3.4% others
Government:   Constitutional Monarchy
Head of State:   Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (King)
Head of Government:   Prime Minister
Major Industries:   Tin, rubber, palm oil, timber, oil, textiles, electronics, tourism
Adjusting to a new environment
Like many international students coming to Malaysia for the first time, you may find these changes very confusing and upsetting. You could feel helpless, anxious, despair, demotivated, frustrated or even angry. Your reaction may be to withdraw from your new surroundings, by spending most of your time with other students from your own country, or by staying in your room (or even in your bed!). If you are very distressed by the feelings you have in this new environment, remember, you are not alone. Some international students may have feelings such as these, however they are quite normal. Do not be too worried.
 
Coping with a new environment
There are a few things you could do to familiarise yourself with a new environment such as conducting observations of people; listening and asking questions when you’re uncertain. Find ways to meet new people and make new friends by being active in clubs and societies on campus. Taylor’s has International Student Advisors and Counsellors who would be happy to help you with any problems you have settling into your new environment.
 
Travelling by Bus
Buses are the most common form of public transport in Malaysia. Depending on the distance, travelling by bus could cost you between 80sen to RM3. Note that the buses can get quite packed during peak hours, which is usually in the mornings and evenings.

You will find that bus stops are very common and that there are many different bus routes. As such, you might have to take more than one bus to get to your destination of choice. It is advisable for you to enquire with the bus drivers on the exact route of the bus, or inform them of your preferred destination to ensure that you are boarding the right bus.
 
Taxis
Taxis in Subang Jaya and Kuala Lumpur are aplenty. While there are certain spots with taxi stands, most will stop at bus stops as well as by the side of the road, if safe to do so. Most taxis in Malaysia run on metres and the initial charge is RM3.00 upon boarding. There are separate charges if three or more passengers go on board, and also for storing luggage or items in the boot. You are also able to call for taxis although additional charges will apply. Note that there are also different charges after midnight.
 
Rail
Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur are well-connected via several rail lines such as the Monorail, Light-Rail Transit (LRT) and Commuter trains. Each of these lines operates separately but at certain interchange locations, the stops are next to each other. Currently, in the township of Subang Jaya, the LRT is being constructed and will be expected to complete in 2016.

To get around Kuala Lumpur city, your best option would be to rely on the Monorail. This line will bring you past several shopping destinations as well as to the central business district of the city.

You will need to note that there are two different LRT lines - the Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line. Both operate to different locations (other than the interchange stations), so make sure of your destination before hopping on. At some stations, there are feeder buses that rotate around the area of the station, although separate charges apply.

There is also the KTM Commuter which is a commuter train that moves within Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya cities as well a further out to the other parts of the Klang Valley.

For more information about Malaysia, please click here.