Student Participant Report
IT Study in Malaysia
Inexpensive Education in a Multicultural Environment
Few people from the West consider going to Malaysia to study. But where else can you study English in a foreign country with year-round summer, and receive a masters for under $4,000 or a computer qualification (MSCD 2000) for under $1,200? The Universiti Malaya (the Harvard of Malaysia) offers a 1 1/2-year masters program in Instructional Technology conducted in English.
Most of the highly qualified lecturers received their college degrees in the U.S.
Class discussions involve multiple perspectives: not just Western and Eastern but Malay, Indian, and Chinese. My most valuable reward wasn't the degree, it was the insight I got into Malaysian society. Although I've worked here seven years, I now understand how Malaysians think much better after going through their educational system.
Most of Malaysia's universities are located in beautiful areas. The Universiti Malaya is nestled in a semi-jungle in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. The IT facilities are adequate to create web-based learning programs, which was one of my main goals. And as I said, the price was great.
Malaysia generally is a bargain. The Economist magazine, which uses the "Big Mac" index to measure purchasing power in about 80 countries around the world, ranks Malaysia as one of the cheapest.
Of course your learning isn't confined to the classroom. Malaysia is one of those few exotic countries where you can easily communicate with the locals about how they feel and think. When I ask a person the meaning of a certain belief or ritual, they can usually explain it to me in perfect English. And since Malaysia is multicultural and multireligious, I can learn from locals about the Malay, Indian, and Chinese about Islam, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.
Nature lovers have all of Borneo to explore, as well as the National Rain Forest Park just three hours north of Kuala Lumpur. Scuba divers can head to Langkawi island on the west coast or Rendang island or Tioman island on the east coast. For solitude, visit the Perhentian Islands near the border with Thailand or the islands off Sabah, where the first series of the TV show "Survivor" was filmed.
If you are interested in studying in Malaysia, either for a degree or quick qualification, see the box for some recently advertised programs. There are many more. Education is big business here.