Cost of Living in Malaysia for PhD Students

Cost of Living in Malaysia for PhD Students

Do you decide to live in Malaysia? It turns out that you have to consider everything, including living costs while you’re there. Especially if you are a PhD student. Some aspects of costs will be slightly different in every country. Thus, you had better do some detailed planning to live comfortably. 

Cost of Living in Malaysia

Referring to Soscili‚Äôs site, here’s the living cost monthly for domestic needs in 15 states in Malaysia, the data below is only an estimation, it might change anytime.

The data shows that Perlis state has the most affordable living cost estimation in Malaysia due to its location on the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

But apart from the low cost of living, Perlis also has the charm of a beautiful rural atmosphere, and also a number of top tourist destinations, ranging from historical, cultural, ecotourism, culinary and shopping tours. 

Perlis as The Most Affordable Living Cost in Malaysia

Why Perlis is the comfortable state in west Malaysia from living expenses of the other region such as food and beverage, transportation, telecommunication, and many more. Here are the detailed explanations. 

Low Food Price

Although food prices in Malaysia are very affordable. Because Malaysia is a multicultural country that provides a variety of foods. For example, Nasi Kandar at the food court or Mamak stall (Indian food), it takes approximately RM 7 to RM 9.

This price is usually applied in some cities like Penang, and others. Whereas in Perlis you might only need to pay at least RM 5 – RM 6. At that price, you can get a large portion, so you’ll definitely be full.

In Perlis, food is even available at the campus canteen which has a cheaper price. For example, porridge or 1 set of hot dogs for under RM 5 in Perlis.

But if you eat at a restaurant, of course, it will be more expensive, the restaurant also depends on which you visit. The cheapest option is to cook the food by yourself and share it with your friends. 

In Perlis, you can buy vegetables at a low price. You can go to Giant or traditional markets. The supermarket sells a wide variety of fresh vegetables, meat, and seasonings.

Price Standard Telecommunication

Malaysia has many telecommunications service providers, so the prices they offer are very competitive. For standard usage, it can range from RM 40 to RM 50. This price is commonly applied in several city centers. But in Perlis, you might need to pay only RM 25 – RM 30 in general.

Assuredly it does not include calls abroad. If you want to make overseas calls at affordable rates, you can buy an IDD card. 

Actually, some universities already provide dormitories that include internet fees, electricity, and water. So, your monthly allocation of funds for living expenses and those utilities are already accumulated.


Depending on the location, public transportation in Malaysia is quite practical. You can take the bus, MRT, or train to get around. There are even campuses that provide shuttle buses for transportation to campus and its surroundings.

For example, for a bus ticket price in Kuala Lumpur (short distance), you need to pay at least RM3. But in Perlis, you may only have to pay RM 2. And you can also save a lot of money because around Perlis university provides transportation friendly for students. 

Miscellaneous Expense

For students, the cost of the subject matter also depends on the major you choose. You need to prepare extra costs for stationery, project materials (depending on the course you take), and other incidental costs.

From the data and description above we can conclude that Perlis is comfortable for living cost estimation assuredly compared with another West Malaysia state that takes a higher price estimation than Perlis. So Perlis is very suitable for the affordable living standards in Malaysia if you plan to live there, especially for the study.

Living cost is closely related to one’s lifestyle. So, if you want to live and study in Malaysia where the cost of living is not too expensive, you can go to the Perlis region. This place will certainly be very suitable for you.

Perlis provides a lot of the universities for study, but for taking a ph.D. program you can choose Universiti Muhammadiyah Malaysia (UMAM) for the option in Perlis. The campus offers several Ph.D. programs such as Business Management, Information Technology, Education, and Islamic Studies that you can take.

Since the campus is located in Perlis, the tuition fees here are certainly very affordable. However, the quality is undeniable, UMAM is ambitious in forming the foundation of prestigious success for various national and international recognitions.

If you need further information about Universiti Muhammadiyah Malaysia (UMAM), please visit our official website. You can also read other articles related to tuition fees in Malaysia if you want to plan to study abroad, especially for Postgraduate.


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