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Why Teach in Vietnam?


Why Teach in Malaysia?

Malaysia is the melting pot of the east. Ethnically, Malaysia’s population is mostly comprised of Malay, Chinese, and Indian citizens and a harmonious overlapping of cultures. Living in Malaysia is like living in 3 countries at once. Visit the town of Melaka to get a taste of Malaysia’s “Historic State”, stop by little India in Kuala Lumpur where you walk the streets blaring with Bollywood music or take a trip to Penang where you’ll find the best Char Kway Teow thanks to the heavy Chinese influence.


This multicultural hub is surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. The country lies south of Thailand and north of Singapore in a comfortable climate with gorgeous beaches and pristine islands offering worldclass scuba diving and idyllic snorkeling sites. Aside from the warm weather and tropical surroundings, English teachers love Malaysia for their high standard of education and stimulating teaching environments.  

With a steady increase in economic stability, Malaysia offers modernized standards for teachers seeking work abroad. With a stable government and an emphasis on education, teachers can expect a westernized educational system where their creativity and passion contribute to their classroom. For those wanting a more professional teaching experience, Malaysia offers many opportunities in several different settings for English teachers. From public schools to language schools and even private tutoring, Malaysia’s got it all.


International Schools vs. Language Schools

There are two main types of schools in Malaysia for English teachers: international schools and private language schools.

There are opportunities to teach English at either type of school, it all depends on the environment you wish to teach in and where you are most qualified- we'll get into that below. 

International Schools

Generally modeled after western institutions and follow western curriculum

Standard school schedules: morning to afternoon

Language Schools

Usually focus on offering opportunities to learn a second language

After school programs + occasional weekend classes

Qualifications to Teach in Malaysia

International School

Native English Speaker: Required to be from the UK, USA, Ireland, Australia, Canada, or South Africa
Bachelor’s Degree: Required
Master’s Degree: Preferred
TEFL Certificate or Teaching Degree: Required
Criminal Background Check: Sometimes required
Health Check: Sometimes required

Language School

 Native English Speaker: Required to be from the UK, USA, Ireland, Australia, Canada, or South Africa

Bachelor’s Degree: Required

Master’s Degree: Not Required

TEFL Certificate or Teaching Degree: Required

Criminal Background Check: Not required

Health Check: Not required

Don't have a TEFL yet? We can fix that.

If you want to get your TEFL quickly via the clearest course online, iTTT TEFL is the way to go.

A TEFL degree is your golden ticket to getting hired in Malaysia.​

You can finish as quickly as 4 weeks.

Not only will a TEFL degree open doors for you in Malaysia, but also the rest of Asia. Most ESL countries require a TEFL degree and every country favors a TEFL degree.

  • Increase your chances of getting hired

  • Increase your value as a teacher and thus increase your pay

  • Allow you to land a job in practically every country in Asia

Use our link and get a 5% discount off of your online TEFL course or a 5% discount off any 4-week TEFL course in Asia.

 English teachers willing to teach Math or Science in Malaysia have a better chance of beating the competition for the high demand of jobs in the country.

There are opportunities to teach other languages in Malaysia such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

How to Find a Job in Malaysia

As Malaysia has a relatively high level of English already, the job market for English teachers can be quite competitive. None the less, if you are qualified, experienced, and persistent, there is certainly a teaching job in Malaysia waiting for you. 

Let's discuss how to find one! 


Many schools in Malaysia prefer face-to-face interviews when hiring teachers.


Therefore, we highly recommend using your 3-month tourist visa to search for a job. If you are persistent, it is possible to find a teaching job within two weeks. 

  1. Send emails to the biggest international schools and language schools in the country, letting them know you'd like to come in to introduce yourself

2. Print off some resumes, dress smart, and show up to the schools asking to speak to the director

3. Try job hunting in some 2nd tier cities outside of Kuala Lumpur


Charming the staff with your personality and fluency from the very beginning is an easy way to get your foot in the door and be first in line for their next vacancy. Check out the following schools in Option 2. 



If you are super qualified with a teaching degree and experience- this option might be a breeze.

If you hold an unrelated degree and have little teaching experience, this route might feel like an uphill climb at times.

But hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take...or some shit like that. 


Where to Look


Teachaway is a company that offers assistance in locating teaching available jobs around the world including Malaysia. For Teachaway you must already have a bachelor's degree or TESOL certificate when you apply.


You simply apply to their site, look through the job vacancies and they'll provide you assistance in interviewing with a school.


Visit their Malaysia page here.


Option 1: Go to Malaysia and Apply in Person

Here are some tips for job hunting in Malaysia...

Option 2: Apply to Malaysian Job Vacancies Online

Option 3: Use Teach Away- Recruitment Agency

What's Included in the Job

International School Jobs & Language School Jobs

Average Monthly Income: $1,200 - $2,500

Housing: Sometimes Provided or Housing Allowance

Flights: Not provided

Medical Insurance: Depends on the school

End of the Year Pension/Bonus: Sometimes provided ($500)

Vacation Time: 3 weeks national holiday + school breaks 

Contract Commitment: 1-2 years

Teachers who specialize in math, science, biology, etc., are highly sought after. These teachers will be hired quickly and are privy to more perks in the form of higher salary and benefits. 

Visas for Teachers in Malaysia


As with most countries, it is illegal to work in Malaysia without a proper Employment Visa.


However, most teachers who hold a Western passport may enter the country for 90 days with no visa in order to secure a job and get the correct work visa. Once hired, the school will sponsor you in the visa process. The sponsorship usually takes several weeks and is done through your school.

Being that it is rather difficult to find a job without a visa in Malaysia, it is an easier process to go the legal route and get a visa through sponsorship with a school that hires you.

Most Western passport holders can enter Malaysia on arrival (straight off the plane/bus with no paperwork) and can stay for 90 days. Use this time to look for a job! 

Once you have a job in Malaysia, your school will help you apply for the Employment Visa. You don't need to leave the country as your tourist visa can be directly converted into an Employment Visa.​

For English teachers to obtain a work visa in Malaysia, they must meet the following stipulations:


If you qualify, your school in Malaysia can apply for your visa that will allow your to teach.

Your schools will need the following documents to apply for an Employment Visa:











Expect the process to take a minimum of 8 weeks- and you are not legally permitted to work until your Employment Visa is granted. Take advantage of this time to get familiar with your new home if you have already arrived in the country. 

Once your employment visa is processed, you are ready to begin teaching in Malaysia!






✓ The length of your visa will depend on your contract with your sponsored school, which is usually two years for teachers.


✓ After being hired, you are forbidden by law to work for another school.

✓If you want to switch schools in Malaysia, technically, there must be a 6-month window of time between one school contract ending, and the other beginning. This is stupid, I know. 

Tourist Visa for Malaysia

Employment Visa Malaysia

Bachelor's degree

TESOL/TEFL qualifications

Two years of teaching experience IS recommended

25 years old

Native English Fluency

A copy of your original university degree or transcripts

A copy of your TEFL or TESOL Certificate 

Copies of relevant passport pages

CV with a photo attached

Two passport sized photos and two visa sized photos

Completed application forms (provided by your school)

Important things to note about the Employment Visa in Malaysia

Cost of Living in Malaysia

The low cost of daily life is a benefit that attracts many English teachers to choose Malaysia as their destination for teaching abroad. Cost of living is relative to your lifestyle. Where you live, what amenities you require, and the big one- how much you drink- all determine your overall cost of living. But for measurement's sake, here are the basics…

(Prices are in USD roughly according to numbeo.com and individual research)

Kuala Lumpur

$785 per month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre  $555

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre   $310


$495 per month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre  $245

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre   $185

Kota Kinabalu

$490 per month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre  $255

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre   $170

Johor Bahru

$600 per month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre  $340

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre   $185

Day to Day Life

Taxi (1km): $0.37
Gasoline (1 Liter): $0.50
Cinema- International Release (1 Ticket): $3.50

McDonald’s Combo Meal: $3.04

Chicken Breast (1kg): $3.03
Loaf of Fresh White Bread: $0.78
Draft Beer (pint): $3.31
Restaurant Meal (average restaurant): $3.50 - $5

Compare your current cost of living to Malaysian cities here.

The Low Down on Malaysia

Language: Malay, English

Currency: Malaysian ringgit; currency code is MYR; currency symbol is RM (MYR rate here)

Type of Government: Democratic Constitutional Monarchy
Crime: Petty crime (petty theft often against foreigners and fraud) is common, while violent crimes happen much less. For current crime measurements, click here

Safety Concerns: Motorbike present a large problem and result in many accidents every year
Street Food: From noodles to fried food to sweets, street food is widely available in Malaysia starting at $1 per dish
Public Transportation: Public transportation is constantly improving in Malaysia. In cities you will find rail systems, bus routes, taxi service, and also trishaws. Rural bus routes are available. Streets in urban areas are well maintained and convenient for pedestrian traffic.

What's it like Living in...

Kuala Lumpur


Living in the metropolitan area of Kuala Lumpur will offer you a culturally diverse experience. With granted government freedom for things like worship, the area is home expatriates from all over the world who are able to express themselves without fear. As residential demand increase in recent years, property developers are designing contemporary living spaces with open floors plans and modern design. Hospitals tend to be cheaper than in the West. Locally sourced products also tend to be more affordable than imported goods. Traffic, as with most urban areas, remains an issue and making use of the pedestrian pathways or public transportation is encouraged.



You cannot go wrong choosing the island of Penang as your home location in Malaysia. The weather remains warm year round offering endless months of summer activities. English is widely spoken on the island, so communication with locals is not an issue. An artistic vibe can be seen within the city with cozy cafes and colorful architecture. Island life offers a more relaxed way of living compared to other parts of Malaysia. Locals are friendly and welcoming to new foreign residents.

Malacca (Melaka)


A rich history is very apparent in Malacca, and it is seen in the architectural style of the old buildings and within the many museums in the area. Food in Malacca is a little different than that of Kuala Lumpur as it tends to be sweeter. A diverse variety of cuisine is available, and the local tastes come with influence from Portuguese and Dutch cuisine. Malacca offers plenty of opportunities for enjoying your time away from work. You can easily find local and foreign entertainments to suit your needs.

Johor Bahru


As Malaysia's second largest metropolitan area, Johor Bahru has seen a rise in popularity for its location in the south. You can find various types of entertaining in the bay area from golf to diving. Johor Bahru is not as well known for its local food culture, but coffee culture has been on the rise with numerous cafes offering quality brews. The weekend in this area of Malaysia is on Friday and Saturday, but not on Sunday. Sunday is seen as a day for business.

Kota Kinabalu


For those that love nature but are torn between living near the ocean or in the mountains, the terrain of Kota Kinabalu is very diverse offering mountain and ocean views at the same time. Farmers markets offer a variety fresh fruit and vegetables for very affordable prices, much cheaper than in grocery stores. The locals are proud of their beautiful area, and rightly so. They are happy to call Kota Kinabalu home and want to share their love of it with foreigners.

What's to Love about Malaysia?

Public transportation is cheap and constantly expanding.


The tropical climate provides comfortable year round temperatures


The endless beauty of Malaysia is accessible to both the adventurous and the casual traveler.


The cost of living in extremely low, making travel in the country very possible.

What's to Dislike about Malaysia?

Visa requirements are strict


In some neighborhoods in KL, western women can expect a lot of attention from men


Heavy traffic in the cities


Expensive costs of imported goods


Job requirements are high

Competition for teaching jobs can be quite competitive