Living in Sabah or Sarawak means being surrounded by rich cultural and natural marvels, but sooner or later, you may decide to leave for the peninsula to attend university. This is a pretty big move and can be overwhelming, what with having to arrange everything from the big things, like what to study, to small things, like where to get your groceries.
As intake dates loom closer, your expenses list only gets longer, and your panic grows. A quick Google search on rental rates in KL only makes you worry more, and flight tickets get so expensive the closer it gets to your intake date. But fret not; here are a few tips to help you survive your studies in KL and still be able to enjoy nice dinners every now and then and travel!
You're probably not the only one from Sabah or Sarawak who is considering studying in KL. Ask around in school before you graduate, attend education fairs, talk to your teachers and, though it seems a little unconventional, look for relevant Facebook groups to join. These are all great resources to alleviate your uncertainty and nervousness. Buddying up is a great way to look for housing, and safety is better in numbers and getting to know new people is easier when you already have a friend.
Getting food in KL is a journey. More often than not, the best and most affordable food is found away from huge shopping malls and, luckily for you, around universities and colleges. Make sure you budget more than you need for food, because even the cheapest options can add up. After you belanja here, belanja there, you could be left with less savings than you expected at the end of each month.
Cooking is an option, but most hostels don't allow heavy cooking. Hop on secondhand goods platforms like Carousell to find hotplates, microwaves and kettles for cheap so you don't have to order fast food in the middle of the night when all you want is a hot drink.
Food delivery services are also a great option in KL. Nutritious, freshly cooked and affordable, Google around for the smaller vendors instead of using popular delivery apps.
It's usually not too much of a hassle to get around KL using public transport, especially if you study in hubs like Kelana Jaya. Being near an LRT station means having access to the entire network of trains, buses and e-hailing vehicles, so download the public transport map on your phone and get to exploring. Most universities also have shuttle buses between their campuses and major stations.
The things you don't immediately think of are the ones that will trip you up. A standing iron is never the highest on anyone's packing list, but what happens when all your good shirts are creased and you have a presentation due the next day? Or what about when you spill a drink on your floor and have nothing to mop it up with or properly clean the area, so you don't get ants?
Having rags, cleaning supplies, spare bedding and cutlery can all go a long way towards giving you peace of mind, so you are comfortable during the course of your study.
What if there was a way you don't have to worry about your flight, accommodation and programme fees?
Jom, Daftar & Terbang by UNITAR International University is an initiative to help students from Sabah and Sarawak gain access to one of the best higher education institutions available in Malaysia. Your flight ticket to KL and accommodation will be free, and you get an extra discount on your chosen course of study!
The Jom, Daftar & Terbang programme awards students from Sabah and Sarawak a one-way flight ticket so they may study at UNITAR's main campus in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Acknowledging that fluctuating flight ticket prices, especially during intake months, could be a burden on students, UNITAR launched this programme so you can focus on other preparations without having to worry about your flight arrangements.
On top of that, when you choose certain programmes, UNITAR fully covers your accommodation, too! UNITAR offers two options for students: Evolve and Highpark Suites, which are both within a reasonable distance from the main campus. Rental per month at these hostels can go up to RM350, which is rather affordable as is, but if you're from Sabah or Sarawak, this monthly expense is another thing you just don't have to think about.
Students from Sabah and Sarawak who have been offered a place at UNITAR will also receive a 20% discount on tuition, regardless of which course they choose. In addition to this discount, you can also get your fees covered by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN). According to PTPTN's policy, when you obtain excellent results, equivalent to first-class honours, you will be exempt from repayment!
For more information about the Jom, Daftar & Terbang initiative by UNITAR International University and to begin your application, click on the link below.
UNITAR is known not only for being the first virtual university in Southeast Asia but also one of the pioneering and high-ranking private universities in Malaysia. Located in urban Kelana Jaya, UNITAR upholds its concept of affordable and quality education in both conventional and remote teaching modes.
To prepare students for the modern workplace, UNITAR emphasises its C.A.R.E. (Collaborative, Adaptive, Reflective, Entrepreneurial) principles in every aspect of lesson delivery and campus activity. You can expect to be supported and trained holistically so you graduate with a sense of how to tackle and handle real-world problems, ready to navigate professional settings.
UNITAR offers more than 40 programmes at the foundation, diploma, degree and postgraduate levels spanning a range of subjects within the fields of social sciences and communications. All programmes offered by UNITAR are accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).
UNITAR offers two foundation programmes; Foundation in Information Technology and Foundation in Management. The Foundation in Information Technology channels students to UNITAR's IT-related bachelor's programmes, including Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons).
The Foundation in Management, on the other hand, leads to bachelor's programmes related to business, management, education and humanities, accounting, technology and communications, such as Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons) and Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Hons).
For more information on the rest of UNITAR's programmes, CLICK HERE.