Studying in the US

Have you ever wondered about continuing your studies in the US? Find out about the visa requirements, work options and other information that will give you a headstart in making your dreams of studying in the US come true!

The US is home to some of the top-ranking universities in the world. Renowned for state-of-the-art facilities, interactive learning environments and flexible course structures, it continues to be a popular destination for international students to further their studies.

Over 600,000 international students choose to study in the US possibly because there are thousands of colleges and universities in the country. In fact, it has the highest number of campuses in the whole world. While there is no standardised education system to conform to, each institution will employ their own principles to deliver the best possible education to their students − local or international.

Visa requirements

Malaysian citizens must obtain an F-1 (non-immigrant) student visa to enter the US to study for any period of time. Documents required for application include:

  • An acceptance letter together with an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status) from your institution of study
  • Proof of adequate funds to cover all living expenses required for one year of study
  • A valid passport
  • One photograph (according to specifications)
  • Records of previous academic achievements inclusive of language proficiency and assessment tests (TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT etc). More information on testing can be found here.
  • Intention to leave the US after completing your studies
  • Other documents and forms as required. Details can be found here.

Language of instruction

English. You will need to prove your English proficiency to enrol in a course in the US by taking the IELTS or TOEFL.

Work options

International students are only allowed to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week during the academic year and full-time during semester breaks and vacation, after completing one full academic year of full-time study and with permission from their institution.

Tuition fees

For a four-year bachelor's programme in public college or university, international students may need to pay around RM100,200 annual tuition fees, whereas, for private establishments, the figure may go up to RM135,860.

Living in the US

Most international students will be provided with a room in the on-campus dormitories, They will have to share their room with two, sometimes three other students, and the bathroom with pretty much every other student on the same floor. However, this allows them to cut down on travel time and expenses to get to class. Getting around is easy with your own bicycle or by taking public transport.

You will need about RM42,250 to RM47,800 per year to cover accommodation, personal expenses, transportation and other miscellaneous costs.


Return tickets can be purchased starting from about RM5,500 onwards.

Health insurance

Since health care in the US can be expensive, it is compulsory for students to purchase and present proof of health insurance before enrolling in classes. A few universities include insurance coverage as part of their fees or provide subsidisations of costs for international students, but such instances are rare.


A number of scholarships are available for international students pursuing undergraduate studies. These scholarships are provided by universities, private organisations and government agencies. There are plenty of websites on funding opportunities for study in the US.

Local contact

Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE)
18th Floor, Menara Yayasan Tun Razak, 200, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur