A placement in Malaysia gives you an opportunity to live and work in a country with a rich cultural fabric. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country with a huge variety of festivals, cuisines and traditions.

Malaysia has everything from dynamic cities to areas of remote natural beauty. It is very multicultural: the majority of the population is ethnic Malay and Chinese, but there are also sizeable Indian (mainly Tamil) and Sri Lankan minorities. This makes for an incredibly interesting cultural experience, and you will see just how possible it is for so many people of different races and creeds to live harmoniously. The official language is Malay, but Chinese, English, Tamil, Hindi and tribal dialects are widely spoken. Due to the cultural diversity you will find a wide range of exquisite cuisine and will celebrate many of the world’s festivals.

There are still huge areas of Malaysia that are tropical rainforest and you will no doubt be climbing Kinabalu, which is the highest Mountian in the country, or visiting the orangutans as part of a trip to Sabah in Borneo.

It’s easy to see why so many tourists come to Malaysia but living here will give you a unique insight into a fascinating country. You will gain a inimitable understanding of different faiths and religions in a country where these shape many aspects of everyday life.

Malaysia is unique in the region but maintains that South East Asian warmth and hospitality.

Malaysia has a high standard of living by South East Asian standards. It is a major producer of tin and rubber; electronics equipment, textiles, palm oil, lumber, and petroleum and other important products. Much of what you would expect to find in the shops in UK are to be found in Kuala Lumpur and prices for clothes, food and travel are fairly low.

Volunteers in Malaysia have basic but comfortable living conditions with running water, electricity, flushing toilets and even WiFi!

Officially Volunteers in Malaysia are Teaching Assistants who work as part of the English Department within well resourced schools.

In reality, you may find yourself with a lot more responsibility and your own classes. It’s predominantly TESOL but more than anything your job is to help your students build their confidence speaking English. This could be through drama, debate club or project work. Your students spend several hours a day playing sports and they’ll ask you to join them before ‘prep’ in the evening when you offer support with homework. Whatever your schedule, you will start and end your day to the sounds of the call to prayer.

Malaysia Volunteers should be enthusiastic, adaptable respectful individuals who will be positive role models. You will need to be able to propose new ideas and set up activities within the school.

It helps if you can cook (the way to a Malaysian’s heart is definitely through their stomach) but failing that being upbeat and always ready for a ‘selfie’ will do!

Living and working in Malaysia is a fantastic opportunity to live and work in a predominantly Muslim country.

Malaysia Volunteers have an opportunity to learn the language. Your students will be more than happy to teach you little phrases.

You have wonderful travel opportunities within an incredible part of the world. It is very different travelling in Malaysia as a local rather than as a tourist. Malaysians love to celebrate different festivals and you have the opportunity to embrace them all; Chinese New Year, Ramadan, Christmas, Deepavali to name but a few!

Projects available in Malaysia

Hannah Bowry Williams l Uganda 11/12
Hannah Bowry Williams l Uganda 11/12Country Coordinator for Malaysia
Hannah is a returned volunteer from Uganda 11/12. Following her year with Project Trust Hannah went on to study Social Anthropology and Development at the University of Edinburgh. Hannah has a passion for all things travel, and has enjoyed travelling throughout Southern and Eastern Africa both through opportunities at university and independently. Hannah is inspired by the culture, scenery and most importantly, the music in the countries that she has travelled. Hannah has worked with Project Trust for the past 2 ½ years as a fundraising officer, and is now excited that she can share her Project Trust enthusiasm as a Country Coordinator.

Malaysia Gap Year Stories