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Safety Concerns About Living In Malaysia For 1year - Travel Advice from the Pros
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I am posting on behalf of a friend.
My friend applied for a Fulbright Scholarship (the Teaching Assistantship one). She was very excited when she found out that she got into this very prestigious program, but overwhelmed because she had applied for Korea, but got Malaysia (a place that she hasn’t researched).

She has a very short time to make the decision on whether to accept or not, and is torn about her decision mostly because of safety concerns. She heard about the terrorist activities in the east of the country, and the statement on the US travel site “Violent crime against travelers and expatriates is relatively rare” is quite vague, and not reassuring. She is also afraid of standing out and attracting unwanted attention – she is tall and blond.

Because Malaysia is a new participant in this program, not very many details have been worked out. She would be placed in Jahor, Terenngannu, or Pajang. She would be living in a residential school in a remote town/village and teaching English for 20 hours a week for a year. There would not be any sort of overseeing body that she’d report to nearby (Fulbright has a center in Kuala Lumpur).

Does anyone have any information regarding safety issues in those three states? First hand knowledge, especially from long term stays, would be especially helpful.

What are the living conditions in remote towns in that region of the country? Are there parts in those areas that are very difficult to access and travel to and from?

I appreciate any information you may have!

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1 Comment

  1. Hi,

    I’m from Malaysia, living in Kuantan, the state capital of Pahang, one of the states mentioned in your post.

    Terengganu and Johore are just neighbouring states of Pahang, to the north and south respectively. Singapore is just south of Johore.

    For your information, besides Singapore (a former Malaysian state) I believe Malaysia is the most peaceful of the countries in South-east Asia. Don’t worry, because there are no terrorists in the country, and more than 10 million tourists visit the country every year without untoward incidents. The statement on the US travel site says clearly there is nothing to be worried about safety.

    As for Fulbright sholarships, Malaysians also have had many of our scholars sent to the USA since the 1960’s.  In terms of students and social exchanges, we have had Peace Corps from the USA in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and even nowadays University students and USIS exchanges are common and plenty, although I don’t have figures, but gleaned through newspaper, tv and other media reports.  I’m very sure if you meet any former exchange persons, they will report favourably of Malaysia.

    I am sure your friend will probably be glad to have come here, as many former exchange persons have experienced the friendly and accommodating folks and the atmosphere, and many have come back to meet friends they made.

    Just go to Malaysia’s government tourism website to know more.



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