The cheapest international school/english school in Kuala Lumpur?!!

Hi everyone!

my little family are planning to move to KL in 2 years time. We have a 4 year old, and when we go he will be around 6-7. Ideally we would like him to enter Year 3 (british one). He does not speak Malay even though his father is malaysian (dont ask, pure laziness!!!), and so of course, we would have to put the wee one into an english speaking school.

i have had a look around and the ones i have looked at are too expensive, we would ideally not want to pay more than £3000 a year (15000 ringgit) for tuition and registration and whatever else they are asking for these days!

does anyone have any recommendations? all i need are

1. ideally teaching British/US/Canadian curriculum.
2. within 45 minute drive of the centre in any direction.
3. mixed students (i.e. not a school catered to a particular race, i know there is one for indians and i assume the majority are indian, i dont want him to feel like the odd one out)
4. cheap fees!

so thats all, again we dont care about the latest high tech facilities and that the students go backpacking in the himalayas or something, just regular education would be fine for a 7 year old i think!


I'm sorry I cannot help you with that. My own kids are just 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 years old and we plan to move away from Malaysia by the time they are ready to leave kindergarten.

However, I believe gravitas will provide you with the necessary links.

I do know a British guy with an Indonesian wife and an 8 year old child and they put they child in a Catholic School which apparently is very affordable. But it depends whether your husband objects to it or not.

Hi the cheapest will be 10,000 RM per term for KL for Primary. ELC is one of the cheapest even so that is a lot more than your budget.

With your budget you must be joking honestly!

Allowing for current inflation, your budget does not even stretch today, and would barely cover tuition fees and none of the registration fees and deposits required.

When your husband returns to Malaysia, he will start to speak Bahasa Malaysia when necessary as he is back in his home environment. You and your child will probably need to learn BM as you may not be living in an expat area and neighbours kids may go to local schools and not speak English. To be kind to your child, he anyway needs to learn it to communicate with all of his Malaysian family members (unless of course they all speak English at home - which is possible).

Your family may be better off with one of the private rather than international schools which has a mixed curriculum.and tuition in English. They may be a bit more affordable. To keep Mike happy you can always look up what is available at

Prepare yourselves for a fairly large dose of culture shock, including reverse culture shock by your husband, finding himself back in a society that he left and has probably outgrown in his absence. It puts strains on marriages especially ones between different nationalities, which are already prone to more integration issues, according to all the sociology studies that have been carried out.

Hi I agree with Gravitas and would say that Malay mixed marriages are the most likely to break up. In UK you an individual. In Malaysia you are the families business. You will face pressure to wear a tudung, pray and face allsorts of criticisms. In Malaysia a Malay man is the boss of the family and he may revert to that instinctively and that will cause issues. Even if he doesn't family will expect it. It is like Victorian times with the women sitting on one room and men in the other. Been there got that t shirt! Things like that require flexibility and understanding.

If you do move maybe consider a mandarin school. Cheaper and strong discipline. And mandarin and English are the two main languages to know.

Hahaha...don't be so negative. Shouldn't tell people that there is a high chance their marriage is going to break up. Marriage is all about compromise. No need to wear tudung and no need to pray if they don't want to. I see lots of elderly mixed couples (in their 60's or even older) and they seem very happy.

Hi everyone! wow well i wasn't expecting people to tell me my marriage was bound to fail, but i assume this is from a bad personal experience.

I have been to malaysia 4 times before, i am a muslim and my husband is pretty western. His family are quite modern and his sister married a german, and his parents have lived overseas so there has been no forcing of wearing hijab or anything like that!

Thank you Gravitas for posting that link, I managed to find a few schools offering decent rates lower than 15000, i didn't know private schools were an option but i will definitely look further into it. i still have time to do more research. we will work on the malay, hopefully he will know some basic malay by the time we move, but i have enrolled him for mandarin classes so hopefully that will prove useful as well! thanks for the responses!

You have a good attitude about this all. Actually in my opinion marriages are much more likely to fail in the West than here in Asia. I'm sure you will find your way to get everything sorted out, there are always lots of alternatives and ways of doing things. Good luck :)

It isn't personal it is just a statistical fact to be aware of and lots of marriages fail when moving overseas. You have financial stress, stress of a new job, new culture and reverse culture shock is a really bad thing. And mike yes older marriages are statistically biased they got passed that stage! Also pre 80s women wore short skirts and no tudungs when young so these couples faced less pressure. I worked with a Malay woman who refused to wear a head scalf and her husband was very liberal (Malay) but didnt stop staff calling her bad names behind her back (husband stealer and prostitute even) simply as she proudly refused to go along with the majority. She said her family believed women should not cover their head unless in a mosque.

Being aware of issues helps prevent the problems so we are all doing you a favour in making you aware. Your husband will have the worst shock culturally. Foreigners are given leeway as we are foreign. He is Malay and will be assumed that he is being bolshie or nasty if he displays English characteristics he has probably picked up. Especially at work. it happened to a friend who is English with a south Korean wife. They lasted 6 months in Korea as she hated it as working there sucks as a Korean who is westernised. He loved it. They returned to UK to save their marriage although he doesn't like UK. Sometimes it is easier as a foreign couple to go to a third country. A Malay woman I know married to a Scot did that. They live in Asia but not malaysia. I know a lot of "bananas" as they call themselves - Chinese Malaysians who return to Malaysia. Working here can be very hard when westernised.

I would suggest your husband gets work if possible with a western company and works with westerners that minimises the impact.

As for schools most of the new international schools are poor and run to make money only. The private ones are less than awful. You have to pay at least 30k a year for somewhere decent I am afraid if you want English as the medium.of education. School fees are in easing 10-15% per annum as well.

Total cost of an education from year 2 to 11 will be at least 400k rm in todays terms.

Then 50k for pre U.

Then back to UK 40k pounds for degree plus living costs. Say 60k steeling so 350k rm.

The cost to educate one child is 800k at least in RM.

Before you move maybe consider that !

Sounds scary, especially about the school fees. Your husband does really need to find a decent job with expat terms if he can.  If he is lucky they will pay for the schooling otherwise it's gonna be tough. And since he is a Malaysia I don't think he will be able to get a good salary. Even local bank managers over here only earn RM12-15k. So I don't know how highly skilled your husband is but it may be tough. He needs connections or to do his own business.

My kids are still young, one at kindergarten and another about to start kindergarten and that means I will be paying about RM23,000 per annum unless I put them in a cheaper place. Certainly I will be moving away form Malaysia by the time they start serious school. Probably Indonesia as I heard the Singapore International School is quite reasonable and of a decent standard.

I've spent about 30 years in the Far East and can run my business from anywhere so I don't mind moving around. But for those with kids and looking for a job it may well be worth staying in the UK one of you can find a job with good expat terms.

I am in Malaysia since 4 years ago and both my children have gone to Maz International School in Petaling Jaya. I think the school is good and affordable (less than 15000 Ringgit per year).


You check with Sri Uttama School its good and affordable also.

Both those schools will ruin a Childs future. Mas especially is best avoided if you wan a child to attend a decent university rather than work in McDonald's.

Mike when I say things "only paid 12-15k" every Muppet comments I am way off! But true that is a lowish salary in kl. for a single expat ok. For anyone wanting a good education for children follow the Malaysian herd. Go west.

Yes I think 12-15k is probably a lowish salary for an expat. The choices are either to stay in the UK where education is basically free, or else find an affordable school in Malaysia with a western syllabus. Here it seems that cost is the most important factor when choosing a school.

What should be made clear is that some schools aim to be a private school for Malaysian children and while they may sometimes offer an overseas curriculum, the education is primarily to pass Malaysian examinations. There are also international schools, which often only have foreign staff and which do not have anything to do with the local educational system.

Hi , we r a family of 4, hoping to move to kl next year. Do you know the name of thr catholic school? I' m very keen on it

You would need to check if they are classed as national schools, as these are not open to foreigners.

RC Schools in Malaysia

This is the list for Kuala Lumpur from the bottom of the web page given above:

St. John's Institution (Kuala Lumpur)·
La Salle School (Brickfields)·
La Salle Chinese School (Brickfields)·
La Salle School (Sentul)·
La Salle School (Jinjang)·
La Salle School (Peel Road)
Selangor: La Salle School (Petaling Jaya)·
La Salle School (Klang)
Negeri Sembilan: St. Paul's Institution (Seremban)·
Sino-English Chinese School (Seremban)

Here is another link for international and private schools, which are open to foreigners:

Private and International Schools in Malaysia

Thank you so much, international fees are very high... ill just check and see. Thanks again  :)

There is a limited supply of good international schools, none have a religious flavour. That wouldn't be economic.

Personally I think religious education is an oxymoron, however,  what I recommend is a good secular international school and send your child to 'Sunday school' at your local Catholic Church where they can learn all about Catholicism, but learn to be tolerant of all religions in a non-religious school. I suggest that for all parents - keep mainstream education and religion apart, There are many after school religious 'schools' for all major faiths in KL (not Jewish for obvious reasons!)


So 15000 ringit per year? for school fees?
do I have to pay monthly?



The lowest fees are about RM1,500 per month, payable at the beginning of the term, but there are other hidden fees that you need to enquire about.  Please read this article: … cation.pdf

Your child will need a students pass (visa) and that requires you to have an employment pass or some other pass in Malaysia.

UCSI is a terrible school with very high staff turnover, weak "teachers" (mostly unqualified) run as a rip off profit centre. Check ISR reviews on UCSI

Fees of acceptable schools are 35-45k (primary-secondary) per year to 80-100k RM for the best schools.

This may be a good school..

Global Indian International School, Kuala Lumpur Campus, Malaysia

They have Cambridge board as well.

School fees, etc all are avilable on website.

llakhwani : So you are a new teacher at this place?

There are a few centers teaching igcse from primary to secondary. Fee is about RM10,000 per year. This center suitable more to parents who wish to home schooled their children but no time for it. Two in oug - able learners n campus rangers and 1 in usj 1 - sri prima.

Epsom has an early years curriculum

Hi,  I am a Malaysian and been living in Thailand for the past 4 years.  My family come back to Malaysia every term break and spend our summer holiday in Malaysia.  Recently we are planning to move back to Malaysia. My son goes to a British school in Bangkok with 100% British teachers;  At your budget of RM15,000 per year you cannot get into  international school.

We have been shopping for a similar school in Malaysia and visited many schools in Malaysia

To our surprise most international school fees are as follows
1) minimum Rm35,000 and above per year.  At Rm35,000 you get local Malaysia teachers and a small percentage of Filipino, South African, India and maybe 1-5% British.  I have check out these school and am extremely disappointed with the quality of teachers. (This is because the pool of available Malaysia teachers are very limited and although they may have a Degree, you MUST ask where they graduated from.  Likely they graduate from some unrated university in Malaysia.  Besides the pay of teachers are very low in Malaysia hence most are not loyal to the school they work with and will never put their heart to their job as they are not earning enough to keep up with the rising cost of living in Malaysia.  (I am sorry if I offend anyone here.  However, this is the reality in Malaysia)

2) true British education with British teacher mostly - fee range between minimum RM50,000 - Rm80,000 per year.
If you pay these fees, you get good teachers and chances are that the teachers will also put their heart in the job.  These teachers are well paid and mostly are from the UK. with a good expat package.

Unless you get a good expat package or you have very strong economic reason to come to Malaysia, I highly recommend you not to.  This is largely due to high education cost at junior years.  If your company are not paying your kids school fee, I am afraid a majority of your income will go to pay school fees which is ridiculous.  You are paying top university fee such as Durham, Cardiff and Nottingham University where the annual fee are around British pounds 9,000 to 10,000 for junior years.


Some forum members recommended centre for IGCSE at RM10,000/year.  Indeed centres are very popular in Malaysia.  Its an option for Malaysian parents who cannot afford to put kids at international school and yet want their kids to take the British standardised exam.

But please bear in mind these are not proper school.  I have check all of them out too.  Your child will not be able to grow academically and learn about society, being part of community, responsibilities, excel in sports or music, taking up leadership role etc that a proper school offer.

Hi tuition centres also hurt students academically if used as a "school" as they teach by rote and you may well get A/A*'s but your student will fail later at University as they won't understand or be able to study independently.

BTW IGCSE is very different to GCSEs (the British exam) in the same was as "A levels" offered in Malaysia are very different to real UK A levels (the ones offered here are for the Asian market). These "Asian A levels" seriously disadvantage Malaysian students at University.

Dream_treat spot on with "Unless you get a good expat package or you have very strong economic reason to come to Malaysia, I highly recommend you not to." :one

St. John international school, around RM 5000 per term, and they only have 2 term , so it's around 10K or more due to your grade. Hope this help

You can try Sri Bestari in Sri Damansara. Dr Steven Baptist is the Principal and its decent priced. Primary and Secondary.

The easiest way is put your son in a normal English school not in International School, I think in English school their are one subject of Malay also but its feasible.

Second option is  Yemen  International Islamic school in Putrajaya I think their fee is also come into your budget

So be happy and check :)


Akhtar Riaz

Moderated by kenjee last year
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why don't you try international learning centers? Their course duration is much more convenient when it comes to time cost and course duration

Gravitas can you mention any of the international school with compete foreign staff please.? I am so worried about education of my children in Malaysia as I am a poor expat who can not afford dam expensive Alice Smith, Nexus, ISKL or GIS...I am paying 35,000RM per annum in Asia Pacific International School and the staff including the british principal is pathetic, The principal is just an eye wash for locals. No proper teacher training, poor English language skills of most of the staff. I have a big question mark against their qualification. I met the CEO, after having a series of conversations with principal but of no use. As the school seems to make money only not quality education and nurturing global mind as they say. I can recommend this school to any body. Any one please help as I want to change the school where my kids can enjoy their learning and get quality in their education with a blend of character building.
Anyone ...any idea about Fairview Int'l School?


As mentioned earlier, perhaps you can check on some international learning centers that does not only offer academically driven classes. There are quite a few centers which focuses on nurturing the child alongside preparing them for exams. They are very much affordable compared to international schools. I'm teaching in one of such. Try checking out

It all boils down what your expectations are. If you current place of stay is within klang/shah alam area you can checkout Tenby International School as they offer British Curriculum and the fees charged are reasonable.


I recommend ELC in Sungai Buloh. My son went there and we were satisfied. Their fees are reasonable and there are many places to live in the area. 

Best Regards

Mike silvia

Moderated by kenjee 5 months ago
Reason : Promotion of own commercial websites not allowed.
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