Studying the Malay language


I am a Czech student interested in languages and cultures of Asia. I am going to graduate from university next year and am thinking about my future career. One of things I want to do is to learn Malay/Indonesian language.

Studying the local language in China or Japan is pretty easy, there are both private schools and universities with courses, often with scholarships for 6 and more months available. However, it seems there are not many international students who come to Malaysia to study the language. I cannot find any university programs teaching Malay language for foreign students, I was only able to find private schools with rather expensive tuition fees. The only scholarships I was able to find are only for postgraduate science/engineering programs. Coming from not exactly a rich country, I cannot afford it, at least as long as I am not able to work (which is usually prohibited on student visas).

My second choice would be Indonesia, since it fulfills the requirement of language I am interested in and they do have governmental program (Darmasiswa) to provide scholarships to foreign students interested in language study. However, having visited both countries, I am now more interested in Malaysia.

So I would like to ask, is there any affordable way to study the language in Malaysia? That means with a scholarship or being allowed do some work to cover the costs. Unfortunately, my qualifications are not that extensive. I am mostly interested in travel industry and educated in languages, apart from my mother tongue and English, I speak Chinese and Japanese. I now work freelance as a tour guide (in Japan and China) and in dictionary development, translations and interpreting.

Thank you in advance for pointing out if there are any affordable options for me to spend some time in Malaysia.

Exciting! I am curious about  your interest. I was for a long time considering a summer language program either in Prague or Bratislava ( I went to univerzita komenského instead). So I understand your predicament about this southeast asian language. Malay/Indonesian is one of the easiest languages in the world. The sentence structure does not need to comply with gender, etc. I heard a Slovak company in Malaysia doing event management here before as well. Employment is harder unless there is a willing employer but I suppose travel industry isn't as difficult. If you are interested in knowing more of one or the other. I'd be happy to explain more.
Srdecne pozd.

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