Language course + vacation to learn Malay in Malaysia


As the title says i wish to learn malay at a school in Malaysia (does not matter where) while being there on vacation.
Since working is not an option because i have no work permit and in order to get one you need a job that earns around 5k a month (good luck with that)
I'm looking at a course of 3-6 months (depending if i can get a visa for such long term or not) i need to learn malay not a general way but more intensive like in a school (can be a private school). I did this for my spanish where i stayed around a year in Spain (Seville).
I searched on the internet but did not find anything. Also the reason for me learning malay is for future job opportunities in Malaysia. This would be my 6th language i'm learning and i hope this will be Enough for me to find a job...
Also just to make it clear it is because i do not have a higher degree on anything that i wish to focus on my language skills. I studies cooking and was a cook for while but decided to change my career and went for a more desk job if i may say it this way...

In any case hope someone can help me out :)

Thanks and happy leid ramadan to all!


Although useful, I am not sure Bahasa Melayu will improve your chances of getting a job in Malaysia. This is because only the Government departments use it and companies owned or staffed mainly by Malays. A lot of companies use English as their working language and those owned by Chinese (very large number) use one of the Chinese languages and not BM (Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarin, etc.) as their working language (with English). There are also companies that use Hindi, Tamil, etc. In short, being a multi-lingual country has meant that English has become the fall-back language in many cases.

There are courses available at the YMCA in Brickfields for residents and visitors:

I do not think a student visa would be available as the studies are not at degree level nor part of the university and private college educational offering. Therefore normal immigration processes will apply. This means ability to remain in Malaysia will depend on your nationality, whether you need a visa, or how long you can stay without one.

I could imagine one of the registered teachers at the YMCA could provide private intensive BM lessons. Otherwise this language school is advertising courses. They are based in Sri Hartamas  Mont Kiara, KL or they can meet at home.

Another option may be if you have a university degree to top it up by taking a language teaching qualification (e.g. CELTA or equivalent for your mother-tongue) or even a general course that allows you to teach (available to graduates). There may be opportunities for you to be a language teacher in Malaysia once you have some experience (or sometimes without any). But with so many trailing spouses that cant find work and those married to Malaysians, it will be uphill and you would need to be in the country to secure such a position. However, these kinds of jobs may not offer immigration status of any type, and you would need to check this with individual providers.  The more professional the educational provider, the more likelihood they can arrange a work permit based on the minimum salary requirements.

Hey Gravitas,

It has come to my attention that after i signed up for the newsletter of jobstreet for jobs in Malaysia they all were asking for at least Malay/Chinese/other language in order to work there. So i thought i had to learn Malay in order to get a job...:(
As for the residence and visa and such i have to check out what the probabilities are for me to get a long term visa. As you said yourself it depends the country you are coming from.
As for the higher degree unfortunately i do not have one as i stated on the first post, although i had a previous post here on the forums about working in Malaysia in it was said to me back then that i should  be more focussed on hospitality... Not a problem i would love to work in that area...but i have no reference no experience and when i'm searching for a job they all ask for ppl who have at least 3-5 experience (completely understandable) and talk at least Malay/Chinese/other, with the additional language English obviously...So my French/Turkish/Dutch/Spanish have no use it seems...

The reason for asking for the languages in job adverts is because they are only open to Malaysians. Its a way of generally signally whether Malay, Chinese or Indian are the preferred candidates. Certain language skills are also needed in some jobs because of the "house" language or in marketing the trading partners/countries. Is due to the multiracial composition of Malaysia. You will also see room adverts that opening state who should apply. To see what type of opportunities there are, a major recruitment company website such as Robert Walters or Michael Page could provide information about jobs with international companies.

There are no long term visas apart from employment passes (visas), except for MM2H (Malaysia my 2nd Home) which provides a 10 year social visit pass (work not permitted but company ownership is possible). The longest period to stay where no visa is required by citizens of certain countries is 90 days.

The MM2H asks for a lot of funds on your bank (for several reasons). We have more or less the same system in Belgium here so..
I thought i might get lucky with jobstreet and such but it seems the jobs are mostly (if it's not all the time) for the local ppl.
The major recruitment companies like the one's you have given as example are superb but i am afraid that it's a little difficult for me since they mostly ask for managers and highly qualified ppl which unfortunately is not my case.
I guess keep on searching is the message here...

thanks anyway for your help.

As Gravitas mentioned, Malay is prominently used in the Government, government agencies or sometimes, some government-linked companies.

If you are looking for private companies that can provide decent wages, most likely English would be the language that is required.

Smaller companies tend to be "family-run" and depending on the owners (what their ethnicity is?) and where it is located may mean that other languages besides English may be its lingua franca. Most often, they do not compensate very well.

I am not sure what industry you are in, but in the IT industry and when I was still working back in Malaysia with IBM, the company did hire foreigners because they know another language (e.g. Spanish, Italian, etc.). We were with a global support unit - so knowing another language was essential. So my team had a mix of people around the world e.g. Argentines, French, Spaniards, Germans etc.

Being a multi-racial country, English tends to be the neutral language and mainly spoken in major cities e.g. Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding area. Some Malaysians count English as their first language - like myself (although I am ethnically Pernanakan Chinese - Chinese mixed with Malay heritage).

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