anyone here living in Malaysia?

(69 Posts)
sanam2010 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:59:35

can we have a thread to get together British expats in Malaysia? am thinking of moving there with two preschoolers and would love to chat and exchange ideas about places, kindergartens, etc etc...

FatOwl Sun 27-Oct-13 23:58:39

Hi
I've lived in Malaysia for ten years.
There are a few other that I know of -KLdragon and loopy loopy I think.

How certain are you you're coming?
What can we help you with?

FatOwl Mon 28-Oct-13 00:36:29

Sorry, was being brief on my phone then.

Where in malaysia are you coming to?
I live in KL where there is a big expat community, but there are expats in Penang, Johor and Miri. Everywhere really!

Assuming you are coming for work, be sure to know what is included in your benefits package.
Schooling is great, but expensive. If your dc will be starting school while you are here (you say they are pre-school age now), you might want to think about looking at schools as soon as possible as many of the better international school have waiting lists, esp for the younger years.

Likewise, medical care is great but you will need private medical cover.

Areas to live, really depend on where you work.

It is a good place to live, the food and climate are great, fantastic travel and holiday opportunites. My kids were 2, 6 and 9 when we came, and are now 12, 15 and 19. (19 year old is now at uni back in the UK) - they have flourished here-they have friends from all over the world and have had a much much better education that they would have done in the UK (not putting down state school in general- just the ones they would have gone to if we'd stayed in the UK lol!)

The driving and red tape is a joke, and it is a long way from home.
People say it is child friendly, but I came with a two year old and found it frustrating I couldn't walk anywhere (storm drains, dodgy pavements with motorbikes driving along them), and preschools were full time or nothing. That was my experience though- lots of people live here with toddlers and love it.

The crime rate is rising, but I still feel safer here than I do in London. You just need to be sensible.

Happy to help with anything!

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 28-Oct-13 00:46:46

Me too! Adding my name to the list. Been here four years.

We have had threads in the past, but we'll happily talk to you on this one. grin

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 28-Oct-13 00:58:18

I agree with all of Fatowl's post.

Yep, international schools good but expensive.

You need health insurance.

Housing can be cheap, though depends hugely on area. Petrol, eating out, cigarettes also cheap. Alcohol expensive, also car purchase.

Climate is always hot, sometimes with rain.

Yup to red tape.

Many Brits here, lots of them with small children.

What can we help you with, specifically?

sanam2010 Mon 28-Oct-13 11:06:43

oh great thanks, glad to see so many here! My husband and I both work online so I started to think it really doesn't make much sense to live in London of all places given the cost of housing and private schools. So we would come on our own budget not with a package but obviously happy as childcare and preschools seem to be much cheaper than in London.

KL looks fantastic in terms of facilities but I read it's quite polluted, even more than London? What do you think of air quality there? If not KL, I am looking at where else to go where there is relatively fresh air, close to the beach and an expat community that is big enough so there are international preschools / kindergartens. Penang looks good although some people say the ocean there is not the best. Which place in Malaysia would you choose if you were free to choose? I heard from someone working online who lives in Malacca/Melaka, is that nice? Any other places I should look at? Johor is near Singapore, I guess that is also relatively expensive and potentially not so great beaches?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Mon 28-Oct-13 11:43:27

Hi! can I join? not in Malaysia but live between SG and HK.
Why is your heart set on Malaysia if you don't mind my asking? Is it because its easy to get a visa?

Other places you could consider are Bali and Phuket which both have very decent british schools, well established expat communities, and good beaches. Visas are fairly easy to arrange.
The level of medical care is better in Phuket, just make sure you get a good medical cover.

KL is definitely big a polluted but a great place to be. Johor is a no man's land but Marlborough just opened a branch there and they have nice gated communities if you can survived the incestuous feel of living in one of those? And you can be in and out of Singapore every day if you have a car. Beaches not great but good weekend spots a a couple of hours north.

How about Bangkok? Its has cleaned up nicely in the last few years and has become quite user friendly.
Vietnam too. Ho Chi Minh is a big metropolis but retains old world charm. Decent schools, good expat community and housing and fab beaches nearby AND seasons, somehow.

Sorry really feel like i've just stirred the s**t here but thought maybe you could think laterally in case Malaysia was not feasible?

HTH!

FatOwl Mon 28-Oct-13 12:20:35

If you are paying for yourself, I'd actually look at avoiding KL. The beaches are not fantastic, your nearest is Port Dickson, which is not great and very crowded at the weekends.
Melaka is nice, historical town to visit but no beach as such. Not sure at about the international school there. There were some not great reviews recently.
Penang might be worth looking at, beaches are OK, it's Malaysia's second city, expat community and a choice of schools, but you would not be paying KL prices (think of the difference between London and Manchester in pricing). Probably a bit more limited in imported stuff in supermarkets though if that bothers you (Heinz beans, breakfast cereal etc- if that bothers you)
Johor is very close to singapore and being populated mainly by people living there and commuting to Singapore. (and why wouldn't you? a friend of mine has just moved to Johor from a two bedroom shoe box in SG to a four bed house with pool, five mins from her kids school, her dh leaves the house at 7 and it at his desk in central SG by 8am) Pricing are rising there though due to the new Marlborough College International school and the SG overspill mainly.

The air quality in KL is generally OK, but is often worse in June-August- known as the Haze, which comes from forest burning in Indonesia. It's nowhere near as bad as China.

If you rely on the internet to work though, be aware that high speed broadband is expensive and patchy, esp outside KL. You have one choice- Telekom Malaysia, and they are arses. I've been on the phone crying with frustration more than once, we pay about RM350 a month (about 70 pounds) for 20mps, we barely get 1mps most of the time, but we are charged all the same, claiming they only promise "up to" 20mps. Some other companies are now offering broadband, like Unifi and Maxis (the mobile provider), but they are all ultimately owned by TM (and government controlled)

FatOwl Mon 28-Oct-13 12:25:06

X-posted with Master there- I agree, KL would not be my first choice if not tied to work.
Phuket would be lovely!
Very good schools in bangkok (but like KL, not cheap)

sanam2010 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:49:45

fatowl, very interesting point about broadband speed, I had somehow heard that Malaysia was great about broadband connections, maybe that was just in comparison to Thailand or Vietnam :-(. Hopefully in Penang it would be alright.

MasteroftheYoniverse, I am definitely also looking at other places like Bali, Phuket and Ho Chi Minh. I liked Malaysia because it seemed like there were a lot of English or English / Mandarin speaking preschools, whereas in Phuket it seemed very "expaty", that potentially in the international schools it is only expat kids? In malaysia I had the impression because of the big Chinese community our children could be in a local type kindergarten where most speak English and Mandarin with lots of local kids, rather than having to be either in a place where no-one speaks English or everyone is white if you know what I mean. But if anyone can recommend great pre-schools in Phuket, I'm all ears. We've been to Phuket and Cambodia and Singapore many times and love all of them, Singapore just seems to expensive already and Phuket I wasn't sure about the preschool situation, but would love to hear recommendations.

I didn't know Ho Chi Minh was close to nice beaches, that definitely sounds quite interesting as well. I loved Cambodia so I am sure I would love Vietnam as well. I would definitely want to be in one of those places and then travel to all of them thanks to AirAsia. Basically all I need is high quality childcare at very decent prices so I can work without feeling my kids are unhappy, so the better the choices are on that side the easier it will be for us.

It seems like several of you mention medical care in Malaysia is not so great? Are there no high quality international hospitals in Penang, for example? And what about illnesses such as Dengue fever or Malaria? I read there is a risk of those in Penang but it seems so close to Phuket and I never worried about those in Phuket. Or is it just a mild risk? I've been to the Philippines as well (now that I come to think of it!) and there were definitely many regions where it existed theoretically but it was really unlikely you would get it, and then regions where you had to be really careful. Is there a big difference between the places we're discussing here?

FatOwl Mon 28-Oct-13 23:03:53

Medical care in Malaysia is good, if you can pay for it. The local/government providers are extremely variable but improving, but as a foreigner, you will struggle to get through the red tape to access it.
For day to day stuff, the private care isn't that expensive, a trip to the dr with prescription will typical set you back about RM100 (about 20 pounds). An overnight in hospital will quickly run into 1000s.

There is no Malaria in Peninsular Malaysia. Dengue fever is a problem, you need to know the signs and prevention techniques (basically mosquito bite prevention). For most people though, Dengue is like a dose of flu- Dh has had it, the fataliies usually come about with people who leave it very late to get treatment, or have it for a second time and get the hemoragic (sp?) version of the disease.

There are lots and lots of pre-school which are English speaking but will also teach Mandarin.
You say your dc are pre-school age, but how long would it be before you'd actually be looking at schools?
Many of the pre-schools cater up to 6-7, (as that is when the state education starts). There is a mushrooming of "international" schools in malaysia (and indeed SEAsia in general), the vast majority of which are privately run, for profit, and are generally poor in quality (there are very little checks in place), the teaching quality is down to good luck rather than any kind of regulation or management - my current obsession is reading international school reviews, so let me know if you start looking at specific schools.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Tue 29-Oct-13 00:11:23

Oh yes, very good point about broadband speed!!
Even in HK it can be a PB. No optic fiber in our building although we are in a very expaty area. But there are usually ways around it.

Interesting about mandarin tuition. Yes certainly you'd be able to find that in Malaysia but honestly don't put your hopes too high. The chinese community of the straights speak other dialects although mandarin is the Medium of instruction in schools. So its hard to find ways to practice everyday and progress really depends on practicing.
You'd have to make it through to middle school before you can really say they are learning.
My son now in year 5 can read & write basic simplified. DD in year 1 can sing and knows her fruit, colors etc….
They both started in nursery around 3 years old. So its really a marathon and probably will involve extra home tuition if you feel they are so inclined. We are definitely getting DD a tutor as soon as she settles in her new school. Its the critical point where 2-3 lessons a week in an international just won't cut it.
So I guess what am saying is that you really need to be committed and make it clear to the schools/teachers that you are serious about your child learning mandarin so they can push them a bit.

Medical care is good. Even public hospitals seem good. DH had an ear pb folowing a dive and was treated in a tiny hospital in Langkawi (15 years ago!) and it was clean, efficient. we were redirected to a private hospital in Penang for a follow up and agree that was not expensive.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 00:27:00

OP, how is this going to work in terms of visas? If you are British you can enter Malaysia for 90 days as a tourist, and keep popping off to Singapore or Thailand on visa runs to extend that. So far so good, but officially you wouldn't be allowed to work. I know you would be working (online) but it would be unofficial, iyswim. How would you open a bank account here without an Employment Pass (ie a work visa), or take a lease on a house without a Malaysian bank account and your employer's reference?

Maybe there are more ways of doing this than I realise, and please do put me right. I know of MM2H, but that requires a hefty cash commitment, and the Residence Pass, but that requires you to have lived here for a couple of years already.

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 00:37:16

Ah yes, the tuition culture...don't get me started.

It grates on me that parents pays RM1000s per term for tuition, when they have already forked out RM10K+ in school fees for private tuition for a child who is not struggling, in fact, usually excelling.

It is so ingrained into the culture here though, it will never go.

At the risk of totally outing myself, I am on the governing board of an international school in malaysia (hence my trawling through school reviews) and the tuition subject does come up.
I am uncomfortable with it, as even after 10 years here- if I felt I needed to seek a private tutor for my child, it would be because the school is lacking in some way, which in the competitive school market, is a problem. But it really isn't seen that way at all by anyone else!

I'm digressing from the OP though...

There is an excellent private hospital in Penang, a friends dh broke his ankle there recently. It was a nasty break and it needed surgery to be set and pinned, excellent care apparently.

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 00:41:42

x-posted with marjorie there
She's right, renting a house/bank accounts etc will be interesting without an EP
Not impossible though. You could look at getting the 10 year talent visa, which means (I think) that you can work for who you like, but I think you need to show how you benefit the Malaysian economy.
MM2H does require a lump sum of cash.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 01:30:17

Fatowl is the Talent Visa the same as the thing I am calling the Residence Pass or is it a separate extra thing? My v limited understanding of the Residence Pass (based on talking to two people who have got it) is that it is available for people who have had EPs for two years (or more) who want to be able to stay on in MY but change employers.

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 02:30:44

I think it's the same thing, we looked into it briefly but decided against it.
People I know are using the term Talent visa, different from Permanent residence (PR) which is just a short stop from a Malaysian passport. (many foreigners who marry malaysians get PR, not full blown citizenship)
We're on an EP.

I think we are talking about the same thing
https://www.expats.com.my/rp/new/html/

Looks like it won't work for the OP though, as it's doesn't seem to be available for people new to Malaysia, I don't think you can enter on it, you need to have had an EP previously.
I know several people who have these, but all have come in on an EP, and have left their employer and transferred to the talent visa.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 02:41:25

Yes, thought so, same thing different name. Malaysia lah.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 02:46:16

Yes, we're on an EP too. Getting the talent visa/residence pass might be useful for me so that I would be able to work. Apparently they process it very speedily.

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 02:56:11

Just popping in to say hi (waves....while having har cut)

I'm Merida and I live in kl....been here 2 1/2 years now....can I hijack the thread and ask whether anyone has any recommendations for local house movers please?

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 03:09:00

Have you tried Crown, AlliedPickfords, Asiantigers etc?

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 03:11:29

Not yet, but I imagine crown and allied would be more international movers and likely to be $$$$$$

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 03:20:37

They do local moves.

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 03:25:07

Thank you..Will probably get them to quote as a bench mark.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 29-Oct-13 04:11:41

Good plan. Nothing to lose by getting them to quote. Also they should be reliable with regard to losses, breakages etc, because they have a reputation to uphold. Even if I was moving just 200 yards down the road I would use one of the big names.

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 05:21:33

Is there a tutoring culture even within the british/international schools though?! Mine is so busy with homework and after school clubs, she wouldn't find the time to do any additional tutoring.

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 05:28:21

Moving in two weeks within KL, using Royal relocations. Also got quotes from crown, Santa Fe and Asian tigers, I'm paying rm6700 with RR, a good 4K below the next quote, they were recommended by a friend.
I'll let you know how it was after we move, but impressed so far with them.
Crown wanted 18k!!!!!
I did ask if the 1 in front was a typo

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 05:54:02

Thanks fat owl for the recommendation....rm6700 is much more than i expected for a local move....better start making phone calls....

so hard in kl to know where to start when you need to find or do something ....can we perhaps keep this as an ongoing kl thread for all the where to buy, recommendations for etc. etc. queries.....maybe i'll start another thread....so fed up with the wild goose chases....WHITE School socks! That it ....where to find white school socks anyone?

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 05:55:22

Crown must ave mistaken your move as back to the UK rather than the other side of town!

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 05:59:20

We do have a lot of crap to move - all the companies estimated around 100cbm (three kids, dh works from home, so all his work stuff - and he is a boarderline hoarder!)

I do always say you have to be a little bit psychic to live in KL- it's hard to find stuff out.
Do you know the Just Ask Justine FB page? She posts a lot of useful stuff and you can ask stuff like that- I'm chatting with a few other expats moving locally at the moment re moving companies.

https://www.facebook.com/JustAskJustineAboutKL?fref=ts

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 06:02:47

Plain white school socks are always an issue. I buy them in bulk when in the UK, and visitors always bring me a pack out-it's their rent for staying - bottle of duty free and a pack of school socks each for the kids- standing family joke.

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 06:06:30

Yes, just ask justine pops up in my fb news feed....but I didn't think you could ask questions there like you do on a forum though...thought about it but didn't as I thought it might be intrusive to post on someone else's fb page maybe.....confused

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 06:07:57

And shows come and go without me ever finding out about them in time.....Hairspray is a recent one!

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 06:16:41

Yes, I often find out things after the event. I tell you, psychic powers would be a great help

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 06:18:03

And where to find the psychic powers Lah?!

BraveMerida Tue 29-Oct-13 06:20:19

I will let you now of anything....I recently discovered all the wonderful concerts the Malaysian philharmonic orchestra do in the KLCC concert hall....will be checking those out for the family fun days from now.

sanam2010 Tue 29-Oct-13 08:20:09

Wow this thread is amazing, I love mumsnet!

FatOwl, anything you can say about St Christopher's School in Penang? Or what would be the best pre- / primary schools in Penang? My elder one would only be in preschool for a year before joining Reception, but I was also looking at keeping them in a kindergarten from 1-6 so both kids can be together (that's why I am looking at kindergartens more than intl schools as they would only take the older ones).

But I would still love to hear which intl schools you think are the best academically in Penang?

On the visa, I saw there are these new entrepreneur visas that require you to bring in about 300k ringgit, half of which you can spend in the first year. So it's a decent cash sum but nothing like SG which I think requires several million USD.

FatOwl Tue 29-Oct-13 09:44:38

I have to admit, I'm not as well up on Penang schools as those in KL or Johor.

Fairview and tenby are not great, run for profit and average/poor reviews, generally due to bad management and poor investment in resources (ie the teachers do their best)- it's not really what you expect for a fee paying school, but that is the problem when schools are run for profit.

St Christophers is a not for profit foundation, which is promising, as fees will be diverted back into the school. I can't find any specific reviews at the moment, but leave it with me and I'll get back to you.

I have a friend whose kids have just enrolled in the new Prince of Wales school. she is down in KL next week and I'll have a chat with her about Penang in general, if you have any specific questions.
She moves due to the cost of living in KL- her dh does short contracts in Korea and china

We returned to the UK from Malaysia a couple of months ago. For us, the constant threat of violence and kidnapping were the main impetus for our move.
We used Armstrong to ship our stuff back. Can't remember the actual cost, but it was certainly cheaper than others and all our stuff arrived seven weeks later intact.

BraveMerida Sat 02-Nov-13 06:49:09

I think I live in a bubble, I know people talk about threats of kidnapping and crime, but I just don't feel it iykwim......so difficult to judge whether it's real or perceptions.

BraveMerida Sat 02-Nov-13 06:50:35

Making mental note of Armstrong for the future.

Hope you are settling back into the UK fine kreecher.

BraveMerida Sat 02-Nov-13 06:52:08

Does ano have any acupuncturist or holistic therapists in kl they could recommend please?

There's no doubt my experiences with robbery were real. Machete to crack a car window is a tiny bit excessive smile.
Settling down well back in the UK. DD is living the dream. She is now a scout.

FatOwl Sat 02-Nov-13 12:10:47

Street crime is definitely on the rise

There was a kidnapping back in 2012 involving a kid at one of the international schools, but it's not as dangerous as say manilla.

How old is your dd? We do have scouts in KL

sanam2010 Sat 02-Nov-13 16:22:12

Kreecher, that's scary, where in malaysia were you based?

FatIOwl, would be great if you could let me know after talking to your friend. The Prince of Wales school
Looks very good, I think it is only secondary?

Sorry, didn't want to be alarmist. We were in selangor rather than KL. Our neighbourhood was supposed to be on the up. The prices were on the up. 10km away, the grocery shopping was much less.
Not sure about the crime there though...

LoopaDaLoopa Sun 03-Nov-13 06:18:26

Hi

I'm in KL with DH and DDs 2 and 4.

A few stories just this week of scary robberies etc. But it's important to remember it's a capital city. Scary stuff happens in London too.

True fact that Loopa. It just seemed that every other day someone was being mugged/robbed/raped in front of our flats.
We had a huge foreign student population if that's any explaination <doubtful>.
Possibly they were seen as worth robbing due to the amount of jewellry they wore and lap tops they carried.

LoopaDaLoopa Sun 03-Nov-13 06:29:29

Whereabouts were you, kreecher? And how was your return home?

Kota Damansara was our base.
Return home is/was great. DD has started at a brilliant school, she is able to go out alone and cycle to school etc.
DD did almost get me arrested at KL airport. We'd just watched a man without a top on be denied entry to the departures bit while the passport man checked my PP. Admittedly I do look like Myra Hindley in the photograph but it is still just about me.
DD told him I looked like a drug dealer. He gave me a very hard stare and asked for another form of identity.
That could have been because she wouldn't let it lie. Drug smuggler or dealer were the only words coming out of her mouth.
DH had gone through a couple of minutes earlier.

FatOwl Thu 07-Nov-13 13:39:51

An update on schools in Penang as promised to the OP

I saw my friend who lives in Penang today.

Her ds is at the prince of Wales Secondary school (Y8). She is happy with it, new school so a few teething issues, but overall happy. Bit of a way out of town, she is thinking of moving nearer the school

Her dd has mild SEN and is repeating Y6 at St Christophers (Primary) . Much happier there than she was at very large international school in KL with minimal SEN support. Much smaller school and her dd is much happier (but that might also be to do with repeating Y6, which her previous school would not have allowed. She will go to Prince of Wales sept 2014.

Other option is Uplands (Primary and secondary), she has no personal experience, but well established and plenty of expats there happy with it.
Dalat school also popular but very Christian in practice.

HTH

sanam2010 Thu 07-Nov-13 20:39:47

FatOwl, that's fantastic, thank you so much for remembering me! I am happy to hear St Christopher's is nice. I'll check out Upland as well, a very Christian place probably not the right place!

dakpat69 Thu 16-Jan-14 20:18:13

Hi All,
My family and i are thinking of moving to Johor. Any advice on international schools. Many seem very new but have amazing facilities, just worried about standard of teaching.

Fat Owl, if you have any info in this area, it would be much appreciated. Also, if there is anyone else in the Johor area or considering it, it would be nice to get in touch.

Finally, if anyone considered it and decided against and went for Penang/KL, what was the reasoning?

Regards

Letslet Fri 17-Jan-14 02:58:44

Hi Dakpat69. Don't know a lot about Johor as in KL but the big school there is obviously Malborough. Now into its 2nd year the reviews I have heard so far have all been good and teaching standards very high . Unfortunately dont know any of the other international schools there. Not sure how living in Johor is Its got Legoland there and great proximity to Singapore and only about 3/4 hours from KL so I am guessing it probably quite good but I am guessing it will be more localised and won't have the variety of expat opportunities which exist in KL or Penang. It depends what you are after

sara156 Wed 29-Jan-14 06:36:47

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Selks Wed 29-Jan-14 07:28:15

Sorry to jump in but can any of you recommend health insurance providers? My son lives in Brunei and is trying to sort out expat health insurance. Sorry to hijack the thread.

kreecherlivespstairs Thu 30-Jan-14 05:59:11

We went with Zurich if that's any help. Simply because the broker spoke great english and you could pay monthly for cover rather than an upfront years worth.

expertpacker Sat 07-Jun-14 08:17:33

For anyone thinking of schools in or near JB. Avoid the new EIS. It's started in August 2013. It looked like a fabulous option. However, the best primary teacher had left within a term and I hear her replacement is also leaving. The head of primary was excellent but rumour has it that she was dismissed after the first half term and the primary staff feel her loss. My friends child enjoys school there but she is worried about the school. In secondary 3 out of 4 department heads have left. The package is not what staff were led to believe. The principal spins a good story but all is not well.

Rojak Thu 12-Jun-14 17:33:19

I have experience of schools in Penang (and living in Penang) but don't often check these boards.

If anyone would like information about Penang, you can post here and drop me a PM to alert me.

Thanks

Barbie1 Sun 22-Jun-14 11:41:46

Hello

I know this is an older thread but I wondered if anyone was still in kl...

We are arriving next week to look at schools, housing etc and will fully relocate end of August smile

fatowl Mon 23-Jun-14 01:17:37

Hi Barbie
Yes, I'm still here, which schools/areas are you looking at?

Happy to answer any questions

Barbie1 Mon 23-Jun-14 05:19:10

Hello again fatowl

We have narrowed it down to garden or Alice. Looking at mont Kiera/ bangsar areas.

The main consideration is getting my 2 year old Ds into a nursery close to either of the two schools mentioned. I want to do as less a commute each morning as possible!

fatowl Mon 23-Jun-14 07:03:38

My kids are at Alice Smith.
Garden also a very good school.

Mont Kiara, where Garden is, is very built up, lots of high rise apartments, etc. Traffic can be very bad, but lots of restaurants, shops etc. The obvious choice if you go to Garden.

Bangsar is more low rise, but still lots of choice of restaurants etc, 10 mins from the Alice Smith Primary campus. Look at Bukit Damansara as well, and if you go for Alice Smith, Taman Seputeh is very popular too.

My kids are older, so I am out of touch with nurseries. My youngest dd went to Children's House (10 years ago now!) and they are still around. THere are plenty of nurseries around. I suggest you ask on the IBU FB page for more recent knowledge. (they are the KL organisation for Families with Babies and toddlers)

https://www.facebook.com/ibufamilyresourcesgroup?fref=ts

Barbie1 Mon 23-Jun-14 10:05:50

All the areas you suggested are on our list to view smile

We have a dog so are looking for a house, the agent has a few to show us. I guess as both schools get good reviews it might be a case of choosing the house first.

Apparently dd will need an assessment for the schools, do you know what that might entail for a 4 year old??

fatowl Mon 23-Jun-14 10:33:19

No get the school place first.

Can't speak for garden, but assuming you are looking at entry to reception, at Alice smith the assessment will be a play session (without parents). They will be really only checking for her level of English proficiency (not reading and writing just whether her English is good enough to access the curriculum as AS does not have ESL support) and screen for any serious SEN. Anyone who tells you they must be able to read/write/count to 100 is talking rubbish.

Barbie1 Mon 23-Jun-14 11:35:08

She has been accepted to both schools as we have sent school reports (she has been full time for a year) and cases of work.

We know she needs the assessment and the formal offer but it sounds promising that we will have the choice of two...

We plan to drive to the school from each area we view so we get some idea of traffic and timings etc

fatowl Mon 23-Jun-14 12:38:52

You're in a nice position then as school places can be tight.

Taman Seputeh (close to AS) is nice for dogs, I know several people with dogs in that area and they walk them together.
Bukit Damansara (mainly houses, not appartments- about 15 mins from AS) also a nice area.
For Garden, look at Duta Nusantara- nice gated community, close to Garden, but also popular with AS families, nice community there, kids all play together

Barbie1 Mon 23-Jun-14 12:43:16

Fatowl I can't thank you enough for your time and patience in answering me.

Normally when we move I do loads of research myself but this pregnancy and my mums illness is taking all of my time and energy so I'm completely bewildered this time sad

fatowl Mon 23-Jun-14 13:50:05

No worries, give me another shout if you need to know anything else (send a pm so i'll get a notifiction, or I might miss it)

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