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anyone here living in Malaysia?

(143 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 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.


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?


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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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.


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


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)

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)

BonnyFitTracy Thu 11-Sep-14 13:37:29

Hi fatowl and Barbie1 (and anyone else still out in KL)! Hoping I can jump in on this thread too? Since DH accepted his long-awaited relocation offer out to KL on Monday things suddenly moving v fast to get us (me, DH, DS age 10 and DD age 7) out there early October from the UK. Done some reading but all becoming v real now! Looking into schools as priority - Alice Smith/Garden and no-one has mentioned British International School? International School at Park City also suggested to us and looks great via their website (obvs!), but understand it's out in the sticks... I don't fancy having to drive oin KL after learning we'd need to apply for local driving licences and do all the tests (eeek, just eeek at the thought of going through that again!) so I'd try to stick with public transport - is that realistic?
Thinking to contact schools in first instance to see if they have space...
Any tips/pointers gratefully received on stuff to bring or not (no time for a visit, we just have to wing it!) and just general advice if you can think of anything you wish someone had told you before you moved! Ta muchly! smile

fatowl Thu 11-Sep-14 15:27:17

Hi bonny

You can drive on your uk licence here -don't panic! Public transport is utter shit don't even try.

Desa park city school is nice, as is the area to live, but it is a good way out of town. Lots of families are living there though if your dh first mind thd commute.
British school is also good, very flash campus and top rate fees. Lots of very pushy Asian tiger mums, but that could be said for all the British curriculum schools.

Sorry I'm typing on my phone, can't see original message, so might have missed something. October us a very short time frame- good luck and shout if you need to know anything else

LoopyLoopyLoopy Thu 11-Sep-14 15:34:33

Schools - if the company is paying, I'd go for AS personally.

IS@DPC - new, some good facilities, lovely staff but no outside space and a nightmare to get to if you don't live there.
BSKL - pretty good for younger kids, not for older ones
Garden - quite old school/traditional
IGB - new IB school. Only opened this year but doing well so far. Best facilities by far, but ISKL are building a new campus
ISKL - American
Mont Kiara - American
Nexus - in Putrajaya - really good, but far away

LoopyLoopyLoopy Thu 11-Sep-14 15:38:39

Stuff to bring -

Philips coffee machine that takes IKEA round pod/bag thingies
Bread machine
Insect repellent with DEET in

That's about it - there are loads of western shops here, nothing really we've missed. We're heading back to the UK soon though for a new job - need any stuff / cars / babysitters etc., let me know. smile

Barbie1 Thu 11-Sep-14 15:43:22


I'd love offer some advise but I've only been here two weeks myself!

I'm very happy with Alice smith so far and the community of mutiara seputah where we live are bloody amazing!

I haven't done anything other than the school run, a weekend stay in the local hospital and a grocery shop but feel free to ask away and I'm sure between fatowl loopy and myself we can help!

Barbie1 Thu 11-Sep-14 15:52:43

What we found really helpful was printing out a map of the city and marking the place of dh work and possible schools.

We then chose a possible list of areas within commuting distance to both.

Once we settled on AS we whittled the areas down to about three which were central to both dh work (klcc) and the school.

I haven't been out much but I know the traffic is horrendous!

Where will dh be working? Do you want a house or apartment? Would you consider a stand alone house or would you want a gated community?

We still have our all our list of areas etc so I'm happy to share smile

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