Malaysia: a vibrant setting for a world-class education

We find out more about why Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for expat families.

The Garden International School in Kuala Lumpur looks at why Malaysia’s capital is becoming an increasingly popular destination for expat families.

Garden International School

Kuala Lumpur means ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay; a rich meeting point today, just as it was for the first Chinese tin miners who arrived on the banks of the Klang River in the mid-19th century. Since being founded by the Raja of Klang in 1857, Chinese, Indians and Colonials alike have flowed into Kuala Lumpur via the Straits of Malacca, settling in with the native Malays. It is this diverse heritage and unique history that makes Kuala Lumpur – and Malaysia as a whole – one of the first true cultural melting pots of the world.
Garden International School Primary Students
We look at the top five reasons why more families are choosing Kuala Lumpur over long-standing expatriate hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore:1. High quality of life at lower cost: In Malaysia, families can enjoy a high quality of life – including a great outdoor lifestyle, clean air, lush greenery and affordable, spacious rental properties – at a fraction of the price of Singapore or the UK. There is reliable warm weather all year round and easy access to Malaysia’s abundant jungle, wildlife and unspoilt beaches.2. Easy logistics: Not only do families have access to all that Malaysia has to offer, but there is the added advantage of being at the heart of Southeast Asia geographically. Malaysia is the hub for AirAsia, which makes regional travel very affordable. Malaysia also offers a very simple transfer for relocating families with residency schemes such as Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) and simple student and guardian visa processes, which take the hassle out of what can often be stressful paperwork.3. A business hub: Malaysia is also known internationally for being business-friendly, with a stable government and political system, and good regulatory practice. A hub for emerging digital start-ups and SMEs, Kuala Lumpur is also home to multinational corporations including GSK, Nestle and Shell, as well as many large Malaysian multinationals that include Air Asia, Maybank and Petronas. As a result, the city is recognised as an attractive place to work, with excellent opportunities for senior-level expatriates. 4. Safe, vibrant residential communities: Mont Kiara is one of KL’s most popular expat neighbourhoods. Close to Kuala Lumpur’s city centre, it is a well-established, safe and kid-friendly neighbourhood with all of the conveniences a family could wish for. It offers fantastic shopping and dining options, direct access to the nearby jungle and even being able to walk to school. 5. Outstanding international schools: For a relocating family, finding the right school and making sure that the children are happy and well settled is perhaps the most crucial part of any move. Therefore Kuala Lumpur is a great choice, with 70 international schools to choose from. The standard of education is extremely high and several schools are considered to be among the world’s best. Garden International School (GIS), is a great example of the exemplary education on offer and, with almost 70 years of outstanding academic heritage and excellence under its belt, it has an outstanding list of alumni.
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Garden International School Secondary Students

Choosing the right international school

Given the importance of finding the right school, we take a closer look at what makes a school like GIS such a great choice:History of academic excellence: Offering an outstanding British Education with a track record of excellence dating back to 1951, the school’s IGCSE and A Level results are consistently outstanding and its graduates regularly accept places in the world’s best universities, including Oxbridge and the Ivy League.Inclusive admission process: GIS is an inclusive school that accepts students from a wide range of academic backgrounds and abilities, and supports them to achieve their potential. The application process is straightforward and can be done online - and no debentures makes the initial financial outlay more manageable for families.  Value-added: GIS’ value-added results put the school ahead of almost all independent schools in the UK. The results show that, on average, the GIS experience improves each student’s outcome by over half a grade (+0.56) per subject. Sixth Form offer: Its outstanding A Level programme is enriched by weekly subject electives, personalised higher education counselling and a bespoke summer internship programme, to ensure that GIS graduates stand out from the crowd. A holistic approach: GIS believes in the notion of ‘academic care ‘– that a child’s social and emotional wellbeing is as important as their academic achievement. To ensure they support every child’s development, the school offers more than 200 extra-curricular activities each term, many of which come at no additional cost, and an outstanding outdoor learning programme. Global recognition: As well as consistently achieving some of the finest IGCSE and A Level results in the world, GIS is also accredited by several renowned institutions and regularly wins awards for its innovative teaching approach and high-quality education offer.Outstanding relocation support: Recognised twice by Relocate Global at the industry-leading Relocate Awards, GIS has extensive support in place for new families that includes a popular parent-buddy system, weekly parent workshops and a wide range of information sessions and cultural events – all to help new families settle into life and learning as smoothly as possible. 

More information about GIS

To find out more about living in Malaysia or joining GIS, visit, or contact the GIS Admissions team to find out more. Email: or call 0060 (0)3 6209 6888.

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