International Student Guide | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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International Student Guide

APU has a vibrant community of students from over 130 countries.

We have students from Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. Our International Students Support Centre helps you with the procedure to apply for your Student Pass before coming here. Upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, we will send someone from APU to pick you up from the airport and bring you to campus.

It is our job to make you feel at home, so be sure to contact us if you need any assistance or have any questions during your early days here.

Travel and immigration advice

Student Pass and Passport Requirements

All students who intend to study in Malaysia need to apply for a Student Pass. The visa application and approval must be obtained before your arrival in Malaysia.


  • MM2H Principal
  • MM2H Dependent - Age 18 & above
  • Resident Pass – Dependent
  • Expatriate/Employment Visa (EPI, EP II, EP III, etc) – Dependent
  • Diplomatic Visa – Dependent (if NOT under IMMIGRATION (EXEMPTION) ORDER 1963)
  • Spouse Visa Long-term Visit Pass (Married to Malaysian Citizen)
  • Long Term Social Visit Pass
  • Social Visit Pass
  • UN Refugee Card Holders

Please note that for all the categories above, students should only cancel the above pass; once the Student Visa Approval Letter (VAL) has been obtained by the University, or the applicant is advised to cancel/shorten the current Pass as per advised by EMGS.


Stamp of “Permission to Study” is required to be obtained on the passport from Immigration of Malaysia for the following categories:

  • MM2H Dependent – Applicant must be below 18 years old. 18 Years and above need to apply for a Student Pass.
  • Diplomatic Visa – Principal/Dependent - IMMIGRATION (EXEMPTION) ORDER 1963 – it’s advisable for attestation purposes.
  • Expatriate Visa (EPI, EP II, EP III) – Principal (For Masters, or PHD - PT Courses only).
  • Resident Pass (Talent Corp) – Principal Holder and Spouse - “Eligibility to Study” letter is needed from Talent Corp.

Please note that international students who do not have Student Pass, or “Permission to Study” – we are not allowed to enroll them.

Before coming to Malaysia, make sure you know that:

  • Your passport must have a minimum validity of 28 months beyond the period of stay from the day you enter Malaysia.
  • You are permitted to hold only one pass at a time, i.e. your Student Pass.
  • Your Student Pass is non-transferable and permits you to study only at APU. The pass is valid for 1 (one) year and is renewable while you remain as a student at APU.

Social Visit Pass

You are advised to apply for a Student Pass before your arrival in Malaysia. You should only arrive, once you have obtained Visa Approval (VAL).

Note that all students and visitors to Malaysia are subject to the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Expiry and Extension of Student Pass

It is your responsibility to remember when your Student Pass expires. You need to submit application for your Student Pass extension 3 (three) month before the expiry date. Failing to do so may cause you to be compounded for overstaying in Malaysia by the Immigration Department.

Working in Malaysia

The Immigration Department of Malaysia allows International students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week while studying in Malaysia and only during semester breaks which are more than 7 days long. Students need to obtain an approval from the Immigration Department of Malaysia. International Students are not allowed to work in Malaysia during their studies.

Leaving and Re-entry to Malaysia

When returning to Malaysia from your holiday, ensure that your Student Pass is still valid for no less than 1 (one) month from the date you re-enter Malaysia. You are advised to inform us of your travel plans and the length of your stay abroad.

Renewal of Passport

You are strongly advised to renew your passport at your country's Embassy, High Commission, Diplomatic, or Consulate Office in Kuala Lumpur in order to facilitate the transfer of Student Pass endorsement from your old passport to the new one.

Note: The information above is valid at the time of writing. Check with your local Malaysian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate that this information is still up to date, as immigration rules change from time to time. You can also check from the Malaysian Immigration website at

Preparing for your travel

Travel Ticket and Packing for Travel

Check with your travel agent to make your airline reservation. If you already have your accommodation arranged, you are advised to arrive in KL at least a few days before your course starts, so that you can settle down with your accommodation and the new environment. Also remember that during holiday seasons, flights could be expensive or fully booked on your desired dates, so make sure you make your ticket reservation soon after you receive your Student Pass approval letter.

When packing your luggage, remember that there are certain restrictions on the weight of luggage when you travel by air. Excess luggage charges can be quite expensive, so sometimes it may be cheaper to leave your books and heavy things at home and buy new ones in Malaysia. Check with your travel agent or airline on how much you can bring, what you are allowed and not allowed to bring into Malaysia.

What Kind of Clothing Should I Bring?

It averages 29 degrees Celsius year round in Malaysia, so leave your sweaters and winter coats at home! You will need both professional attire and casual. During school sessions, professional attire is required on campus. You may want to bring casual clothing for non-school and off-campus events.

What should I bring with me?

Make yourself feel at home! Bring personal stuff like posters or photographs of your friends and family. If you are bringing any electrical equipment with you, remember that the power supply in Malaysia is 220 - 240 volts / 50 cycle AC system.

Living and getting around in Malaysia

Getting Around

Kuala Lumpur, or just KL, is the capital city of Malaysia. Bukit Jalil is a suburb located 15 minutes away from KL downtown. It was developed into the National Sports Complex for the 1998 Commonwealth Games and currently also houses Technology Park Malaysia (TPM) and APU. TPM is Malaysia's most established technology hub which lodges global researchers and high technology leaders of the information age. During the first few weeks you will become familiar with the city and its neighbourhoods. The people here and the local life are two of the best things about studying at APU! You'll quickly find that you and newly met fellow students will discover a lot about local life, customs and culture, transport, places of interest, shopping centres, post offices, cinema, etc.


Through OAC Insurance, we provide you with a comprehensive medical insurance package. Details of the package with enclosed registration form are given to you at the time of registration.

Living Costs

Plan ahead for your expenses while you study and live in Malaysia. In addition to tuition fees, costs may at minimum include food, books and stationery, accommodation, clothing, travel, entertainment, healthcare, insurance, visa renewal, etc. Estimated living cost is RM1,600 - RM2,000 (approx. USD 400 - USD 500) per month depending on the living lifestyle of the students.


The local currency is Ringgit Malaysia (RM). It is generally easy to convert currencies at the money changers and banks throughout Malaysia. Most organisations in Malaysia accept major credit cards; some accept travellers' cheques. ATMs can also be used to obtain cash via debit/cash cards from your home bank.

Upon arriving in Malaysia, we advise you to open an account with a local bank. You will need to obtain a letter from our Student Services for this purpose.


Malaysia's official language is Bahasa Malaysia. However, English is spoken by a majority of people throughout Malaysia, linking the various ethnic groups. Other everyday languages include Chinese dialects such as Cantonese, Hakka, and Hokkien. You will also hear Indian dialects like Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi.


You can make phone calls through residential phones, public phone booths, and mobile phones. IDD call cards are available from convenience stores to offer special rates for overseas calls. Wireless Internet access throughout the campus also allows for 24 hour email access. To get Internet access at home, broadband Internet subscription has become increasingly cheap in Malaysia to offer wired and wireless home Internet connection. Check with several local service providers such as UniFi, Streamyx, TIME, Maxis, DiGi, Celcom and others.

Post offices are located throughout the country, with typical services provided for letter and package sending/receiving. Courier companies also operate throughout the country. There is a limited postal service facility on campus and they can direct you to any other service facilities you may need.

Orientation and Assistance

The International Student Centre at our Student Services will be glad to assist should you have any questions It is our job to make you feel at home here. We look forward to welcoming you and wishing you SELAMAT DATANG KE MALAYSIA!