Volunteer in Malaysia

Map of Malaysia
Flag of Malaysia

Download a PDF of our Volunteer in Malaysia Guide!

Malaysia is almost two different nations, separated by the South China Sea. On one end is the multicultural, moderately developed mainland, and the other is Borneo, essentially a wild jungle. Parts of the nation are extremely developed, in particular, the capital city Kuala Lumpur, which was once home to the tallest buildings in the world. Other parts remain quite underdeveloped and impoverished and are in need of volunteers.

  • Capital: Kuala Lumpur
  • Population: 28.4 million
  • Currency: Ringgit
  • Area: 127,355 sq. mi.
  • Poverty Level: 3.8% (CIA Factbook)

Teach English: There are many areas in Malaysia which are impoverished and where education is of low quality. There is thus a tremendous need of English teachers in the nation. As a teacher you will teach English along with other subjects to Malaysian children and youth in schools.

Community Development: Many areas of Malaysia are underdeveloped and thus have a need for volunteers. As a volunteer, there are many opportunities for you to help the Malay, whether it be in construction projects or projects that help villages get running water.

Conservation: The Island of Borneo (which Malaysia shares with Indonesia and Brunei) has abundant wildlife. The island has rich rainforests and there is a need for volunteers to help in conservation. As a volunteer, you will work with the local community and work on protecting the rainforest and its wildlife. Borneo is home to many unique animal species, particularly among animals and amphibians.

  • Know Before You Go: Malaysia is a multi-ethnic nation. Malays only make up 50% of the nation's population. Chinese and Indians make up most of the other half. It is important to know that there are significant differences between all three ethnic groups in terms of religion, culture, and etiquette.
  • Best Places To Volunteer: Kuala Lumpur is the capital and most populated city; home to the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world. The city has many opportunities for teaching English. Johor Bahru is another large city in Southern Malaysia, one of the biggest industrial centers in the nation.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Malaysia:

As a volunteer in Malaysia, you are recommended to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, get vaccinated for Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. For more information visit MD Travel Health.

There is a general threat in Malaysia with regards to terrorism, but it isn't too serious and it certainly shouldn't being a deterrent in visiting the nation. Bag snatching is the most common crime that tourists experience so stay vigilant in crowded areas.

Malaysia is a beautiful, fascinating, multicultural nation but remains under visited compared to its neighbors in Southeast Asia. There is much to do in the small but interesting nation, and there are many opportunities for volunteers to help make a difference in the nation.


Contributed by Go Overseas staff

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