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.

Why Volunteer in Malaysia?

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.


Do you think there is something missing in our guide to volunteering in Malaysia? Contact us and let us know! We want to make sure our information is relevant and up to date.

Programs & Reviews

The Ecoteer House Project is a unique project in Malaysia. You live in a traditional Malay village on the paradise islands of Perhentian. The aim of the project is to spread environmental awareness amongst the village children and the...
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EXCLUSIVE OFFER ONLY AVAILABLE THROUGH GO-OVERSEAS! This program is usually fully booked up for 3 years in advance, however, due to a late cancellation we have spaces for the 8 week slot (dates 3rd November to 28th December 2014). It is...
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Help wild tiger populations by joining this jungle trekking programme with a roar! In the one week programme you will spend 4 days jungle trekking on the borders of Malaysia's largest national park, Taman Negara. The borders are where...
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Join Gapforce Borneo as we enter one of the world's last wildernesses. Divided between Malaysia and Indonesia the Trekforce Borneo project is based in Kalimantan. Working with the new orang-utan rehabilitation project, we head deep into...
1 Reviews
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Join us in Paradise. We live on a beautiful island with white sand beach and azure blue warm tropical seas. Turtles abound in the ocean & nest on the beaches. Our house reef is one of the most diverse coral reefs in the world! But:...
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Science of Life Studies 24/7 (SOLS 24/7) and the Better Malaysia Foundation (BMF) have partnered together to reach out to both urban and rural communities throughout Malaysia, providing English, basic Computing & Life Skills for FREE...
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Love to trek in the world's oldest Rainforest, want to help conserve it and meet the local tribal communities? Then Rainforest Awakening volunteering program is most suitable for you! The project, located in Malaysia, is split into two...
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Volunteers For Peace is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982, that offers placement in over 3000 voluntary service projects in more than 100 countries. Each year we provide almost 1,000 volunteers with invaluable opportunities to...
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A rewarding and fun Malaysia volunteer project suited to animal lovers who are keen to learn about different animals in an exotic location. Work as a zookeeper looking after animals. The zoo plays an important role in breeding wild animals...
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Volunteer in paradise! Sea Turtle Conservation and Community project on the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. Volunteer with Help Our Penyu in 2011 and help save the Sea Turtles of Malaysia whilst bringing prosperity and education to the local...
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The program is a combination of 4 weeks adventure and 4 weeks voluntary work in a lovely village with English teaching and excursions of different kinds. It is also a possibility to prolong your stay with 4 weeks of voluntary work in Lok...
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Join fellow turtle conservationists and adventure seekers on an expedition not to be forgotten. Wake up to the most beautiful sunrises, walk on beaches where no tourists have been, collect vital sea turtle population data and join local...
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Volunteers on The Marine Conservation Project in Malaysia have the opportunity to not only become fully immersed into the world of marine conservation but will also come away with a PADI scuba diving qualification, with a higher levels...
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Your teaching placement takes place in Sabah on the Malaysian island of Borneo. You'll teach in a rural primary or secondary schools, located in a rural village environment in the northern part of the state. If you have any interest in...
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This 12 day program is located on the magical island of Borneo. During your stay you will go on river cruises up and down the Kinabatangan River collecting data on wild populations of orangutan and pygmy elephants. You will also get the...
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Ask a Question About Volunteering in Malaysia

Do you have a burning question about volunteering abroad in Malaysia? We're here to help! Most questions are answered within 24 hours. Here are some example questions:

  • What's a typical day like on a volunteer program in Malaysia?
  • Do I need to speak the local language?
  • What kind of impact can I expect to make in Malaysia?