Malaysia: The Top 5 Myths about International Schools

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

We work with families from all over the world, helping them to make fully informed schooling decisions. Along the way, we've encountered a few popular 'myths', or misconceptions, about international schools here in Malaysia. Here, we tackle the five most common ones we hear.


Myth #1: International schools are expensive because of the facilities.

Many international schools have fantastic facilities: athletics tracks, olympic-sized swimming pools and flashy auditoriums. If you've had the pleasure of visiting ISKL's new campus in Ampang Hilir, or checked out Alice Smith's expansive Secondary'll know what we mean. Of course, these facilities cost a lot to build and maintain - but is that the real reason international schools are expensive?

Well, not really. The simple truth is that most schools spend well over 80% of their budgets on their teachers. Facilities cost a fraction in comparison.

Hiring qualified and experienced teachers from abroad costs a lot. Salaries aside, international schools also need to cover each expatriate teacher’s medical insurance, shipping costs, EPF contributions, school fees for any children...and so on.

So that’s the myth busted: it’s not really the facilities that hike those fees up - it’s that good, qualified, experienced expat teachers are expensive to hire and retain.

Myth #2: International school students are spoilt, and bullying is a huge problem.