Possibilities for Accommodations
Exchange students studying at USM may choose to live in an on-campus student dormitory, or an off-campus private apartment.
The simplicity of the student residences is represented by their low cost of approximately $40/month/student for a shared room. Dorm rooms are all double-occupancy, furnished with: two single beds, two desks, two wardrobes, a fan (no air conditioning), cement floors, and an electric kettle. One shared bathroom is on each floor (for approximately eight students) with one western toilet, one Asian toilet, two showers without hot water. There are no cooking facilities in the dorms. Male and female dormitories are in separate buildings.
Furnished apartments can easily be rented close to campus and can often be shared with other students. The USM International Centre can help to make these arrangements, or students may find apartments on their own. Costs may range from $140 - $400/month depending on whether or not apartments are shared. These apartments are very nice, even sometimes having pools and gyms. Sunnyville, E Park and N Park are three such nice apartment buildings close to campus where students have stayed in the past.
The island of Penang offers plenty of things to do and interesting places to see. Just a few of these are: Penang Hill, Georgetown's Komptar Tower for great shopping, night markets at Batu Ferringhi, a Butterfly Farm, Tropical Spice Garden, Tropical Fruit Farms, Botanical Gardens, Snake Temple, and many other Buddhist temples. When venturing further to other parts of Malaysia, students may be interested in water sports such as scuba-diving, snorkelling, wake boarding, surfing, and kite boarding, or just relaxing on beautiful tropical beaches. Jungle trekking, observing wildlife, and climbing the rolling hills of tea plantations or to the Peak of Mt. Kinabalu are other fun activities for the adventurous. For those seeking a more cosmopolitan experience, museums, theatres, cultural performances, and shopping malls are also abundant, especially in big cities such as the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Buses are an inexpensive way to travel in Malaysia. Buses plying routes within towns and cities typically charge fares according to the distance covered while interstate buses have fixed rates. Taxis in major cities are usually fitted with meters, but most taxis on Penang do not use meters so bartering is required. Interstate and smaller town taxis charge a fixed rate and it's best to settle on a price before getting into the taxi. Various airlines also offer inexpensive flights throughout Malaysia or to other Asian destinations.