Visiting a new country can be both exciting and daunting. The following information will help you pack the things you need to get settled at Curtin University, Malaysia. Most importantly, before you leave, please make sure you have all necessary documents with you.
You will need to bring the following documents:
- Valid Entry Visa.
More information on the visas required for each of the Flexible Study Units are available in the respective unit pages.
- Travel documents and Passport
- Medical history or prescriptions if you require ongoing medication.
Check your passport expiry date before departure as renewing a passport in Malaysia can take some time. Your passport must be valid for at least one year (12 months) before you enter Malaysia.
Ensure that you’ve packed clothing to keep you comfortable in Miri’s very hot and humid weather; remember it can rain a lot in monsoon season. Most students wear comfortable, casual clothes to class each day. A bathing suit will be handy if you plan to swim in a swimming pool or at the beach. You can learn more about Miri’s climate and get an update on campus weather here.
Of course you should bring your camera, if you have one, to capture all of your Malaysian experiences. Although there are computer labs on campus, you may appreciate bringing your own laptop to complete your assignments and for internet access at wireless networking locations on and off campus.
Check that your electronics are compatible with Malaysian voltage (230V | 50Hz). If you’re traveling from the Americas, some of your electronics may not work without a Step Down Transformer. You’ll need to purchase one in Miri for around RM 600.00 as these are generally too heavy to travel with. Buy an adapter (or a few) if you need to. Electricity in Miri is 230 volts, 50 cycles and the power point is of the British Standard BS 1363 or Type G plug. This plug has three rectangular blades in a triangular pattern and has an incorporated fuse (usually a 3 amps fuse for smaller appliances such as a computer and a 13 amps one for heavy duty appliances such as heaters). This model is used throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Malaysia and also in Singapore.
The Ringgit Malaysia (RM) is the basic unit of exchange. You can check the current rate against your home currency here. We recommend you budget at least RM 1000 per week for spending on souvenirs and other miscellaneous items. It’s a good idea to ensure that you have access to further funds while in Miri.
Items You Cannot Bring into Malaysia
Check the Malaysian Customs page for information about restricted biological goods, including food, plant and animal matter and other restricted and prohibited items, including currency, medicines, drugs and weapons.
Due to its proximity to the equator, Miri enjoys a wonderful tropical climate. You can expect hot and humid conditions during your time here. Temperatures are generally fairly constant, averaging between 32 °C by day and 22 °C by night (72-93°F) all year round. Humidity levels are generally close to 80%. Basically, it’s summer all year long!
There is usually a pleasant onshore breeze along the coast during the afternoon. But, due to the tropical climate, mosquitoes and sand flies are common. You can get repellant and sunscreen here but you may want to pack some good UV protecting sunglasses for those lazy days at the beach.
Be prepared for thunderstorms that can be frequent and heavy especially during the monsoon season. The Northeast Monsoon in Malaysia is characterized by steady northeast wind, usually occurring from about mid-November until March. During this period coastal areas of Sarawak, including Miri, will experience widespread heavy spells of rain, lasting 2 to 3 days. About 4 or 5, such spells are expected each monsoon season but fair weather is expected otherwise. Even when there are torrential downpours and spectacular thunderstorms, these quickly give way to muggy but dry sunshine. Miri’s infrastructure copes well with the rains and they should not impact on your stay overly much.
Check out the latest at the MET Malaysia Website.
WiFi & Computing on Campus
Curtin University, Malaysia strives to provide a stimulating and technology-enriched environment to support your learning journey. You will enjoy free, and readily available, wireless network access across most of our campus, and you can study in our computer labs, which are equipped with hundreds of computers, printing stations, scanners, graphics workstations, smart boards and current software.
WiFi Around Miri
Free wifi is available in a limited number of hotels, cafés and restaurants around Miri. Check them out on wificafespots.com
A mobile phone is helpful for staying in touch with friends and family. While it may be possible for you to use your mobile handset from home (check if your phone is unlocked before you leave), switching to a Malaysian mobile plan will provide you with a local number and will invariably be more cost effective.
You can get a Malaysian mobile number by purchasing a SIM card after your arrival. There are a number of carriers and a variety of prepaid and postpaid payment plans to choose from. With a prepaid plan, there is no lock-in contract; you pay in advance by purchasing phone credit. You pay a ‘top-up’ fee each month or when your credit expires. Service and pricing options vary in terms of call, text and data allowance, and days to expiry.
If you opt for a prepaid plan, you can buy mobile phone credit using your credit card, by internet banking transfer or with vouchers. You can also purchase mobile phone credit vouchers on campus. All mobile carriers have physical locations in the city of Miri, so you’ll have the option of face-to-face service.
The main carriers are:
- 00 is the International Access / Dial Code to make an overseas call from within Malaysia.
- 60 is the International Country code for Malaysia.
Health & Wellbeing
You will be better prepared for learning if you feel healthy, safe and happy. We offer a variety of health and wellbeing services, including access to professional psychologists and counsellors who can assist with any personal issues such as relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, crisis management and trauma. Our confidential Counselling Office is a great places to start if you need advice or help, or if you are not sure where to find the support you need. Our Health Centre is the place to turn if you’re injured or sick.
Our security services includes 24-hour patrols to help make you feel safe at our campus. Remember the campus hotline for emergencies is 085 443 930.
The library offers access to a vast collection of books, audiovisual material, journals, electronic databases and e-books, as well as a wide choice of online study guides and training tools. The facility also includes computers and multimedia rooms, photocopy and references services. You can learn more about these and confirm opening hours on the Curtin Library homepage.
University Life offers career planning and development services to help you find employment in your field of study, identify further study and career options, and develop the lifelong skills you will need to excel in your chosen career. This department can also help you select classes, get work experience while you are studying, build strong job applications and prepare for interviews. Check out the annual careers fair or drop in for a confidential discussion with one of our career counsellors.