Moving to Kuala Lumpur

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For over 15 years, we have welcomed parents and students from more than 35 countries to our school. Our parents, staff and students tell us one of the things they love about the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) is our strong and welcoming school community. This makes settling into Kuala Lumpur relatively easy.

Malaysia attracts expatriates from all over the world who work and live mainly in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and the Klang Valley area. It can take about six months to settle in to a new country and city, and the adjustment period may be challenging for you and your family. Getting involved with school, expat and community groups will help make your new posting or life more enjoyable and exciting. You will also get to meet people from many countries and cultures.

Our AISM Community page on Facebook, for parents of children attending our school, is also a great place to connect, ask questions and buy things from expats who are relocating. It is a closed group and only for parents and teachers who have already enrolled their children at the school.

Where should we live?

Our school families come from many areas in Kuala Lumpur. Popular residential areas for our families include those close to the school:

  • Gita Bayu – a leafy secure community with bungalows, detached townhouse style residences and low rise 3 bedroom apartments, pool, tennis courts, walking tracks, lakes, community area and restaurant.
  • Bluconstellation – small secure gated community of attached 5 bedroom townhouses, with pool and gym, walking distance to the school and within the same estate.
  • Bluwater – gated community with detached houses or bungalows, within the same estate as the school.
  • Heritage Residences – condominiums looking towards the school over the lake, has pool and is walking distance to the MINES Resort City shopping centre.
  • Country Heights, Kajang – a quiet gated community of detached (mostly very large) single residences about 15-20 minutes’ drive from the school.
  • IOI Resort City – high rise condominiums with a pool, shop and barbeque areas, within walking distance of the IOI Putrajaya shopping mall and the Marriott Putrajaya, about 15 minutes’ drive from school.
  • Dreamcity condominiums – available in mid 2016, very close to the school.
  • BRDB’s Senja – available to live in by mid 2016.

About sixty percent of our families also live in the popular expatriate suburbs of:

  • Ampang – close to the city centre and embassies
  • Bangsar – popular shopping, leisure and dining area for expats and wealthy locals with a range of high rise condominiums available, as well as single residences
  • Damansara – close to Bangsar, more detached single residences available
  • Mont Kiara – convenient for shopping and close to the city, very popular with expats, mainly high rise condominiums.

All the areas mentioned above are serviced by our school buses.

Need help making a decision?

Having trouble making a decision? Talk to us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our parents who will give you firs thand knowledge of the residential areas.

If you would like to get in touch with housing agents or relocation agents recommended by our school community, please contact our Admissions Office.

Is English your second language? Language representative parents can help

A language representative parent can help you with general enquiries about AISM or living in Malaysia. They are a parent who volunteers to be the point of contact for new or prospective parents of the same language and/or cultural background as you.

Currently our language rep parents include Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish and Korean speakers. If your language isn’t listed, please ask.

Get in touch with our PA to ask for a language rep parent contact or to volunteer. 

Getting involved in school life helps settling in

The Australian International School Malaysia values parent input in school activities. By getting involved, you can help your child transition to a new school, and help your own transition by building up a strong network of friends and support in the school community. You can get involved by becoming a class parent or attending activities organised by your class parent, join the Parents’ Association (PA) or help out with school activities. We welcome suggestions for new ideas through the PA.

For more information about how to get involved see Our parents.

Getting involved in the local and expatriate communities

Get involved in your local community by joining one of Kuala Lumpur’s many expatriate organisations. From volunteering at a local organisation to learning Bahasa Melayu, there’s something for everyone. Some recommended groups our families are involved with include:

Malaysia Australia New Zealand Association (MANZA) welcomes members of all nationalities, and helps people settle in and provides a social network by organising activities and events. These include dinners, balls, tours, and coffee mornings, opportunities to learn activities such as Mahjong and drinks nights.

Ibu Family Resource Group runs playgroups for children aged 0-5, pregnancy and breastfeeding support groups, well baby clinics, annual events and rents baby equipment.

Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) for discussion and exchange of views between Malaysian and Australian businesses, hold networking and information events.

Malaysian Australian Alumni Council (MAAC) – brings together Malaysian-based alumni associations for Australian universities, holds networking events, awards and activities for members.

Malaysian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce has developed to become the focal point for New Zealand related activities in Malaysia, and sustains a membership of over 130 individuals and 30 corporate businesses.

Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur is an organisation for all things Japanese in Malaysia. They house various facilities for members to use, a kindergarten and primary school for Japanese children and organise events.

There are groups for many more nationalities, a list of most of them can be found on the Expatypus site.

Learning Bahasa Melayu

Living in KL you will easily get by with just English in most places, however some knowledge of Bahasa can help you interact more with the local community, and enable to you to explore more within KL and Malaysia.

From time to time, our Parent Association volunteers hold regular conversational Bahasa Melayu classes.

The YMCA Kuala Lumpur in Brickfields, close to KL Sentral, holds regular Bahasa Melayu classes at different ability levels. From time to time, some expatriate groups may also run courses.

Getting to know KL – recommended tours

Some expatriate groups arrange tours of KL and surrounds for their members, and sometimes non members can attend. Other options for tours popular with our families include:

KL Photo Tours help you and your camera explore KL, run by two Australian expatriate women (and previously AISM parents) with a combined 45+ years’ experience of living in Kuala Lumpur.