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International Students Face Housing Crunch at National University of Malaysia as New Semester Begins

Write: Hou Bairu,Zhu Lijing

Editor: Wangbo Heyuhan

BANGI, 31 Oct - With the return to offline study, the National University of Malaysia(UKM)saw a significant influx of international students, reflecting a global eagerness to resume normalcy in education. This surge, while promising for the international community and the university alike, has presented an unforeseen challenge in terms of housing availability.

With the start of the new semester at UKM, many international students are forced to rent rooms due to the lack of space in the campus dormitories resulting in an increase in the cost of housing.

The demand for on-campus dormitories far exceeded the available supply, leaving a substantial number of students without a place to reside on campus. Faced with this predicament, many have been forced to seek housing off-campus, resulting in higher costs of living. Renting rooms outside the university grounds has become a necessity for these students, leading to increased financial strain.

*The photo is the dormitory in National University of Malaysia* (the photo is by HouBiaru)

The escalating cost of living has cast an unforeseen shadow over the lives of international students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, triggering a struggle against unexpected housing shortages as the new semester unfolds. Despite the diligent efforts of the university administration to address the on-campus accommodation deficit, students find themselves grappling with immediate challenges stemming from inflated living expenses.

Jiao Caiqi, a second-year international student from China, shed light on the complexity of the situation, stating, "While I currently reside in a dormitory, the evaluation process for admission based on previous residence hall performance adds an additional layer of uncertainty to securing dormitory placements. It's a challenging predicament for many of us."

Liu Baixiang, another second-year international student from China, responded to these sentiments, revealing, "Although my initial preference was the school dormitory, the unfortunate lack of vacancies led me to explore alternative housing options. I had to resort to renting a room outside the campus, and the monthly rent of 2500RM significantly surpasses my allocated accommodation budget. It's been a financial strain, and I genuinely hope the university can expedite the availability of more dormitories."

Amidst these housing challenges, UKM administration remains actively engaged in seeking comprehensive solutions to alleviate the financial strain on international students. There is a collective hope that these efforts will pave the way for accessible and affordable accommodation for all students, allowing them to focus wholeheartedly on their academic pursuits without the added burden of exorbitant living expenses. The aspiration is not merely to resolve the immediate predicament but to establish a sustainable framework that ensures the well-being and comfort of international students in the long run, fostering an environment conducive to their academic success and personal growth.

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