±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Expat Experiences

Malaysia > Expat Experiences


Stephen Sovie, Tanjung Tokong area of Penang

Saturday February 16, 2013 (15:06:40)
Stephen Sovie
Stephen Sovie

Who are you?

My name is Stephen Sovie

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I have always been drawn to Asia and after visiting a number of countries in Asia I decided upon Malaysia, primarily because I had a close friend here and because of the MM2H visa program.

What challenges did you face during the move?

The biggest challenge I faced was with the US banking system and finding a suitable way to access my money in the US.

How did you find somewhere to live?

My Malaysian friend assisted me in buying a home, by visiting the homes, sending photos and information and arranging the Sales and Purchase agreement.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

There is a large expat community here, but I choose not to have a close relationship with it, due to the cliqueness of most groups. I primarily associate with the locals for friendship and social contacts.

What do you like about life where you are?

The best part of living where I do is that just about everything I need, such as pharmacy, banks, grocery stores medical clinics, restaurants and other eateries are within walking distance.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

I must admit that at times I have to struggle with the extreme heat and humidity, especially on days where the air quality is bad.

How does shopping (for food/clothes/household items etc.) differ compared to back home?

Regarding shopping here, I find that the choices and selection of just about everything is nothing like home. Here when shopping for an item, if it does exist at all here, you only have 1 or 2 choices.

I enjoy the food in Malaysia, but I do miss the varieties of food from back home. It is rather expensive and somewhat difficult to eat healthy here, as people do not like salads and most of the vegetables are cooked in a great deal of oil. With rice being served at every meal it is quite easy to gain weight quickly, especially for us Westerners who do not eat that much of it.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Many people have suffered from culture shock after moving abroad, but I had no problems at all. I never experienced any kind of discrimination or ill feelings from the locals, but I have received some nasty remarks and behaviour from other expats because of my nationality.

My advice to anyone moving to Malaysia, or any other country to live is to mix with the locals and treat them as equals. Too many expats come here and only socialize with their fellow countrymen. If you are going to do that you might as well stay home.

Stephen shares more information about life in Malaysia through his blog Retired in Malaysia.

Link  QR 

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

Bupa Global is one of the world’s largest international health insurers. We offer direct access to over 1.2m medical providers worldwide, and we settle directly with them so you don’t have to pay up front for your treatment. We provide access to leading specialists without the need to see your family doctor first and ensure that you have the same level of cover wherever you might be, home or away.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.