Malaysia is a unique, Southeast Asian country, divided in two by the South China Sea. This division of land, along with the country’s location right in the heart of the Southeast Asian islands, makes for a diverse traveling and volunteering abroad experience. The peninsula, or the western part of Malaysia, is home to metropolitan cities (such as the capital, Kuala Lumpur), colonial architecture, relaxed islands, and tea plantations, while the eastern mass of Malaysian Borneo is made up of lush jungle, world renowned diving spots and rocky mountain peaks. In terms of volunteering, Malaysia has a diverse selection of options in a variety of settings. The best location for nature lovers to volunteer is Malaysian Borneo. This region is divided into three: Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan. Here, volunteers can find any kind of project relating to the natural environment. Marine conservation and animal welfare are both extremely popular options. The Malaysian jungle is dense with a wide range of animals, and the indigenous communities strive to keep it that way. Volunteers can elect to participate in programs that help preserve the orangutans that call the forest their home, or rather, help conserve the sun bear, or “honey bear”, population. If you prefer sea creatures over land animals then perhaps you will choose to aid in marine conservation efforts keeping the beaches clean and helping to preserve the endangered sea turtle, rehabilitating the animals until they are ready to be released back into their natural habitats Teaching English is another popular volunteer opportunity widely available throughout the country. Volunteers who wish to teach, have the option to do so both in cities and small rural villages. By teaching and being in contact with students, both children and adult, you will have the opportunity to get to know and learn from locals, each and every day. Keep in mind that volunteering in a rural area (this goes for environmental volunteers, too) often means living in rustic conditions (i.e. no electricity). Malaysia is just as diverse culturally as it is topographically. It is a melting pot of the Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. The locals speak Bahasa Malay, along with Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil (note: volunteers are not expected to know any of these languages). It’s traditions and cultural mannerisms are different than those of the west, therefore, it may take some time to adjust. Learning about and becoming immersed in a new culture takes time, and does not come without making mistakes – be patient and let your experiences flow. Volunteering abroad in Malaysia is an extremely rewarding experience, rich with adventure and learning that is truly priceless. You do not want to pass up the opportunity to volunteer in this country!