I am posting on behalf of a friend.
My friend applied for a Fulbright Scholarship (the Teaching Assistantship one). She was very excited when she found out that she got into this very prestigious program, but overwhelmed because she had applied for Korea, but got Malaysia (a place that she hasn't researched).
She has a very short time to make the decision on whether to accept or not, and is torn about her decision mostly because of safety concerns. She heard about the terrorist activities in the east of the country, and the statement on the US travel site "Violent crime against travelers and expatriates is relatively rare" is quite vague, and not reassuring. She is also afraid of standing out and attracting unwanted attention - she is tall and blond.
Because Malaysia is a new participant in this program, not very many details have been worked out. She would be placed in Jahor, Terenngannu, or Pajang. She would be living in a residential school in a remote town/village and teaching English for 20 hours a week for a year. There would not be any sort of overseeing body that she'd report to nearby (Fulbright has a center in Kuala Lumpur).
Does anyone have any information regarding safety issues in those three states? First hand knowledge, especially from long term stays, would be especially helpful.
What are the living conditions in remote towns in that region of the country? Are there parts in those areas that are very difficult to access and travel to and from?
I appreciate any information you may have!