Malaysia is becoming an increasingly active player in international education and ranks as the 11th largest exporter of education in the world. Malaysia's recognisable advantages in the international education market include its strategic location between the East and the West, cultural diversity, and a relatively stable socio-economic environment. In addition to these natural advantages, it is important for the Malaysian Government and its higher education institutions to develop a holistic strategy to create a conducive learning environment and to build a regional higher education hub. By taking a demand-side approach, this study highlights factors attracting foreign students to study in Malaysia. Rich information about the country and learning institution and referral by family and friends appear to be the most important sources of influence for foreign students to choose Malaysia. Other considerations include cost and quality of educational programmes, while geographical and cultural proximity are less important than expected.