Feature
Check In to Check Out
To some, the sheer size of NTU puts the “vast” into “varsity”
By Wang Meng Meng
ILLUSTRATION: THE NEW PAPER© SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS. REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION

Friends are a lifeline - so is Wireless Internet.
Go local or international.
Our most famous alumna, Stefanie Sun, was a resident of Hall 6.

At 200 hectares, NTU is the largest university campus in Singapore. That’s the equivalent of 240 football fields, and chances are freshmen may find its vastness somewhat overwhelming.

No worries, just check in to check out the campus. First, arm yourself with a smartphone. Next, load up your Facebook page and you are ready to fire away.

You can “check in” at 100 locations around the campus to “check out” fun facts about these places. Which canteens offer late-night suppers? Which Hall did Stefanie Sun stay in? Where are the best spots to have a barbecue? All will be revealed when you explore our new Facebook feature.

Amidst the greenery from the bordering forest and manicured lawns lies the beating heart of the university – the academic complexes. It may seem like a bewildering maze of buildings, so check out our funky illustration of NTU (above) to help you get your bearings right.

Like a well-oiled machine, the campus is served by four free shuttle bus services, including the popular Shuttle Bus D, which goes to Pioneer MRT Station. For students with their own set of wheels, open-air car parks cost a maximum of S$3.60 per day and covered car parks S$4.80, with free parking on weekends.

Upon admission into NTU, you will be given a matriculation card, or “matric card”, as it is commonly called. When you collect your matric card, you will be handed a credit card-sized device called a clicker. This gadget allows you to anonymously participate in lectures and large group presentations. Just click on the device to have your responses to questions automatically displayed for all to see.

Your matric card also helps you enter laboratories and sports and recreation facilities. It’s your “personal ID” during exams and you can use it to borrow books from the eight libraries around NTU, stocked with a whopping 1.2 million books, half a million e-books, 76,000 e-journals and 83,000 audio-visual items, plus the latest blockbusters like Harry Potter on Blu-ray!

Common chutes make returning books a breeze, while renewals can be done online. The NTU Library can even arrange to loan a book from an external library if the title cannot be found here.

If you lose your matric card, get it replaced at the Student Services Centre. There, you can do things like sort out your campus accommodation, update your personal data, rent a campus locker, get your activity records and apply for the tertiary student concession card.

Hungry go where? There are 18 canteens and eateries to explore here. From local favourites like chicken rice and nasi padang to pasta and steaks, there is a wide spectrum to satisfy your palate and pep you up.

Invisible to us all, a lifeline also runs through NTU – Wireless Internet. Wi-Fi is available at the academic complexes, halls of residence and canteens to ensure that you can tap into the trove of information in cyberspace and remain plugged into social media.

Speaking of social media, check out smartphone apps like “NTU mLearn”, which has a campus telephone directory and maps. This app also provides real-time shuttle bus info and takes you to your course materials and exam results. The NTU Undergraduate Admissions app gets you up to speed on courses, campus life, scholarships and financial aid. So, don’t worry, be ’appy!

Over in the Empire of Mark Zuckerberg, you can “Like” NTUsg on Facebook and launch the “starters’ kit app” to get tips or advice from fellow freshies or your seniors to help you navigate this brand new world. At NTUsg, you can also watch videos about how to get around NTU, take a dance tour of this campus and check out the best food stalls.

If you catch a virus in the process, hop over to the campus medical centre at Basement 2 of the South Spine next to the Lee Kong Chian Lecture Theatre. Pop upstairs if you need to see the dentist. Or get yourself healed the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) way at the TCM Clinic in the School of Biological Sciences.

Last but certainly not least, there are 24 HEY! racks around the campus where you can pick up the latest issue of this magazine. To keep up with the times, HEY! is also available as an iPad download, the first university magazine in Singapore to be found in the App Store.