Welcome to our brand new series – the Uni Freshie Guide! I am Janice and I just ended my first year in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). I will be kicking off the very first part of the guide with a tour around my uni! Transiting from a JC/Poly to a Uni is not easy, don’t worry you are not alone! If you have seniors studying in NTU, you would most probably be able to get a heads up on the best hall canteens to grab your meals or where is good to study at.
But for the majority, stepping into NTU can be really foreign and it is difficult to find out the best places except those that you’ve stumbled across while on your way to the LTs. Fear not! That is what this guide is here for. It will show you various places to shop, study and eat in our NTU campus. As a first year student in NTU, these are some of the key hangouts to study for your upcoming mid-terms & finals, supermarkets to shop for your daily necessities especially if you are staying in hall and places to eat throughout the week in school.
North Spine is our main “shopping” area. It brings you to South Spine through the connecting walkway along the S4 building. There are many shops that you can shop and eat at! Here are a few places to grab a last-min present for your friends or when your last bottle of shampoo has been used up.
NTU Co-Op Shop @ The Hive
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm
Co-op Shop @ NTU
Our most happening campus co-op and the very first student run shop in NTU brings to you a variety of things that you can shop for! Ranging from snacks to NTU merchandises, you get to bring a touch of this co-op everywhere you go.
Handcrafted bears by Teddy Thotz
All profits from our sales will contribute back to society as co-operatives are tasked with a social mission to help society. Not to forget that social enterprises such as Teddy Thotz whose social mission is to harness the talents and skills of disadvantaged individuals and families to develop and make unique and useful things for the marketplace, are also selling their cute handmade teddies here in our shop.
Botanicaire by InVitro
Another of our popular sellers would be Botanicaire. A self-growing plant that does not require much effort of their caretakers! They can be placed indoors and some of the species of plants even helps to purify your air.
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 9pm
Picture from Zao Bao
This is your go-to place if you are looking to stock up on ingredients to cook in hall or to get your daily necessities. Prime has almost everything that you need. They also have a collection of Korean and Japanese snacks to satisfy your cravings. Lookout for the coffee machine to get your quick coffee fix – coming from experience, you are definitely going to get hooked onto coffee in uni..
Mon to Fri: 10am – 7pm
Sat: 10am – 2pm
Sun & PH: Closed
Mini Toons at North Spine Plaza (Picture from NTU)
Mini Toons is your one-stop gift avenue. They have tons of soft toys including the 3 bare bears as well as electronic gadgets ranging from the JBL speakers to polaroid cameras. You can be assured that you will be able to find a gift for your friends especially if you forgot about it (oops).
Mon – Fri: 9am – 4:30pm
Picture from OCBC FRANK
If you are in need for bank services or to apply for a loan, you can approach the friendly staff at OCBC FRANK. They have an entire outlet at the North Spine Plaza which is very useful to guide you in planning for your savings’ plan or financial loans.
The Hive is designed to be a new campus space for students to interact, socialise and network with one another outside of formal classes. A unique fact about our Hive is that some people sees it as the “Dimsum Basket Tower” while others see it as the beehive and the students in it are like the little bees working (studying) hard to collect their honey (results).
There are many TR (tutorial rooms) and benches available outside for students to study up till 2am everyday! It is usually very crowded during lunch hour because people will takeaway their food to study/chill out in the TR rooms or benches. 7pm onwards is a good time to get your seat at the Hive cause everyone is going back and the rooms are emptier.
Picture from The Straits Times
The Arc is NTU’s second learning hub, standing at 6-stories high, it has 56 smart classrooms that are specially equipped with multiple LED screens, flexible clustered seats as well as wireless communication tools.
An example of the Arc’s TR classrooms
These features are in line with the new learning arrangements, termed as “flipped classroom” model whereby the students will attend online lectures and materials before class. The TR classrooms here are also bigger as compared to the Hive.
This is my favourite spot to study in NTU! The flipped classroom model allows students in NTU to sit in circles so as to boost interaction amongst students. Students can fully utilise their time in this model by preparing before class and going straight into discussion for enhanced learning. This is different from the traditional lecture theatre model which do not encourage discussion and it usually a 1-to-1 way of communication. From the lecturer to the individual students.
Weekdays: 8.30am — 9.30pm
Saturday: 8.30am — 5.00pm
Picture from The Nanyang Chronicle
As a business student, I definitely cannot miss out our business library! This is the less crowded version of the famous Lee Wee Nam library that you can also locate at in North Spine. The library provides ample seats for students in basement 1 and basement 4 unless it is during the finals period.
Study pods (Picture from blogs@NTU)
There are 14 individual pods available for your group meetings and presentations rehearsals. This gives you an opportunity to rehearse your presentation in a similar environment so that you would not be too nervous especially during your very first presentation in class.
Hive (NTU Co-op Cafe)
Opening Hours: 9am – 2:30pm, 4-7:30pm
Price Range: $3.50-10++
Our NTU Co-op Cafe has one of the best food in school! Don’t be surprised to see a long queue during the peak lunch hour as students and professors, even tourists, would rush down to catch their favourites at the store.
We travelled down to NTU to try out the campus co-op food and we were definitely not disappointed by the range of drinks and food offered!
The best Tom Yum Pasta
Confirm plus chop I am sure that you won’t be able to stop drinking the tom yum gravy. Even Yu Xuan, our other 2017 scholar – who can’t take spicy, was slurping the gravy away happily despite having swollen lips after!
Fish and Chips
Their menu mainly comprises of western cuisine complimented with a tinge of asian fusion. For example – the one and only tom yum pasta! If you can’t take spicy, you can opt for their fish and chips or grilled chicken. All sold at only $6!
Eight Secrets Tea (left) and Iced Mocha (right)
My favourite drink has to be their eight secrets tea as well as their iced mocha. I would say that the quality of the drinks especially the caffeinated ones are comparable to the all-time favourite; Starbucks but at a cheaper price!
Here is the menu of the Co-Op café for your reference (in case you want to visit them right after this!)
Not to forget that, if you join NTU Co-Op as our member at a membership fee of $10 lasting throughout your course of study in NTU, you will be entitled to:
- 10% off NTU merchandises in the NTU Co-op Shop (located just opposite the cafe)
- $0.50 off majority of the food and beverages at the café!
Highly recommend you to sign up as a member! Simply just head down to the NTU Co-op Shop to enquire for more details. Our friendly student employees will be more than happy to help you out!
Hall 2 Canteen
Opening Hours: 9am – 7:30pm
Price Range: $3.50-5++
I personally call this canteen – the canteen of delicacies from China. You can find Chinese food ranging from xiao long baos to Chinese dumplings and even the Chinese version of our local yong tau foo.
YONG TAU FOO. It is my favourite in this canteen! The broth is so rich that you won’t be able to stop drinking it.
Well as you can see, I was obviously very excited to choose my food. 😀
I would recommend you to tryout their chewy noodles called “Kuan Fen 宽粉” or translated as the potato vermicelli noodles. But my personal fav is the maggie noodles! You can’t go wrong with that cause everything tastes better with maggie noodles. Of all my friends I’ve brought here to try this out, no one has yet to say that its bad (perhaps sometimes it can be a tad too salty).
Picture from Miss TamChiak
Look out for the student favourite: Ayam Penyet (a plate for only $4.50) which is located at the corner. They are super generous with the rice and chili portion which will leave your tongue tingling. There are crispy bits all over the basket and it goes really well with rice on its own!
Hall 14 Canteen
Opening Hours: 9am – 7:30pm
Price Range: $3-5++
Picture from Miss TamChiak
Dry banmian is the hype food in this hall and it is selling at only $3/bowl. It is drizzled with lots of vinegar and topped with chili. You can expect home-made juicy minced meat and crispy ikan bilis to complement the flavourful banmian!
This may mark the end of the guide but I am sure that our fellow schoolmates and your seniors will be more than willing to help you around school. Uni orientations will help to give you more insights on the favourite places in campus, don’t worry too much!
So there you have it! Places to eat, study and shop right at your fingertips as you begin your freshie life in NTU. If you get to know of more places in campus or you are a senior who wants to recommend places for the incoming freshies to try out, we want to know about it.
Let us know in the comment box below