Careers

Goalpost: The vibrancy of UTown

Naveen Prakash (Second from right) with friends at NUS. Photo: Special Arrangement  

The urge to stay within the scope of my undergraduate course (Electronics & Communication Engineering) gave me the determination to give up the TCS job offer and take up a master's course in Electrical Engineering in National University of Singapore. Let me not mention about the academia, recreation and the facilities within the campus because people already knew about them.

With the dream of pursuing my master's abroad, I graduated from Velammal Engineering College this April. I've never been outside India before in my life. Thus started the quest for application to universities but it soon narrowed down to NUS after hours of discussions with peers and relatives. At the stage of confirming my course, I got to hear that the new students starting their semester this year will be put up in a new hostel facility built near NUS. Since I had never experienced a hostel life before, I was excited to move into University Town or UTown as they call it in NUS. Names can be deceptive; only when I entered UTown I realised it was actually a small city.

UTown has everything ranging from basic housing needs to research labs. We reside in Graduate Residence, two towers (North and South), 21 storeys each of which houses about 1,400 single graduates and 300 married graduates as well. I practically live in an apartment alongside three other people from India with separate rooms for each of us and other common facilities. The real amusement lies in the facilities provided to students outside these cozy rooms. The lobbies in each tower provide space for students to hang out, interact or watch movies on a 53” Plasma. Provided with laundry space and common skywalks to enjoy the peaceful times, Graduate Residence is just one part of UTown. There are also two residential colleges for undergraduates (Tembusu and Cinnamon) and two more are coming up inside the 19 ha of UTown in 2013. The residential colleges have common multi-purpose halls, huge dinning halls which serve Tandoori and Halal for the people from 39 different countries, and common lounges every four floors for student activities.

Education Resource Centre — a vibrant block to learn and grow is awarded the Green Mark (environment-friendly) Platinum award and has 24 X 7 PC commons, MAC commons, study commons and a starbucks as well.

The seminar rooms in the ERC are fitted with the newest technologies and video conferencing as well. Emphasis has been given to providing more space for students to have their quite time studying within the campus. I practically spend most of my evenings in ERC (mainly because of the AC) and even when I return to my room 100 metres away by 3 a.m., I can still find people hanging around the place doing their work. But the best part is, when we are free, we gather around to play games in the seminar rooms as a group throughout the night.

Oh, I forgot to mention about CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise) which provides the research labs for students and staff accelerating Singapore's thrust towards an inventive, innovative, and entrepreneurial economy.

The entire UTown is wi-fi enabled and we just can't get enough of the facilities they have provided for us for a nominal price to pay. Many of our seniors often tell us that we are the lucky batch as this facility opened just for us, this year, this semester. I sure believe we really are lucky. And so are you guys who are reading this article and aspiring to get into NUS and be a part of this vibrant community in University Town which provides you a great opportunity to interact with people from all countries and establish life-long friendship.

Naveen Prakash T., MSc. Electrical Engineering (FoE), National University of Singapore

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 2:26:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/goalpost-the-vibrancy-of-utown/article2708915.ece

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