GU VS. NTU

 

So my semester at NTU is well under way and I’m starting to really settle down here in SG! However, there are some things I miss about studying back in Glasgow, and seeing everyone start up again after summer is making me nostalgic for that walk through the West End and heading out with my friends for (cheap!) drinks. Having said that, I’m still loving life at NTU and figured it’d be fair to put them both to the test and see who fares better in a point by point comparison/battle.

ROUND ONE: CAMPUS

NTU

The positives:
Campus is really nice; there are parks, lakes, a sports centre with an outdoor pool, restaurants, shops and supermarkets, as well as regular buses going around (and out of) the grounds. The Hive and the Art, Design and Media building (ADM) are the most notable buildings here, aka the two buildings that will immediately come up the second you google image NTU. The view from the Hive is pretty impressive and it’s a great study space, and sitting on top of the ADM is a nice place to chill, just bring a blanket because the grass gets wet!

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ADM Building

The negatives:
While everything is close together on campus, beyond campus it’s a trek to get anywhere. Public transport is cheap, but the MRT (subway) still takes up to an hour to get to the very centre of Singapore.

Score: 3/5

GU

The positives:
Honestly, I love that Glasgow isn’t a campus university, but still keeps it’s buildings close together. Being able to detach yourself from campus life and hit the town in minutes via the subway really is a selling point for me. As well as, of course, the beautiful main building and cloisters.

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NTU’s Hive

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VS. GU’s Hive

The negatives:
Boyd Orr

Score: 4/5

Winner: GU [4-3]

ROUND TWO: FOOD

NTU

The positives:
Since it’s actually cheaper and easier than cooking for yourself, everyone here eats out in one of the many canteens every day. It’s a great way to meet people and catch up with friends. There’s also a huge variety of different dishes you can try from stalls representing places all around the world, like Korea and India. If you’re missing home, there’s some fairly decent Western options as well, and don’t worry if you dislike spice since most of the food here is mild (but you can grab something spicy if you want it). I really love the food in Singapore generally and it’s definitely something that’ll warrant its own post at a later date!

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My Halls canteen

The negatives:
Something that surprised me was that it’s not particularly healthy on campus. A lot of food here is fried and lacking in veg, which may be good or bad news depending on your level of health-consciousness.

Score: 4/5

GU

The positives:
You don’t need to eat on campus.

The negatives:
So obviously I’m not a huge fan of the canteens at GU. The Fraser building is usually crowded, the sandwiches just aren’t that nice and they cost more than they’re worth. Sorry, Glasgow.

Score: 1/5

Winner: NTU [7-5]

ROUND THREE: ACCOMODATION

NTU

The positives:
Living on campus is insaaaanely cheap. I’m paying $1068 Singapore dollars for this semester, that’s roughly £600(!) for almost five whole months, and a lot of extra travel money! The halls themselves can come with TV rooms, small gyms, laundry rooms and pantries. Plus, you get a roommate! They can be a local student or another exchanger. Personally, I have another exchange student and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them.

The negatives:
Uhh, you get a roommate! All exchange students get assigned double rooms, so you’ll definitely be sharing with someone else (unless you get lucky and they don’t turn up). Obviously, this can be pretty hit and miss, and while most people I know are on good terms with their roommate things don’t always work out so well. As well as this, halls get randomly assigned. Some halls are really nice with aircon and new rooms, and some are, well, less nice with no AC. I fall into the latter category but honestly, with how little I’m paying it’s hard to complain.

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Chinese Gardens on campus

Score: 3/5

GU

The positives:
Since most people don’t live in halls in 3rd year, I’ll compare NTU’s halls to normal Glasgow flats. In which case the positive is: you don’t live in halls. Having your own space, kitchen and living room (if you’re lucky), while sharing with good friends is hard to beat.

The negatives:
Again, hit and miss. Flats in Glasgow can be pricey, hard to find and kinda gross.

Score: 3/5

Winner: Tie [10-8]

ROUND FOUR: CLASSES

NTU

The positives:
This will depend on your subject. As a humanities student this means 3 hour blocks of classroom-like teaching 4 or 5 times a week. Since classes are so long, it means switching between class discussions, group work and lectures in rooms of about 15-20 people. As a result, you get to know your classmates quite well and it’s good for learning more about Singaporean culture. As well as that, there’s more of a variety when it comes to course choices.

The negatives:
It sorta feels like you’re back in high school. And although you do get used to it, 3 hours can really drag sometimes.

Score: 2/5

GU

The positives:
I have a newfound appreciation of short, one hour block classes and the combination of lectures and seminars.

The negatives:
It’s super easy to slack.

Score: 4/5

Winner: GU [12-12]

ROUND FIVE: KNOCKOUT

So when it comes down to it, GU and NTU have a lot of differences, and how you feel about either really depends on your preference. I’m glad I’m completing my degree at Glasgow, because overall it’s a place where I feel more comfortable and at home. But studying abroad for a year can really put you in a state of awe and I know there’s so much about NTU that I’ll miss when I head back.

And so, the winner is…. ???

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