So, you're gonna be one of the UTAR member huh? I'm glad that you chose UTAR as your next life destination which is either Foundation or Degree. Later on, you will find our 'famous' tagline:- ‘UTAR - My Choice’ somewhere (not gonna tell you now).
I can say that the only cheapest private university you can find in Malaysia is here, UTAR. As you might know, we have a large field of studies includes business, arts & social science, ICTs, engineering and bioscience & chemistry. You can find more details about the courses at http://www.utar.edu.my.
In this and upcoming posts, I will emphasize more on my campus , UTAR Kampar. If you're not belong to this campus, you can also take some guides from here and ignore those infos which are not applicable to your campus.
I can say that we have most of the facilities, accommodations and hangout areas here but Kampar is kinda boring. For those who like outings, I have to tell you "Sorry, you have to get along with it." We have no cinemas here but you have to reach Ipoh (about 1 hour drive) for them. Shoppings? We have one.
It is located at Taman Kampar Perdana (at the Eastgate of campus), if you are not bored with it. :). There are quite a lot of shops especially photostat shops, 3-5 cybercafes, and we have KFC at Tesco Kampar and Kampar Old Town and Pizza Hut at Kampar Old Town. Sadly, we don't have McDonalds here... :(
The place is kinda sub-urban which is a good site for the campus. Quiet, full with nature and virgin. For those who don't like to go out (like me), you can adjust yourself in no time.
Let me see what you can do in the preparation to come to Kampar. I suggest that you should come earlier like about 2-3 days before the orientation days. In these extra days, tour around Kampar by yourself like restaurants, shops and other things and familiar the roads here. It's easy and you won't get lost. Plus, you will make sure that you will attend the orientation day. It's important!
UTAR doesn't provide hostels for you. Instead, you can stay at the Danish house (Westlake Homes) and nearby housing areas like Taman Bandar Baru Kampar, Taman Kampar Perdana and etcs.
expensive and you need to pay extra money for additional bills especially the utility bill. Don't trust the site's informations as some of them are not true at all. Plus, each time you enter the area, you need to show your entrance card before you enter and for those who have vehicles, you need to get a sticker which cost you a bit. Kinda hassle huh? This area might be noisy because first, you are staying with other people you don't know under one roof and second, you can't guarantee that the who-are-not-study-but-to-enjoy-their-life people didn't exist around you. I stayed there for a semester and left because of the stupid, outrageous electricity bill and noisy neighbors. All of my housemates were good and nice except one which is a retard! Sorry if my words kinda hurts...
Although it's a bit expensive, you have some nice facilities here like hot shower, refrigerator, study and dining tables and chairs, free laundry service, housekeeping (once in a week), internet services and security guards. If you like to enjoy your life with lots of friends, this place is yours. You can call them (the details in the site are not accurate as I said) for the renting fees and further enquiries. They have houses and shophouses to choose from. There are other rental service other than Danish House like KT Management and etcs.
For those who prefer others than Danish house, you can look for rents around. You might have some troubles like bargaining the rental fee and getting the facilities like hot shower, furniture and other stuffs with the landlord. You can get an agent to solve the problem. For me, I preferred to get the business done straight with the landlord. You can get a house, shophouse, apartment or a room in an occupied accommodation. You can get cheaper rent if you can stay with another stranger as your roommate.
If you're staying outside, the first trouble is that you need to get Internet connection which means you need to register for it yourself (or with your housemates) because some of the landlords won't do it for you. Don't know get into wireless broadband like P1, Maxis, Celcom and DiGi here because the coverage sucks. Kampar is situated nearby a hill so just stick back to Streamyx. I know Streamyx provides shitty service but they are still the best of the best. Just get a Streamyx combo and your boredom will end soon. I know some of you can't survive without internet. We need internet not just only for the sake of entertainment but for your studies too!
I suggested that for those who are science students like from engineering, ICTs and other science, you might want to stay at Taman Kampar Perdana because your faculty blocks (D & E) are nearer to you. Unless you have motorbike or car, you can stay at Danish house. Taman Kampar Perdana is for those who prefer more quiet environment and less entertainment people. The shops in this area mainly are not occupied but still, you have Tesco which is about 5-10 minutes walk.
Currently, I’m staying at Apartment Perdana at Taman Kampar Perdana. If you want to get an apartment of three rooms and two bathrooms, you can message me via comments and I try my best to get informations about my place. You can try to get the contact for rents from here.
Choose wisely and be clear on the information to avoid misunderstanding. Get written agreements as the legal records. Make bargains until you get the reasonable deals.
Things to bring/get
You must bring things as if you are going to have a new home. I can’t tell what you should and shouldn't bring but if you forget or can’t bring them, you can always purchase them here or at Ipoh. I saw some of them bring their own gym stuffs too. He he he… It’s your choice. Anyway, you MUST bring at least a formal apparel (Male & Female) if you don’t want to purchase them again. It’s crucial especially for business students. Science students and other won’t make use of them but they are needed during presentations. So, remember to bring them.
If you don’t have a vehicle, you can get a bicycle here in a cheap price. For those who wants to drive, you must bring along your vehicle documents for registration. The charge for motorcycle is RM 10 per semester and car is RM 100 per semester. Bicycle is free of charge. So, which would you prefer? One thing you need to take care is don’t simply park your vehicles around the campus because the guards will lock your tires. This rule is applied to all vehicles INCLUDING bicycles. Fine will be charged to free your property. :P
If you can't afford both, you can take UTAR bus by paying bus tickets which you can purchase them at the finance department at Block C - Student Pavilion (offices above the canteen). If not, you can walk towards the campus but you will be sweating during the journey. For those who stay at Eastgate (Taman Kampar Perdana), the distance is shorter (better for science students).
Please have make photocopies of your important certs like SPM, STPM and equvialent qualification certs,your own IC card, your passport size photos (in case), your parents'/guardians' IC cards and your parents' signature. Please ask UTAR workers which documents need to be verified and verified them before you come to UTAR. You might don't want to get your application back to your hometown just for the sake of approvals from your parents and all those stuffs (unless your hometown is near to your campus). That's why it is important to have them. Just that you use your parents'/guardians' signatures only when you have their permission.
Computer & Other Devices
Yes. You must have one PC either it's a desktop, notebook or netbook. You need them to do your homework and assignments and look for information in internet. Other than that, it's your only entertainment you will have (there's no time for you to watch TV). You can use the wireless internet from UTAR when you are in UTAR compounds. Register your computer and make settings at third floor in Block B for free.
If you want to save your money, you can get a inkjet/mono laser printer for your convenience. There are a few shops where you can do your printing but they ain't cheap. If you have a camera, bring it with you because you can take shots on important details such as your lecture slides, notes, announcement and others. This way can save your time and energy without jotting them with pen and paper. Just that turn off your flash when you use your photo during lecture because you will attract/distract other people especially your lecturer. You can use your phones to take photos too but the picture won't be so clear.
You might want to bring a few of them (if they are related to your course). As you know, in university, the books we are using are all darn expensive. There are two ways for you to get them:- purchase them at bookstores or get a photocopy of the whole book. I choose to get photocopy ones because I'm not a rich guy. I will buy them when they are really important to me until the day I work. Consult your lecturers about the reference books. You can get a list of ideal reference books based on your course structure details (when you have access to your UTAR web portal).
UTAR will ask the students to apply their individual Public Bank account for payments. They won't accept other banks.
Plus, you can apply UTAR Master Debit Card from the bank after you've registered. It's free and no annual fee. This card can let you gain some points while you make payments just like other debit cards. It's not an ATM so you can use it anywhere. For me, I have Maybankard Visa Debit Card and UTAR's one because I used my Maybank card for saving and purchasing while UTAR card is for my payments in UTAR. For those who are going to apply PTPTN loan, you MUST get a Public Bank account and SSPN account. Finish the applications before you come to UTAR.
To withdraw money, there are two ATM machines in UTAR Kampar at upper floor of Block C. If not, you can reach to any ATM outlets at Kampar New Town or Tesco Kampar. I suggest that you should take precautions to avoid snatchers and thieves. There are few cases in Kampar where the UTAR students become the victim. So, be careful when you are having a sum of money on your hand.
You will feel a bit lonely when you came to a place where you don't know anyone. Don't be sad. Your friends might feel the same and you might not notice that some of them are actually studying at the same campus. No matter how, it's a good start to make new friends. Don't be shy to talk around, get to know people from other states and try to be good.
Talking about my experience, I came to UTAR Kampar with my classmate from Form 6. At first, during the orientation, I released that there's no one I know or met in my own course. A bit sweaty and nervous. So, during that time, my faculty was Faculty of Engineering & Science (FES). While waiting to get my goodies before going for the orientation, we need to prepare our documents for verification. In a sudden, I dropped my IC on the floor. There's a kind guy who help me to pick it up and we started to chit chat. I called it as a fate that we know each other but not very well. I'm not sure where is he now since he was in my course. Maybe he got transferred or something else.
During my orientation, I was lucky to meet two schoolmates which are not so close but we know each other a bit. Although that I have companions, I still feel that I'm alone in the hall. To distract my nervousness, I browsed my goodies and there were manuals and other stuffs that I can read. Lolz! You can consider me as introvert and shy which is true.
You might feel awkward during the orientation and at the first week of your lecture session. But then, you will get lots of friends and hang out in a group of people in no time. My group was formed about 2-3 weeks time! Fast huh? I felt that we are meant to be together at that time and they was like my close friend back in my schooling period. See? No sweat! So, don't worry about friendship. Some of them take higher level:- Getting into relationship! I don't know what they are thinking about but it's their choice to do so. Just make sure that your mission here is to graduate with your degree...
Homesick. This is one of the problematic issues faced by every UTARians including me. Although my hometown is only about 35 km far but I still homesick. Can't help it unless you call your family everyday. At the first two months, I feel happy to meet new friends but after that, my mind started to roam back to my family. Quite desperate but I managed to deal with it by video call my family once a while when I'm free. I hardly use my handphone because I rather send and receive SMSes than make calls. It's good to talk to your family members to get rid of homesick feeling. At the same time, you are letting your family that you are doing fine in UTAR... So, remember to call them when you are here! :)
Next, Food! Some of them prefer to cook and some prefer to eat outside. It depends on yourself but if you're staying at Danish house, you are prohibited from cooking meals. Small meals like Maggi mee and bread is fine but cooking 2-3 dishes is a no no. So, this is another aspect to think where you should get your accomodation. That's why it's important to choose suitable home for yourself. The price of meals here are reasonable but they might taste bad for your buds. Cooking on your own is kinda troublesome but at least, you can cook your favorite meals. So, which is your choice?
UTAR has two canteen: The main cafeteria at Block C and the dry cafeteria between Block D & E. For those who are science students, you will prefer the dry cafeteria because the place is not as full as Block C. You hardly can find a proper sit at proper place.
See? How to look? The chairs and tables will never be enough!
The dry cafeteria doesn't provide much choices of food, I think they are okey in the aspect of taste and money. If you want to dine at Block C, you should be there before 11 am or after 2 pm because between these two hours, you might have chance to grab chair!
Anyway, make yourself comfortable and suit the condition.
"Adjust yourself to suit the environment rather than the environment adjust itself to suit you".