Whether you are planning to study in Newcastle University (NUMed), Southampton University (UoSM), Multimedia University (MMU), Raffles University Iskandar or Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, they all fall under the same roof of Educity - and are all within 10 minutes walking distance of each other.
Today, I’ll just be sharing my personal experiences of studying in an Educity based university and giving you a guide on how to get around and what’s nearby.
(Subject to change in the future, I will keep track of edits at the top of the page)
Being mainly a food blog, I think it would be a slight crime if I didn’t talk about this aspect of living near Educity. You have a few clusters of food depending on how far you’re willing to go.
Within the confines of Educity, you have the cafeteria itself in the International Student Village (one accommodation choice) - this one changes from time to time, but you have all the essentials to survive here. Then, you have cafeterias in most of the campuses. I think the downside about this would be that most close around 5.30/6pm, so they are NOT dinner options.
In addition to mix it up there’s a connection between University of Reading and NUMed (walkway) and there are a few food trucks that come (change daily) as well as even a cool vending machine that serves up different kinds of bento boxes for you (don’t expect too much, but it is quite a neat concept).
Then you have this small shopping area (with a Mydin) nearby that has a mamak shop (Al Falal), a Subway & a small Malay style food court about 15 minutes walking distance away (have to walk via crossing a highway bridge crossing), but I would say this isn’t too popular amongst students in Educity.
About 5-8 minutes driving distance away would be a small square with quite a few food choices (although more to the expensive side). But I guess cheaper, more budget options include Kang Bee Hong & Lym Tea. If you want to read more about the food options there you can check out this post right over here!
Then if you want to go a bit further out, you have the options in Gelang Patah and Bukit Indah. (Most people say Gelang Patah is nearer, but I would say they’re both roughly 15 minutes driving) Both have a decent selection of food.
Popular food spots for students would probably include Bai Xiang (a cheap mixed rice shop that I personally frequent quite a bit) and Nasi Kukus Ayam Dara (which is a pretty decent Nasi Kukus restaurant in Gelang Patah). You also have numerous Chinese style hawker centres including Restoran 777 GP & Heng Park Hawker Center. KFC, Pizza Hut and Dominoes are here too.
Bukit Indah-wise, you have basically Aeon Mall, and everything inside it, you have quite a few restaurants opposite including Mian Dui Mian (or Face-To-Face), which is a popular pan mee restaurant in both Johor and KL alike, and a McDonalds located conveniently opposite Aeon Bukit Indah. (I would say 15 minutes to reach Bukit Indah, 20 minutes to actually reach Aeon Bukit Indah)
If you’ve living near the campus itself, the only real food delivery (at time of writing) would be Dominos & Pizza Hut (and depending on where you actually stay they might not do delivery), but I wouldn’t count on it, because they don’t really like delivering to this particular area at time of writing.
So, I think I’m just going to address first what most people’s concern would probably be: ATMs. Not too many ATMs, but I would say if you’re a Southampton student, your best bet is probably to use a AMBank credit card, as the ONLY ATM in Educity is AMBank, and in UoSM itself.
If you’re not, I think you’re quite free and easy with regard to what to use. Inside Mydin, (nearest supermarket) there is RHB and CIMB ATMs. Aeon Bukit Indah has Maybank, RHB, CIMB and AMBank ATMs, with a Public Bank ATM opposite.
But strictly speaking, I think RHB & CIMB are probably still the better choices (I think you will eventually run into one of them whether it be in a petrol station, or just somewhere convenient).
Grocery-wise, there are probably 4 options for you to go with. First would be Mydin - convenient, nearby, probably a cheaper option, but I personally think choices are quite limited here and just keep it mind they don’t have a non-halal section here. The next nearest would be Citrine Hub, which has a Jaya Grocers. Citrine Hub is probably 10-15 minutes driving distance away from Educity, and this is probably a more premium option. Citrine Hub also has Sushi House (Japanese food option), and a few more expensive restaurants, but it is one of the newer malls.
Thirdly, you have Aeon Bukit Indah. Big for the area, small for Johor Bahru, convenient for students would be how I would describe this mall. If you need clothes, stationary, basically anything, this is where most students go to sort themselves out.
But I think by far the most popular option for students is grocery delivery services. Both Tesco and HonestBee (Aeon) provide delivery to the Nusajaya area with quite a small delivery fee, so this is a really popular option for students staying in Educity/nearby.
I think that there are quite a few options to consider depending on what you’re looking for.
First you have International Student Village. The most obvious choice, the most convenient choice. You probably don’t even need a car if you stay in ISV. I think this still remains the cheapest option for students in general, and they have a management team to sort out if you need anything to help you (although the feedback isn’t exactly the greatest about staying here), but this place is probably the most convenient just because it is walking distance to all of the universities here.
Next, you have EcoNest (which is in the middle of the square which I talked about in the food section). EcoNest is a brand new apartment in Iskandar, and it looks absolutely fantastic - beautiful pool, gym, sky garden. But, most people are a bit put off by the price, because it isn’t the cheapest. Most universities have the option of renting a unit under university management - you get the benefit of the furnishing, a bit of maintenance (note: NO HOUSE CLEANING provided in the contract) but at a slightly higher price. Most people are able to find significantly cheaper units by sourcing private units.
I guess the added benefit of staying in EcoNest is that you can access the bus run by EcoWorld (takes you to Educity, Aeon Bukit Indah and a few other spots). You also have badminton courts which you can book for free at EcoNest, which is a real big plus point.
A few outsider choices would be EcoBotanic (a shared house where you get a room) - you need to find an agent for this - Impiana (which is behind the Mydin, but you probably need a car to transport yourself) and Horizon Residence (if you want to live a bit nearer to Bukit Indah, but drive further everyday).
My personal recommendation is to stay in whatever your respective university suggests (whether it be ISV or EcoNest) and just do so for one year. After you find some friends or just people you want to stay with, that is when you find your own private housing - this way you meet new people and get to go to events together with friends.
EduCity is the most exciting place in the world, which I guess makes it a very conducive environment for studying. Sports-wise, there is a sports complex in EduCity itself. But this comes at the caveat at only being able to use it for free on Wednesdays. You can, however, get a membership which allows you to use all the facilities as you like at a price of RM1,200 (one year). You have a swimming pool, futsal, volleyball, netball & badminton courts, a gym and a running track there.
However, I think most people don’t really like using the gym at EduCity, and within the area, the more popular gym would be Eco Fitness (a gym in the square surrounding Eco Nest). It is a really new place with excellent facilities, so I definitely do recommend checking that place out. You also have a few boxing gyms in Gelang Patah to suit your fancy.
Other badminton courts include NS Sport (Gelang Patah) and Pro One (but this one is about 25 minutes away).
Driving in Educity
One popular question a lot of people have would be whether they need a car in EduCity. My personal answer would probably be no, but it is useful. Living at ISV/EcoNest, most of your needs can be taken care of with a bus ride/walking/the odd Grab once in a while.
As with accommodation, I honestly recommend living without a car in the first year, and assessing from there whether you need a car moving forward. That being said, as someone who is fortunate enough to be driving around, a car is REALLY useful given how there isn’t that much in the EduCity area itself.
Not too many petrol stations nearby, the nearest would probably be Caltex (near Citrine Hub) or Petronas/Shell in Gelang Patah. You also have a few other Petronas stops in the Bukit Indah area.