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Med School Commute - London 2016 watch

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    Hi all, I'm really stuck and would appreciate some advice from current uni students/med students or anyone who can help !

    I live in London and haven't been given a place in university halls due to my proximity to campus. I have two main choices :

    1. Commute - 1 hour 10 door to door (45 mins on the tube) annual cost around 2/3 K

    2. Private halls - 2 mins walk from the Med School - studio - cost = 12K

    From a financial point of view, it make sense to commute but will I miss out on the student life? Independence ? Being able to come back home whenever, do whatever and bring whoever I want around?

    I know Medicine is quite intensive, i'll be in 5 days a week but one thing I like about coming home is I can get away from all the hustle and bustle from the medical school area to the house we have in the suburbs. At the same time, I want to experience living away completely from my parents + being able to do what I want. It'll be a studio room - so I don't have to deal with the food being stolen but then people say you make friends in the communal kitchens etc?

    Is the 12K worth it? I was overlooking the fact before that I would be paying for just room. It's the experience I get as well. Just not sure whether to "save" this money. N.B it's my parents money , my maintenance loan won't cover this amount.

    Any help would be appreciated. Cheers !
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    When I did my undergrad (not medicine) I moved out for the first year, unfortunately I got stuck with a large group of girls studying drama and it was a horrible experience.

    In second and third years I commuted with some friends, we were in uni 4 days a week and drove a day each per week with a 1hr 20min round trip. Despite the large commute we all stayed really involved with the nightlife and being social with our uni mates, although our university was quite small and the course was very laid back. Other students were more than happy to host you staying over for nights out and would arrange other things like barbecues, birthday parties, the usual social get togethers.

    Perhaps move out for the first year, see how you feel and whether the 'experience' is worth the extra money, your parents also might enjoy having some extra freedom from your absence or they may miss you dearly! First year is more ideal as it is typically the most laid back (5 year undergrad at least, don't think the same is true for GEM) and you can enjoy freshers and meeting new people with more freedom as you state. If you don't think its worth paying all that extra money then move back for the latter years, by then you should already have some great friendships and experienced much of the nightlife, etc.
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    Hi,

    If I remember correctly you've firmed Barts too? I remember talking to the accommodation people on the offer holder day who said that generally they clear their waiting list by September/October i.e. if you get rejected for accommodation now then you are likely to get a place in halls anyway but just a bit later than everyone else.

    Also, I know two people who study at Barts who commute (and they both live near London so got rejected for accommodation). One said she gets exhausted commuting every day but she likes that at home she gets everything prepared for her like food etc so she can concentrate on her studies but she feels she gets some uni experience. My other friend lived out with her friends and second year and didn't like it so decided to commute instead which she prefers. Of course this is only the perspective of two people- I have talked to lots of people that love living out.

    I guess one option is living at home for the first year and living out for the rest. Or you could wait and see whether you get the halls you've applied for- maybe ring them up to ask whether they can tell you where you are on the waiting list and how likely you are to get uni accommodation?



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    (Original post by Marathi)
    When I did my undergrad (not medicine) I moved out for the first year, unfortunately I got stuck with a large group of girls studying drama and it was a horrible experience.

    In second and third years I commuted with some friends, we were in uni 4 days a week and drove a day each per week with a 1hr 20min round trip. Despite the large commute we all stayed really involved with the nightlife and being social with our uni mates, although our university was quite small and the course was very laid back. Other students were more than happy to host you staying over for nights out and would arrange other things like barbecues, birthday parties, the usual social get togethers.

    Perhaps move out for the first year, see how you feel and whether the 'experience' is worth the extra money, your parents also might enjoy having some extra freedom from your absence or they may miss you dearly! First year is more ideal as it is typically the most laid back (5 year undergrad at least, don't think the same is true for GEM) and you can enjoy freshers and meeting new people with more freedom as you state. If you don't think its worth paying all that extra money then move back for the latter years, by then you should already have some great friendships and experienced much of the nightlife, etc.
    Thanks for your reply !
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    (Original post by prospectivemed56)
    £12k is a breathtakingly huge sum of money - for a 40 week halls contract, that's £300 a week! Usually London halls are around £180 a week, so you're paying double.

    For comparison, you'd likely be paying £500/month (ie 6k a year) for a room in a houseshare, for the whole year, and could probably manage to find somewhere 30 min from the university which for London is quite reasonable. Obviously you'd need to factor in transport, but you can cut costs by using the bus rather than the tube, or getting a bike.

    The other thing to consider, particularly if you are planning on moving into the private halls for first year and then moving back in with your parents for clinical years as suggested by the commentator above, is where your clinical placements are likely to be (ie, Barts=east London and Essex, Kings=south London and Surrey, etc). It's easy enough to get to a random south London hospital in deepest darkest zone 9 for an 8 am ward round if you're based out of Croydon or Norwood, but not so easy if you're in Barnet or Enfield!

    Personally, I'd stay at home for first year, then move into a medic houseshare for second year, and use the £9k difference for something more worthwhile. Then again, I lived at home and commuted 45 min each way for 4 years during my degree (at a university where most people did), and had a bloody marvellous time, so that might influence my response.
    Hi thanks for your reply. My clinical placements will be in East london and Essex as you said ( Barts) but I live in Zone 5 which is like the opposite side , but apparently I'll only get given accommodation at the hospital if the commute is more than 45 minutes or something.

    Did you feel you missed out on Freshers + the nightlife etc?
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    (Original post by 7me7)
    Hi,

    If I remember correctly you've firmed Barts too? I remember talking to the accommodation people on the offer holder day who said that generally they clear their waiting list by September/October i.e. if you get rejected for accommodation now then you are likely to get a place in halls anyway but just a bit later than everyone else.

    Also, I know two people who study at Barts who commute (and they both live near London so got rejected for accommodation). One said she gets exhausted commuting every day but she likes that at home she gets everything prepared for her like food etc so she can concentrate on her studies but she feels she gets some uni experience. My other friend lived out with her friends and second year and didn't like it so decided to commute instead which she prefers. Of course this is only the perspective of two people- I have talked to lots of people that love living out.

    I guess one option is living at home for the first year and living out for the rest. Or you could wait and see whether you get the halls you've applied for- maybe ring them up to ask whether they can tell you where you are on the waiting list and how likely you are to get uni accommodation?



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    Hi thanks for your reply. Yeah that's correct, what are your plans accommodation wise for Barts?I was told that it was unlikely i'd get the place in halls. I called up before but didn't manage to get through but I'll try again and see what they say I guess.
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    (Original post by prospectivemed56)
    So, important context is that I did my first degree in Dublin, where fees are quite low but students (except for the very poor) get no grant or loans from the government at all. 10/12 of my group of friends lived at home (and of the two who didn't, one was from the US, and the other left home in second year to move in with her boyfriend, who was from down the country and thus lived in a shared house). The first year halls were also only 10 minutes down the road from my house - i.e. also a 30 minute commute from the university.

    But that proviso aside, I couldn't fault living at home. I went out 3/5 nights in fresher's week, joined tons of societies and clubs, and during first year would be doing activities most nights during the week, going away for weekends, etc. Quite often, my mum would ring to ask if I wanted anything ordered from the Chinese, only to find out that I was in Galway or London for paintballing or a debating competition!

    Yes there was a certain level of domestic work expected of me (hoovering, doing the dishwasher, driving siblings/parents around), but that also meant that I never had to stress out about shopping, laundry, or being stuck in town not being able to afford a taxi at 3 am. I would say that the one cramp in my style was regarding, ahem, romantic visitors, but you learn to live with such things.

    Obviously this all depends on your relationship with your parents and how they would feel at you stumbling in at 3 am or spending most of Sunday horribly, horribly hungover, but it worked really well for me. I even declined an offer of on-campus accommodation for my final year because it sounded too stressful!
    Yeah I cook for myself but there are things I take for granted like laundry which is a big thing . I've heard that lots of students come home with their washing anyways at weekends and things ahah.

    That's my major worry is the romantic visitors haha, can bring whoever I want whenever I want but at a large cost ....
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    (Original post by prospectivemed56)
    Find a bloke/gal with a double bed and good soundproofing in their flat

    (edit: ideally one who is local! For never was a story of more woe / than that of James, who lived in Wimbledon / and Jane, who lived in Stoke)
    Have to work on my game whilst studying Medicine lmao!
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    (Original post by LOAend)
    Hi thanks for your reply. Yeah that's correct, what are your plans accommodation wise for Barts?I was told that it was unlikely i'd get the place in halls. I called up before but didn't manage to get through but I'll try again and see what they say I guess.
    I haven't completely decided yet, but I do want to live out if I can. I will probably wait to see whether I get a place in halls or not and go from there. Did you manage to get through to the accommodation people?



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