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    Hi
    I've applied for Ocean Science with Marine Conservation at Plymouth Uni, and I was wondering how common it is for first years to go in private shared accommodation.
    My student loan seems to barely cover the cost of the cheapest student halls, let alone cover food expenses etc. , so it looks like private accommodation is the only option, as it appears to be cheaper, and bigger! Even if I were to get a part time job whilst studying at uni (which I think I will have to anyway), I still don't think it would work financially whilst staying in the halls.

    So are there many people that stay in private accommodation, and would you get put into housing with all first years? Would I miss out on much by being in private accommodation?
    Thanks
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    Also, when are we meant to apply for accommodation please?
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    As for when to apply, I was wondering the same thing.
    If you're applying this year, I think you can do so when you have confirmed Plymouth as your firm choice.
    If, like me, you applied for deferred entry last year... I'm still trying to figure it out. I think I'm going to contact them to ask them directly. I'll let you know!
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    Huh, seems like part of my answer wasn't posted... It was supposed to say:

    Hi!
    I'm also going to Plymouth, studying Medicine. I applied for deferred entry last year, so I already started looking at accommodation. From what I've seen so far, it would seem that most first years go into halls, and that it's kind of expected - which isn't to say that you can't do private housing, just that it's highly recommended to go into halls for the whole experience and meeting people in your first year.

    I hope this helps!

    PS: lucky you, you get a maintenance loan! I don't qualify for it, as I haven't been in the UK for the past 5 years...
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    Quick update - Just had the Residence Life Team on the Phone, and they said that the accommodation portal would open mid- to end of February (they'll send an email when it opens).
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    (Original post by LéonieF)
    Huh, seems like part of my answer wasn't posted... It was supposed to say:

    Hi!
    I'm also going to Plymouth, studying Medicine. I applied for deferred entry last year, so I already started looking at accommodation. From what I've seen so far, it would seem that most first years go into halls, and that it's kind of expected - which isn't to say that you can't do private housing, just that it's highly recommended to go into halls for the whole experience and meeting people in your first year.

    I hope this helps!

    PS: lucky you, you get a maintenance loan! I don't qualify for it, as I haven't been in the UK for the past 5 years...
    Which halls have you decided on? Im also going to be studying medicine but there's too much to choose from! Any advice would be really appreciated!
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    (Original post by samrosenwalker)
    Which halls have you decided on? Im also going to be studying medicine but there's too much to choose from! Any advice would be really appreciated!
    Hi!
    I havent chosen yet!
    Here's a msg I posted on another thread, I hope it helps!

    "By the way, for all those who will eventually be applying for accommodation and stuff like that at Plymouth, I had the Residence Life Team on the phone the other day, and here's a summary of what they said:


    - they're still renegotiating contracts with the halls providers, so the ones you see on the website are only the ones for this current year, and they might change by the time it's time for us to apply for them. (they do this every year to ensure that they get the best deals for their students, so the final list will be up when the application portal opens, which should be end of Feb / beginning of March)

    - you need a 41 week contract, rather than a 40 week one. Also, there is a possibility to extend and stay over the summer holidays.

    - move-in date for medics (and internationals) is 09/09/2017 (our induction week is earlier than everybody else's (who arrive on 16/09/2017), they have it the same week as freshers' (which is the same week for everyone)).

    - they have a deal with the bus company whereby if you show your student card you get a discount (so you don't have to pay a fortune to get to and from the hospital / medical campus!). I think it applies to both a bus ticket and a bus pass (or whatever you call a bus "membership" card)

    - I asked if they recommended some halls for medical students, but they said it doesn't really matter

    - as for allocation, from what I understand you have to choose 5 rooms over 3 halls. But they can't guarantee that you will get your choice, as they consider it more important to try to match you up with similar profiles (they ask you for personality info on the profile to help them with that). Which isn't to say that they don't take any account of your choices, but if they have to choose between a good match for a flatmate and one of your choices, they'll go for the flatmate.

    - on a similar note, I also asked if some halls are quieter than others (eg: from what I understand the student village is known to be the party place), but they said it really depends on the year. Also it's perfectly possible to have a quiet flat in overall loud halls, and a loud flat in overall quiet halls! (Although I read somewhere that they're thinking of in the future having one place only for quieter / mature students.)

    - and finally, it's not first come first served. They really try to match you up with people with whom you are likely to get on well. So it doesn't matter if you apply on the first or the last day the portal is open, your chances are the same. That also means that if you apply on the first day that the portal is open, you won't hear back from them before the summer (July if you've got a place because you deferred last year, or August if you're taking A Levels this year)...


    (speaking of which, how come it takes so long to get results for the A Levels? In France we get the results at the beginning of July!)

    So I hope this helps you when the time comes for you to chose where you'll be living!"


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    (Original post by LéonieF)
    Hi!
    I havent chosen yet!
    Here's a msg I posted on another thread, I hope it helps!

    "By the way, for all those who will eventually be applying for accommodation and stuff like that at Plymouth, I had the Residence Life Team on the phone the other day, and here's a summary of what they said:


    - they're still renegotiating contracts with the halls providers, so the ones you see on the website are only the ones for this current year, and they might change by the time it's time for us to apply for them. (they do this every year to ensure that they get the best deals for their students, so the final list will be up when the application portal opens, which should be end of Feb / beginning of March)

    - you need a 41 week contract, rather than a 40 week one. Also, there is a possibility to extend and stay over the summer holidays.

    - move-in date for medics (and internationals) is 09/09/2017 (our induction week is earlier than everybody else's (who arrive on 16/09/2017), they have it the same week as freshers' (which is the same week for everyone)).

    - they have a deal with the bus company whereby if you show your student card you get a discount (so you don't have to pay a fortune to get to and from the hospital / medical campus!). I think it applies to both a bus ticket and a bus pass (or whatever you call a bus "membership" card)

    - I asked if they recommended some halls for medical students, but they said it doesn't really matter

    - as for allocation, from what I understand you have to choose 5 rooms over 3 halls. But they can't guarantee that you will get your choice, as they consider it more important to try to match you up with similar profiles (they ask you for personality info on the profile to help them with that). Which isn't to say that they don't take any account of your choices, but if they have to choose between a good match for a flatmate and one of your choices, they'll go for the flatmate.

    - on a similar note, I also asked if some halls are quieter than others (eg: from what I understand the student village is known to be the party place), but they said it really depends on the year. Also it's perfectly possible to have a quiet flat in overall loud halls, and a loud flat in overall quiet halls! (Although I read somewhere that they're thinking of in the future having one place only for quieter / mature students.)

    - and finally, it's not first come first served. They really try to match you up with people with whom you are likely to get on well. So it doesn't matter if you apply on the first or the last day the portal is open, your chances are the same. That also means that if you apply on the first day that the portal is open, you won't hear back from them before the summer (July if you've got a place because you deferred last year, or August if you're taking A Levels this year)...


    (speaking of which, how come it takes so long to get results for the A Levels? In France we get the results at the beginning of July!)

    So I hope this helps you when the time comes for you to chose where you'll be living!"


    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Sorry I've only just seen this!
    Thank you this is very helpful. Answered most of my questions .
    I'm not sure why we get our results so late, would much prefer to get my results in July! When do you take your exams?
    Out of interest, what has made you decide to study in England? I was looking at French universities (I study french atm), and university costs so much less in France, but don't think I'm quite ready to move to a whole new country.
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    (Original post by Ehunt)
    Sorry I've only just seen this!
    Thank you this is very helpful. Answered most of my questions .
    I'm not sure why we get our results so late, would much prefer to get my results in July! When do you take your exams?
    Out of interest, what has made you decide to study in England? I was looking at French universities (I study french atm), and university costs so much less in France, but don't think I'm quite ready to move to a whole new country.
    Hi!

    Glad it helped!

    We take our exams in June, mostly over 2-3 weeks - start with the written exams first and then do the orals while the written stuff gets corrected. So it's pretty fast!

    I personally chose to study Medicine in the UK rather than France because I think the French system is stupid. This is just my opinion, and you'll find people who say it makes sense, and I totally respect that it works for them, but it doesn't work for me.
    On the basis of everyone being equal and having the same chances in life, anyone can go to the PACES, which is the first year. However, during this first year, you're not really learning medicine, you're more learning the strategies behind ticking boxes for the big exam at the end of the year. This exam determines whether or not you can advance to the next year.
    If you pass the first year, you are what's called a "primant", one of the really rare people who only need one year to get through to year two. If you fail, you are a "doublant", someone taking the year a second time. You can only do the year twice, so if a doublant fails the exam, he or she has just wasted two years of their life (4,if they did a "prépa" which is a school that prepares you for the PACES).
    Also, the fact that you pass the exam doesn't mean that you get to do medicine. PACES stands for Première Année Commune aux Études de Santé (roughly translates to: first year for all health studies), so it is not only for wanna-be medics, but also aspiring nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, pharmacists, etc. And all these people take the exam at the end of the year. I'm not sure if the order is national or per school, but if you're lucky enough /sacrificed enough of your life to make it to the top 10% or so, you are ordered by performance. So the best student is n°1, the second best, n°2, etc . and this order determines who gets to choose their course first. So if you're n°1 and you want to do medicine, awesome, you can go and do medicine. But if, for example, you're n°100 and you wanted to do medicine, chances are, there's no space left on the course for you because the others before you will have taken up the places. (not sure about the numbers). So if you're a primant, you have to decide whether to go on another course of to take the year again, knowing you might not manage the exam next year (although if you manage as a primant, chances are you'll do very well as a doublant). And if you're a doublant, you can go on another course or see all and any hopes of a career in the health system disappear. Maybe that's a bit over-dramatic, but you get the picture.
    Because of this, the competition is really fierce, and it is not uncommon for your notes to go missing, for example, especially if you forget the in the lecture theatre. Because anything that lowers your chances of passing the exams gives someone else a greater chance of passing.
    And finally there's the fact that at no point in the selection process (more like an elimination process, really) is there an interview. Your capacity to become a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc. is judged in academic terms only, so you can end up with a complete ******** (excuse the language) medical student, while someone else who would have been much better doesn't even get a chance to prove themselves because they're not as strong academically.
    So I chose the UK because I prefer to know that once I'm in, I'm in, rather than facing the possibility of working my butt off for two years for nothing (a bit of background: I've had no life for the past few years because of the school I was in, and I don't want to have to go through that again without knowing that it's going to be worth it). And as much as I hate interviews, I also prefer knowing that I got a place because someone thinks I can be a good doctor, rather than just because I have brains and know how to tick boxes on an exam.

    So having proceeded to bash the French system, I will however say that both the French and the British system have their pros and cons, one of the most obvious being money, and that the difference in my opinion comes mainly from a difference in perspective - the French filter out those who aren't going to make it, whereas the British only select some who can. And I guess the British perspective won for me.

    So, sorry for the rant, I hope it was at least a bit useful, and didn't completely put you off from studying in France. It's great that you're interested in studying over here - I would definitely recommend going to a few open days, and talking to current students (if not in person, at least online) because they will be able to give you more info, and they're actually going through it, so they have this experience. Ultimately it will come down to which perspective you think is best suited to you and to your needs, and in which system you will be most comfortable and confident. Also know that if you are looking to go into the french system, there are lots of methods that you can put in place to help you work and study more effectively and make sure you actually enjoy your time at uni as much as possible (e.g.: finding a trustworthy work group at the beginning of the year, with who you can share your notes and workload)

    Hope it helped, and sorry again for the long message!
    Léonie
 
 
 
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