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Interviewed at UCSF?? Please help!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jessica, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member

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    I need to schedule an interview at UCSF, and I was hoping for some words of wisdom from anyone that has already interviewed there (or is familiar with the area/their interview process.) Is it wise to make the interview a one day trip or would I have to stay overnight? Also, do I fly in to Sacramento airport? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. English Chick

    English Chick Senior Member

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    Definitely don't fly into Sacramento. SFO is closest. SJC would be OK. Oakland would be my last choice.
     
  4. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Why wouldn't you fly into San Francisco? Have you checked out interviewfeedback.com? Also, do a search for previous SDN posts on UCSF interviews -- I seem to remember some from not too long ago. Depending on the time of your interview, it might be wise to fly in the night before -- just to give you time to get the lay of the land so you're not rushed or delayed in getting to where you're supposed to be. Best of luck!! Kind of wish I'd applied there, but I went to undergrad in the Bay Area and wanted a change of scenery (not to mention having serious doubts they'd even consider me!)
     
  5. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member

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    Ask BeckyG or Vader--they often check this board and have really helpful comments. good luck! i wish i was in your place...
     
  6. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member

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    Ok, I'll try to answer. SFO is the closest, but usually costs more. Oakland is convenient. Not sure about San Jose - never gone out of there (but have gone from SFO and/or Oakland to LAX or Burbank). Both airports in SF area (SFO and OAK) are fine. If you fly to SFO, it may be more expensive in air fare, but the transportation can be cheaper (shorter distance). When you go to Oakland, the fare is cheaper, but the transportation (car, bus..) is more expensive (going a farther distance). Of course, you can take BART from Oakland (not from SFO), but it's a pain if you have lots of bags or heavy stuff. I think when I came to interview, I flew to SFO from LAX.

    I personally would do the trip in 2 days because I am not a morning person and most activities start at 8AM and end between 3 and 5PM. You are really tired by the end of the day - and there's a good amount of "down time" when you're not doing much - interviewees usually hang out in the student lounge during those times. Granted, your time frame depends on your schedule and ability to take time off. You could always fly up the night before, stay over, interview and fly back the next day. That in effect would only take one day, but would make you more rested.

    I think rest and relaxation are key before any interviews. So, the more time you can get to become acclimated, look around, relax, and rest, the better. Hope this helps. Feel free to email me with specific questions. Good luck!

    -- Becky
     
  7. Ai

    Ai Senior Member

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    I would recommend Oakland before San Francisco airport. San Francisco airport gets a lot of fog and flights are often delayed and off schedule in and out of there. I can't even begin to count how many flights I've had messed up because of the fog. I think the extra time getting to the school from Oakland would definitely be worth it. I'd also recommend going the night before, you don't want to feel hurried on your interview day. Good luck :)
     
  8. Lived in LA for 20 years but now live in San Francisco... and here is the airport situation. Forget San Jose and Sacramento Airports.... those are way too far. SFO is closest to San Francisco.....but it does not have access to the bus system or the subway system (probably need a taxi or shuttle...airport is 15 miles from SF). On the other hand... if you fly into Oakland Airport... you can take public transportation right to campus or anywhere else in SF. So from Oakland Airport.... buy a $2 AIRBART ticket from the electronic machine at the bottom of the escalator near the entrance/exit of the airport... before you go to baggage claim. Then with that ticket... go to the median halfway to the parking lots and catch the AIRBART. It goes to the subway station (called BART). From that.... buy about a $2.35 ticket from the machines there. Walk upstairs and take the SF/Colma train or the SF/Daly City train. Now where to get off depends on your hotel/accomodations. If you want any more information... just ask me. It seems more confusing on paper than it really is. I can also recommend places to stay in safe and relatively cheap areas. Buy the way... I think it is risky to fly in that morning. Try to get there the night before at minimum. Please feel free to ask for anything else you want to know.
     
  9. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    First off, congratulations on getting an interview! :) Well, the travel advice all been pretty much summed up in the above posts. One thing to add though--I just had an applicant stay with me who flew into SFO and took public transportation. He said it took about an hour total from the airport and was pretty easy because he had packed lightly. In any case, I'd definitely recommend either SFO or Oakland.
     
  10. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member

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    Thank you all for the excellent advice! I was trying to fly Southwest (because it is only $76 round trip) to get to the bay area, but they do not fly into SFO, only Oakland (sounding like my best bet) SJO or Sacramento... The cheapest fare I could find into SFO was $265. I am not much of a globe-trotter (I think the last time I flew was in the fourth grdae...) so all of the details about the best airpots and public transportation from the airport to campus are greatly appreciated! Thanks again! :D
     
  11. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    I live in SF, work at UCSF, and live within walking distance.

    So from SFO you can take public transport. Essentially it is a bus that will take you to downtown bart stations.

    But here's the public transport breakdown:
    We have two public transport systems here in the bay area. BART goes into east bay(Oakland, etc), and essentially is for cross-bay commuters. With BART you pay per stop on a pre-paid ticket. Once you're into the city there's the MUNI system, including buses and trains, which costs $1 and you get a pass for 2+ hours. There are several stops downtown(along market street) where both MUNI and BART exist in the same station.
    As for directly to UCSF, only MUNI goes there, but it practically takes you to UCSF's front door.

    I would recommend: Fly into SFO the night before. Take the shuttle to a downtown station. Take the muni "N Judah" line to the sunset(UCSF's neighborhood). Stay at a hostel/cheap hotel around here. I can recommend some ok cheapies if you want, or just go to UCSF.edu and look under housing/short-term. Let me know if I can be of any more help in finding buildings, etc.
     
  12. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I would recommend staying with a current medical student. That will save you on costs and you can find out more about the school, opinions, etc. Just a thought... :D
     
  13. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member

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    I absolutely agree with Vader. Come the night before and stay with a current med student. You get a really good feel for the school and get insights that you never would get if you just show up the day of the interview.

    When I stayed with a student in So Cal, he kind of became my 'friend' for the day and took me around and asked me how things went when he saw me at lunch, etc. It made the experience much more enjoyable.
     

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