jymezg

SCO c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2008
302
0
Memphus, TN
Status
Optometry Student
Haven't seen a recent thread on opt school life with respect to the different areas.

As many of us are currently undergoing interviews I wonder if we could get some input on how everyone likes the area your particular school of choice is located. For instance hows the campus, surrounding areas, traffic, and thoughts about the cost of living. More importantly if the cost of living is sky high, is it nice enough to be justified? If currently enrolled in opt school feel free to chime in.
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
8
NYC
Status
Optometry Student
SUNY students/grads: is it distracting living in NYC? Do you get peace and quiet to study? Do you even get a chance to enjoy living in the city?

SCCO students/grads: is Fullerton really slow, or is that just by comparison to LA/other larger cities?
 

kickin

10+ Year Member
Mar 29, 2008
17
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
How about those who live on the coasts....do you have time to go to the beach?
 
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oceanblue392

10+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2008
149
0
Orange County, CA
Status
Pre-Optometry
How about those who live on the coasts....do you have time to go to the beach?
I live in Southern California..not yet in Opt School, but I live close to Fullerton. Its sorta close to the beach, not exactly a short drive. maybe 20-30 minutes to get to Newport Beach. weather is great year-round. right now its in the 60s-70s during the day...you can still wear shorts and a tshirt during winter. summer gets pretty warm-dessert dry, not humid. things are pretty spread out, public transportation is OK, not great. I would recommend having a car if you really want to get around. School is about 20 mintues to disneyland. Additional theme parks nearby are knotts berry farm, 6 flags is about an hour and a half north, sea world is about an hour and a half south.
 

aDubs

10+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2008
72
0
Status
Optometry Student
Ok, so you want to know bout the "life"? Here's is my opinion.

NECO (Boston): Great place to live. VERY close to the scene in Boston, but far enough to be in the residential part of dowtown. Everything is quite convenient. The atmosphere is very relaxed at the school. Some people commute to school by the transit which could take around 20 or 30 mins, but most people will prefer to live by the school, which many of us do. The cost of living is mediocre here. Expect to pay around 800 to 1200 a month living in Downtown Boston. As for campus, there really isnt a campus. It's just a building. Its good cuz you see and meet everyone.

SUNY (NYC): The school is in a heavy traffic area. 42nd and 5th/6th is a prime location...for shopping. It is a 5 minute walk from Times Square. With this comes alot of sound, but since the school is pretty high up, there isnt too much noise. If you want to eat near the school, you will have to shell out the money. For example, add $10 to any entree you order at the restaurants from anywhere else. People will most likely not live in Manhattan, as you will not be able to sleep if your place is not sound proof. Brooklyn and Queens are good options for living, and it will cut down the cost of living.

PCO (Pennsylvania): The school is located in a very nice area. Unfortunately, there is not too much to do. The best thing I found about the school was the gym. the school has their own fitness center and gym. On the other hand, the clinic was a bit further away, and the location is not the greatest. During my time there, there was a shooting that occured at the Dunkin Donuts right beside the clinic. I don't know how often this occurs, but just telling you guys what happened. The cost of living there is not too expensive. I believe it is in the range of around 800-1000 a month.

I also went to ICO and Waterloo (where I went to undergrad), I will write a personal review on these two if anyone wants me to, just post a msg here.
 

zyg0te

10+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2007
310
23
Status
Optometrist
Haven't seen a recent thread on opt school life with respect to the different areas.

As many of us are currently undergoing interviews I wonder if we could get some input on how everyone likes the area your particular school of choice is located. For instance hows the campus, surrounding areas, traffic, and thoughts about the cost of living. More importantly if the cost of living is sky high, is it nice enough to be justified? If currently enrolled in opt school feel free to chime in.
Wait, let me get this straight. You can actually have a life during those four years? :eek:
 

jymezg

SCO c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2008
302
0
Memphus, TN
Status
Optometry Student
Wait, let me get this straight. You can actually have a life during those four years? :eek:
eh im sure you might get a weekend or two to explore the city or do something fun, i was more curious about how the actual locations were for commute and living purposes from some diff points of view.
 

Oogilily

Soccer rules all
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2006
355
3
Status
Optometry Student
PUCO: I think this school is in a great location if you like to do outdoor stuff. There is camping, tons of hiking, rafting, kayaking, etc. The coast is about an hour away. Lots of pretty sight seeing there. You are about 30 -40 minutes from Portland. Portland is a fun place that usually has something going on every weekend. As for Forest Grove itself, where the school is, it's just a ok place to live. There isn't really anything here. Right in the middle of farming country. You have to drive maybe 10 minutes or so to get to any kind of store such as Target or something. That is the only downside. Rent will run you about $600-$700 or so. Pretty relaxed place. I really like here. Traffic going into Portland can get sort of bad, but it has never been really terrible.
 

mrfunnyman

10+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2008
51
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I heard that most if not all PUCO students live within walking/biking distance of the school.

aDubs: I'm curious about ICO too
 

bowlinguru300

10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
3
0
Status
Optometry Student
I'm a PUCO student as well and Forest Grove is a small town with not a lot to do. Most students live within a mile or two of campus and rent is pretty cheap (you shouldn't pay more than about $450-550 a month total for everything) Its a nice quite town, but its also only an hour from Portland. Its nice to be an hour from the beach, and less than 2 hours from Mt. Hood which is one of the best places I've ever been to go skiing/snowboarding (which includes many of the major resorts in utah, montana, and colorado) I don't mind having to drive about 10-15 minutes to go to stores like target/best buy because it keeps me from buying too many unnecessary things. There are so many outdoor activities that there is never enough time to do all the things I want to do, but I try to get out whenever I can.
 

EyeEd

10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2008
2
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
For PUCO students,

If you do not mind sharing, what does the price range for car insurance there on average (no accidents, ~5years driving experience)? How much is it for a parking pass at the University?

Just another perhaps odd question but do you see many students using Apple laptops in particular?

I am from Canada btw.

Thanks!
 

Oogilily

Soccer rules all
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2006
355
3
Status
Optometry Student
I have no idea what the price ranges are for car insurance. I also don't know if the price will change for you because you are Canadian. I pay about $120 a month or so for two cars, although one of these cars has liability only. You could just call up an insurance agent in town and tell them you're a student coming in from Canada and was curious about how much insurance costs. That's what I would do.

Looks like parking permits are $40 a year. I just looked it up, but it didn't say for how long it was. I'm assuming it is for a year. It's not very expensive, but if you aren't there by 8am, you'll have a hard time finding a place to park. The parking lot is pretty small. Most people walk or ride their bikes unless they live far away. I have my wife take me every morning. You can park on the street without a permit, but only for four hours (some streets two hours). They are cracking down more on street parking.

Also, there are several people using apple laptops. They have a tech guy here that is good with macs and helps set them up to work with everything on campus (e.g. print servers, wireless internet, etc.). It does take more work to get them running with everything, but they can get them working. I'd say there are 15 people or so in my class of 92 that use them. Most are still using windows. But, you should have no problem using an apple computer here. If you have any questions about particulars, especially being from Canada, you could call the school because there are several Canadians going to opt school here so they would be able to answer your questions quite easily.
 
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SarahNC

10+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2007
188
1
Philadelphia, PA
Status
Optometry Student
PCO (Pennsylvania): The school is located in a very nice area. Unfortunately, there is not too much to do. The best thing I found about the school was the gym. the school has their own fitness center and gym. On the other hand, the clinic was a bit further away, and the location is not the greatest. During my time there, there was a shooting that occured at the Dunkin Donuts right beside the clinic. I don't know how often this occurs, but just telling you guys what happened. The cost of living there is not too expensive. I believe it is in the range of around 800-1000 a month.

There is tons to do around PCO, it is a 20 minutes train ride to the city! There is always things going on down there, or you can just go there to walk around and shop/eat. If you like history, Philly is a great place to go. Also, you are about 45 minutes from the Jersey shore, Atlantic city and about an hour and a half train ride to NYC. The school itself is in the suburbs and is where most people live, but some do live in the city and commute. I live further north in a suburb called Abington and its about a 10 minute drive. Abington was rated in the top 20 places to live in the US. It is a quiet area, very good for famiies. I don't have any kids, but for people who do, it is one of the top school systems in the country. Being from North Carolina, I think it is pretty expensive to live here, but its not compared to some other schools. A 2 bedroom apartment will run about 1500 and a 1 bedroom around 1300. We were extremely lucky and found a house for 1295, but you have to move fast for those kinds of rentals. Yes, the clinic is kind of in a sketchy area, but I've never felt unsafe walking to my car there. Its a well-lit parking lot with a fence all around it. The big benefit to having the clinic here is the HUGE amount of eye disease. There are rarely any exams with just a refractive error.
 

jymezg

SCO c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2008
302
0
Memphus, TN
Status
Optometry Student
Here's a story: We have had 5 finals so far and have been out for a drink 3 times during that duration.

Go figure?

Amen, thank you for downing the misconception that during professional school you drop into a black hole for 4 years.

Keys to time management success?
 

Habitual Rx

10+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2007
214
0
Canada
Status
Optometry Student
Keys to time management success?
Study when and what you need to and make it count when you do.

Don't bother getting stressed over exams since you are not in competition anymore. When you pass the course with that sub-70 or sub-80 mark, you will be just fine.

That's pretty much all I can offer, but I can answer any other specific questions via PM, or in this thread if they would be useful to the group.
 

Habitual Rx

10+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2007
214
0
Canada
Status
Optometry Student
Just another perhaps odd question but do you see many students using Apple laptops in particular?
Story #2 of the day: I have had a couple friends who's laptops (containing many course notes) died on them the week before finals. Luckily they could get them fixed in time. What's the fuss? All were notebooks running Vista or XP.

I enjoy my Mac with its functionality and reliability.
 
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