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penn state students/residents

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by k's mom, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. k's mom

    k's mom Senior Member
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    My husband will be starting at Penn State in August. We are very excited, and look forward to moving to Hershey. Do any of you have an opinion regarding campus housing vs. other housing options? We would like a 3 bedroom (kids in tow), and doubt that we could find anything that size in the area. Likewise, we are moving from Arizona, so I have a feeling the heat will be on most of the first year, so I'm much more comfortable having a rental rate that includes electricity. Any other ideas about local housing?
    What about the child care center located on campus?
    Also, what exactly is the deal with this "Hershey" vs "Derry Township" stuff? I know the story behind the renaming of the town, but based on the websites I've looked at, it seems almost as if there is a turf war over whether Hershey Co. runs the town, or the town deals grudgingly with the company's existence. Sounds like some fun political fights...(I'm a poli.sci. person myself, so I love that stuff!)

    I would appreciate any and all comments regarding your living/educational experiences in Hershey.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    You will have no problem finding a 3 bedroom house/townhouse or apartment that should fit your needs. The Medical School should be sending you a package soon which will include apartment information, as well as on campus housing. For residents they also include information on buying a house; they may or may not do the same for medical students. I'm sure others find on-campus housing sufficient, but I found it rather spartan and much prefer getting away from the medical center.

    Remember that you are not by any means limited to living in Hershey. I live on the outskirts of Harrisburg, about 7 miles or 12 minutes from the medical center. Living on campus has its perks but especially with children I would think you might want to consider living father away and having your husband commute. Especially during the first two years the drive should not be a problem at all - in addition, if you live outside of Hershey you avoid the $500 a year occupancy tax (which varies from nothing to around $300 in other communities). There are lots of small towns around Hershey, all within reasonable driving distance and all with plenty of housing for you and your family.

    Although it will seem cold here compared to Arizona, I'm a warm weather gal myself and have had relatively little trouble adjusting to the weather. We've had 3 snow storms in January, with the snow melting within a matter of days and only a few nights when the temps have dipped into the teens. I really didn't start turning on the heat realiably until late November; the winters here are quite mild. Otherwise it is quite comfortable - its around 50 degrees today. Not warm but certainly warm enough to do without running up high heating bills. Finding a place which includes heating/air conditioning in the lease will be difficult, IMHO but perhaps you can find some place. In my experience, they might pay for water and garbage, but the rest of the utilities are up to you.

    I'm sure others will have more to add to this - I would encourage you to take a trip out here before you come for the move to find a place (perhaps you already have this planned) or at least contact the Student Housing Office and/or medical school administration for more information on housing choices. There are lots of local apartment guides which are free and could be sent to you.

    best of luck and congratulations to you and your husband.
     
  4. k's mom

    k's mom Senior Member
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    Thanks! Great information, but what the heck is an "occupancy tax"? (I'm not a dolt...I can figure it out, but does everyone pay it?) I've been a west-coaster most of my life, so I'm a little clueless as to many Eastern traditions (take toll-booths for example).
    Were you given a different Cost of Attendance to take into consideration living off campus?
    Also, how do you like the curriculum?

    Thanks Again!
     
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by k's mom:
    <strong>Thanks! Great information, but what the heck is an "occupancy tax"? (I'm not a dolt...I can figure it out, but does everyone pay it?) I've been a west-coaster most of my life, so I'm a little clueless as to many Eastern traditions (take toll-booths for example).
    Were you given a different Cost of Attendance to take into consideration living off campus?
    Also, how do you like the curriculum?

    Thanks Again!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">An occupancy tax is just what it sounds like - another fee charged by the cities (or townships as they like to call them here) for the priviledge of living there. Hershey has the most expensive tax around these parts - probably because of its reputation as a tourist destination. And yes, there are toll booths - you'd think that the PA Turnpike would be in better condition since you have to pay to drive on it.

    I'm actually a resident here and we aren't given any information on the cost differential - I suppose had I been at all interested in living on campus I could have gotten the cost for the various housing here and then compared it to off campus apartments/houses. I also cannot comment on the medical school curriculum because I have relatively little knowledge about it - although it does seem as the students doing Surgery are required to be away far too much (essentially they are gone every afternoon for lectures and aren't required to take overnight call, etc.). You'd be better off asking a current medical student (as opposed to a resident) about the med school curriculum - pretty primary care focused as I understand.

    Hope this helps and best of luck in planning your move.

    BTW, I just found out that there are some places which do include electricity in the rent, which can cover the heat. Your gas will not be covered but every little bit helps right?
     

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