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University College of Cork -Ireland

Discussion in 'Canada' started by superstarmd, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. superstarmd

    superstarmd Junior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if there were any students out there attending UCC medical school or were accepted for this year and have decided to go. I've been accepted there and would like to know how the school is and what it's like to live in Cork, Ireland. I'm a canadian student hoping to get a residency in the US...does anyone know where former US/canadian UCC students have been placed in the US. Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Hello,

    I have also been accepted into UCC for this Fall. I'm from Vancouver and am seriously considering accepting the offer.Did you apply to any of the other schools and was UCC your first choice. I also applied to UCD (didn't get in) and RCSI (got an interview but won't know for another 2 weeks if I got in).

    I would also like to hear from other Canadians who have had experience with UCC.
     
  4. trapper12

    trapper12 Member
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    I'm in the same situation, but I'm from the US. I've been accepted to UCC, but waiting to hear from RCSI, would prefer RCSI. Got rejected at Trinity and still waiting to hear from UCD. A friend of mine attended a cooking school in Ireland outside of Cork and she said it's beautiful there, right on the ocean and it's the second biggest city in Ireland after Dublin. So I definitely wouldn't mind going there but I still prefer RCSI over UCC. I don't know what to do about the deposit though. I don't want to lose my spot, but that's a large deposit. Do either of you know if they're as strict as they seem about the deadline?
     
  5. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Hello Trapper12,

    My interview with RCSI probably didn't go as well as yours, at least thats my impression of it. I never quite got comfortable and was on edge the entire time. It lasted about 30 min but it was hard to tell how my answers were being received. Anyways I have been worrying about the cost of RCSI and they made it pretty clear that tuition would be increasing each year. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to accept the offer by UCC and send in my deposit. From what I hear they are pretty strict about the deposit deadline because there are plenty of people waiting on the wait list. Can I ask why you prefer RCSI
     
  6. trapper12

    trapper12 Member
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    I don't know how well mine went either, it lasted about the same time and the man didn't say a word, only the woman asked questions. The best part was talking to Peter. He was very helpful and I had a great conversation with him. I wonder if he has any input at all. He told me that in the 4th year, you can do an elective at RCSI for 5 to 6 weeks in Africa. I love Africa, I've been twice and that made me even more excited to go to RCSI. I know all the med schools in Ireland are well respected, but I think globally, RCSI is more well known. Also it's in Dublin, where I think I would prefer to live, but like I said, my friend told me Cork is great too. So I don't think I could lose going to Cork, but I would simply prefer RCSI.
     
  7. person2004

    person2004 Member
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    The students at UCC go to Africa with the Surgeon Noonan Project. I think about 1/4 of the class went last year. No Americans or Canadians went though. That summer is your only chance to do advanced electives, so people planning to go to N. Amer. after graduation found it more important to make contacts at NA hospitals.

    I am a student at UCC. The main advantage is that it's a lot cheaper than RCSI. If you prefer small towns, then being in Cork would be considered an advantage. RCSI has a lot more NA students so they may make more of an effort to take account of your needs.
    I know that there are UCC grads at U of Ohio (surgery), U of Arizona (Medicine), Arizona (peds), and U of New Mexico (peds).

    As far as advice for those going to UCC-
    1) Chose DeansHall over Castlewhite. Castlewhite is closer to school, but further from everything else. You'll get sick of 30 minute walks to get milk or whatever (especially in the rain). Deanshall is closer to Tesco, most bars & clubs, movies, etc.
    2) Make friends with some Irish students early on. Most of the foreign people hang out together, but you should try to get to know both well. It's not actually that easy because many of the Irish students grew up together and will just keep the same friends they've always had. Try though.
    3) Get old exams. They use the same ones year after year. #2 would help here.
    4) Be self-motivated. You can drift through school and realize toward the end that you have a lot to learn. No one holds your hand (or even checks up on you really) so a lot of people just sit around the hospital or go home early. It's easy to get into this habit but don't. There are patients there, so talk to them, present them, and read about them. It's hard to decide to do this since doing nothing is easier, but don't waste your time. You'll be sorry later.

    Is there anything else I can tell you about Cork or UCC?
     
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  8. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Hey person2004

    Thanks for the great tips and info. It is much appreciated. I had aquestion about residences. I was a given a choice between Farranlea Hall and the Spires. Just wondering if you have any info, regarding location, proximity to grocery store, restaurant, campus, what the residences are like on the inside. Also, can you give me an idea of living expenses for one term (Sept-June) excluding tuition and accommodation, so eating, utilities, books etc..
    I was also wondering if I should invest in a laptop before coming to Ireland (Is it beneficial to have one for medical studies) Any info and or advice is welcome.

    Thanks
     
  9. trapper12

    trapper12 Member
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    Yes, I agree, good info. And it looks like I may be headed to Cork as well, I emailed the AB and they told me I was not accepted to RCSI, they've already got the info, they're just mailing the stuff out now. I'm kind of bummed, just because it was my first choice. But I'm not disappointed in UCC at all. I also asked how many NA students were at both schools and the AB says RCSI has 25 spots for NA students and the entering class size is about 200, while Cork has 20 spots in about a 120 entering class. So I do like that it's a smaller class.
    Anyway, I'll probably have some questions for you Person2004 but I can't think of any right now.
    Graduatestud, they only gave you two choices for living? I gotta go read my packet again, I didn't know that, I thought we could pick between the four different places.
    Oh here's a question, Person2004, what year are you and do you usually go home or do something else during the summer months? Do most NA students spend all year in Ireland or leave during the summers?
     
  10. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    trapper12, sorry to hear about RCSI. I also received the same info from the AB office. But I knew that decision was coming, cause my interview didn't go so well. But I had decided to accpet the offer from UCC as soon as I returned from NY. I'm excited and really happy about attending UCC. I think its a really great school, and the town is also suppose to be beautiful. Your right about the residence choices, I was given 4 but I guess I should have said that I want an en-suite bedroom which narrowed it down to the two that I mentioned for me :oops:.

    person2004, I was wondering if you have any info on textbooks used during the first year and whether its better to buy them here.
     
  11. Grover

    Grover Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    Before I begin, let me first start by saying Congratulations on getting accepted to UCC. It is a fantastic school. I'm currently a first med finishing up my first year. I'm from Canada. Okay, so here's the deal...I had a huge message full of info and when I hit submit it told me error, so the last 30 min is gone and I cant remember what I wrote, but I'll give it a whirl.

    About UCC and Cork. If any of you are worried that you've never heard of Cork or UCC and that cause you're not at the Royal College or Trinity in dublin that your missing out...bollocks! Cork is absolutely beautiful and UCC is a great school. So much is happening here that all of you will get a chance to experience. Aside from being voted the #1 School in Ireland, UCC is undergoing major changes, especially the faculty of medicine. The faculty is building a brand new Medical Building slated to open in 2005, which all of you will get to experience. The Cork University Hospital has now become one of a kind in Ireland and Europe with the new additions of brand new Cardiovascular Teaching Unit, a new A/E ward and a new Maternity Wing. Recently, for those with a bit of research background, Cork retained some of the highest grants awarded based on its cutting edge Pharmacobiotic Centre and UCC just had a new Biosciences Institute built with the past couple of years. For the athletes out there. The UCC Gym is also fairly new and pretty state of the art!

    The city itself is big...but not too big. Its a great great place. Also, one of the benefits to living in cork aside from dublin is the price. It is considerably cheaper to live here as opposed to Dublin. Another thing about Cork is that it has been named Europe's Capital of Culture in 2005. Which means there is a lot of new construction, renovations, changes happening in teh city all to make it an even better place. About night life and such...I wont lie. Coming from a city like Montreal, Cork was a bit tame. But that doesnt mean I didnt have fun. Its all about finding the places that you like and this city really caters to all flavors. Which reminds me of an important piece of advice that i can offer. I think what most international students, especially those from North America, forget is that Cork is not like back home. This is Ireland and things are done differently here. Not to say that they're done in a bad way, but rather a different way. If you can remember that, and have an open mind, you'll love it here.

    Now bout the school. This year's med class of approx 120 had 15 canadians, 4 Americans, some british, malaysians and the usual irish bunch. UCC is a very multicultural school. Now, if your acceptance packages were anything like mine, you may have received a single sheet of paper listing your timetable for the first day of classes...listing simply Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry at 3 different times. Dont be alarmed, dont think you're missing pages...it will all work out when you get here. One thing you have to remember about medicine here and in europe is that it is an undergrad degree. So for those of you have an undergrad degree in a medical-related field, a lot of this year is going to be repeat for you. Having said that, I'd inquire about exemptions from courses if at all possible. It will lighten your course load and allow you to save some money. Bout the work load. Like I said, if you have a degree in a related field, say Physiology, you shouldnt have a problem. Thats not to say there isnt work. I'm just sayin that you'll get through it fine. There will be some changes you'll have to get used to ie different types of MCQ exams, negative marking on MCQ exams and end of year cumulative finals...relax, its all very do-able.

    About residences. Castlewhite is the oldest UCC residence. It is right on campus, so if you're the type of person who likes to roll outta bed and be in class, then castlewhite is for you. In fact, I know three other canadian boys from Ontario who will be in second med next year who are looking for a fourth in their castlewhite apt. The only thing with castlewhite that might not seem appealing is the communal shower. The Spires, Farranlea and Vic Lodge are all brand new residences built this year. I lived in Farranlea and loved it. All bed rooms are ensuite ie have your own shower, and the common rooms were big and kitchens were fabulous. About the closeness to town and shopping and such, castle white would probably be the closest. CW is about a 10 min walk, max, to the city centre. Farranlea and Vic Lodge is about 7 min in the opposite dxn. The walk to town from farranlea is not that bad...trust me! About shopping, there is a tesco (local grocery store) in town, as well as teh English Market...which is an open market and you get produce, fish, vegetables all fresh and really cheap...a great place for people who like to cook! There is also a brand new Tesco, the largest in Ireland, that was built close to Farranlea and Vic Lodge (about 7-10 min in the opposite dxn to CW and City centre). Also, this new tesco is open 24hr for those of you who shop in the evening.

    I cant seem to remember anything else that i wanted to mention. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. Believe me when I say that coming to Cork is going to be one of the best decisions you'll make. The people you'll meet, the new experience of studying medicine in a new country and new culture; it is truly rewarding. I'm sorry for the crazy length. I hope some of you find it helpful

    cheers,

    -Grover
     
  12. Grover

    Grover Junior Member

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    check out www.ucc.ie/medstud
    it has tons of info that might be useful, ie books, courses exams etc

    cheers,

    -Grover
     
  13. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Grover, thanks for taking the time to post such useful info and advice. What are your thoughts on bringing a laptop and looking into buying texts in Canada before coming over.
     
  14. person2004

    person2004 Member
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    I've never been in Farranlea Hall or the Spires. They weren't there when I started. They are further from everything (except CUH (Cork University Hospital) which you won't be going to next year anyway) than Castlewhite and much further away than Deanshall. The choices seem to have change since I started at UCC. Maybe Deanshall is full, but I'd look into it. The residences I've been in were all pretty similar though- kind of bland, sterile furniture (more like a waiting room than a living room) but clean at least.

    For books, I'd just use the recommended books usually. I used Lecture Notes for Physio, Snell & Netter for Anatomy, Lippincott's for Biochem (wasn't recommended but the recommended book sucked). Your best bet is to buy used copies from the students who're ahead of you. There's a book sale every year where the books get passed down from class to class. Go early. If it starts at 7 be there at 6:30. It's informal, so people sell stuff whenever they show up. By 7 it could be mostly over.

    For summers, everyone goes home every summer. I've done clinical experiences, research, and studied for the USMLE during my summers. You only have to do something academic in the summer before Final Med, so you could go to the beach everyday if you felt like it. That might actually be the best choice. The Irish students mostly just work and party with their first few summers while the N.A. tend to look for something medical. I guess just to try to improve our CV's for our future residency applications.

    Earlier I said to try to make friends with the Irish students. Also, date an Irish person, preferably outside the class. You'll get involved in a wider group of friends and have a better time.

    Buying a laptop is not necessary early on. You don't need it for school, and it's not worthwhile to get internet access. You have to pay for all calls, even local, by the minute, so using the internet at home would get expensive fast. I actually got a laptop, but mostly to do USMLE practice questions on CD-ROM. You won't be doing that for a while.

    Things are done in a different way over here and sometimes it IS a bad way, but don't let it get to you. A lot of people have become quite miserable by thinking too much about the down sides. There are a lot of fun things to do and you can learn what you need to learn if you make an effort.
     
  15. trapper12

    trapper12 Member
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    Okay, I was looking more into things and I'm definitely going to put a deposit down for UCC. If I'm reading right, is length of the program 5 years, with the first 2 being preclinical and the remaining 3 the clinical years? If so, that's great, I was under the impression that most schools in Ireland are 3 years preclinical, 2 years clinical, but that may just be completely wrong. Anyway, I was just wondering about how things are set up time wise. Thanks for the info from both of you currently there, and is there anyway you could help me out with how much to ask for in loans? I know how much the tuition is but is there anywhere we could go to see a breakdown of other expenses and how much I should take out for that? Outside of tuition, what would it take to live there for those 9 months? Thanks.
     
  16. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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  17. Grover

    Grover Junior Member

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    Heya,

    bout the laptop issue...i brought mine with me. I like having internet access, and Farranlea, and Vic Lodge as far as I know, has high speed internet access wired into the rooms. Prices were considerable cheaper than getting another internet line with Eircomm (Irish version of Bell or Rogers). It actually worked out pretty well...i picked up a mic and speakers and via MSN Messenger was able to talk to friends back home...which was way cheaper than using the phone. On the topic of phones, everyone here has a mobile phone. If you can find one back home for cheap that might be a good idea. Just make sure the phone is Tri-band and will work one European networks. You also have to make sure the phone is "SIM-Unlocked" so that you can put in a sim card depending on the phone network you choose to subscribe to.

    Now regarding expenses, last year I took a Loan with the company the Atlantic Bridge offered for $25,000. That just let me get by, along with some of my savings from work and such. Next year, I'm thinking of getting about $30-35000 to cover tuition and rent. With rent here, its charged by week, not the month. Depending on where you stay, rent prices will vary. To provide a very generous estimate of your rent for the academic year, I'd say max 5,000 Euro.

    Last, with regards to text books...if you have space in your packing to bring them, by all means...it'll save you money here. Be sure to check out www.ucc.ie/medstud the course books are listed there. Like Person2004 mentioned, there is a book sale at the beg of the year, where upper year meds sell their books, so you could always bring your bargaining skills to the table then.

    Any other questions, bring em on!!

    cheers,

    -Grover
     
  18. that black guy

    that black guy New Member

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    Hi ya..
    Im studying medicine in UCG (NUI galway) Ireland.Two new canadian girls one from Alberta and the other in Quebec(hope i spelt that right!)..they are loving it here.They are doing two in one..ie two years in one year so they will be going into third year next year.
    If you want to get in touch with them give me a shout...not sure if anyone here applied to UCG..but its also a good college.

    oh and this is for person2004..
    What books did you us for USMLE when yu did yours?
     
  19. person2004

    person2004 Member
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    I took Step on during 5th year and used:
    First Aid, BRS Pathology, Katzung Pharm, Lippincotts Biochem, High-Yield Anatomy & Neuroanatomy, BRS Behavioral Science. More importantly, I did lots of questions from NMS and the Board Simulator Series. (It's better to do questions and learn what you don't know than to waste time reading about what you already know in some review book.) Some people used the Kaplan Q-Bank and seemed to like it.
     
  20. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Hey Grover,

    I got in touch with the accommodations director at the Spires and she said that the cost for the full academic year 03/04 was E150.00 in regards to broadband internet. Do you think that means that I have unlimited time on the internet for that fee. I guess I'm trying to figure out if its a flat rate or an hourly one. If that seems like a dumb question I apologize :confused: . Also if I were to bring my laptop can you tell me about the converters, adapters, transformers and internet broadband wires that I would need to make sure that the laptop and internet access is fully functional. Thanks again for all your help.
     
  21. Grover

    Grover Junior Member

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    'Bout the broadband...I'm not sure about the spires, but I think its fair to say that they are running the same thing as Farranlea; which means that is the price for the year...unlimited. Regarding converters and such, most adapters that come with laptops have built in converters so you wont fry your plug/computer when you plug it in here. The only thing you'll need is an adaptor so that your plug will fit into the sockets here. You can pick that up here for less than 10Euro...which is what I did. For wiring, again I'm assuming the Spires is set up like Farranlea, which means you'll need to make sure you have a network card installed in your laptop. The jack looks like a phone cable jack, but is a bit wider. The cable you'll need is a standard Ethernet cable...you can also pick that up here if you cant manage to get one at home.

    hope that helps.
    -grover
     
  22. trapper12

    trapper12 Member
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    Well, this forum has been very helpful in making my decision and it's official, I wired my deposit today. Guess I'm headed to Cork this Fall. Kind of crazy, I've been wanting to go to med school for so long I can't believe I'm actually going to do it. I hope everybody keeps checking in here, it's been great talking to actual students in the same situation. Thanks for the info everybody.
     
  23. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Grover,

    Could you give me an idea of what to expect now that my deposit is in. I haven't heard anything and was wondering if I would be receiving instructions on paying the rest of the tuition the deadline for that. Do they send you a calender in the mail, along with instructions for registration. Or is this it in terms of info and the rest I get when I reach Ireland.

    Thanks a bunch
     
  24. Grover

    Grover Junior Member

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    Hi,

    From what I remember, you should soon receive an acceptance package from UCC with your official acceptance letter confirming your spot in the class and whole bunch of other info. When you get here, you'll have an orientation to go to and registration. From there you will pay the rest of your tuition and register for your courses. You'll do everything when you get here. The important thing to worry bout now is figuring out where you are living next year and that your passport is not expired. Oh yeah, if you're applying for a loan, try and get that taken care of too! Everything else will work itself out when you get here.

    cheers,
    -grover
     
  25. Kaptain Krunch

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    Year 1 is basic anatomy, physiology and biochem. No clinical stuff

    Year 2 is neuroanatomy, embryology, radiology (all 1 module), clinical anatomy, physiology, biochem and behavioural science (a joke of a subject). There are a few visits to the hospital (1 every 2 weeks) but they are very limited and last 2 hours a time.

    Year 3: First proper clinical year. You spend the mornings in various hospitals on rotation. Basically, you take a history, do an examination and present to the doctor. Anaesthetics is a special rotation and everyone does it. You spend 3 weeks in theatre and you do a lot of practical work under supervision. Rotations are given out randomly and last for around 4 weeks usually. Expect to work under your own iniative and you have to actively look for patients to exam. If you don't look for the doctors, they won't come to you.

    Lectures are in the afternoon in the University Hospital (The CUH). Most days we are finished between 4 and 5. In fact in 3rd year, you only spend one month on campus for lecture, the rest are in the CUH. I haven't been in UCC for lectures for 7-8 months.

    Year 4: Doing specialities - Psych, Obs+Gyne, Paeds, GP (you actually work with a GP for 2 weeks), ophtamology, clincal teaching with consultants. Lectures on more subjects.

    Year 5: Final med, say good bye to your social life

    I'm in third year. Have a Clincal Practice exam today and I'm not studying! :eek:
     
  26. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    A question for all of you already over there. I received some info on term dates for First Medicine, and it said that First Medicine students are required to attend clinicals at the end of the first year till June 24/05. I was wondering if I should look into buying a stethescope or if that can wait a year. Any suggestions or thoughts...
     
  27. Kaptain Krunch

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    Are you sure you don't mean the oral examinations after the summer exams. You get an oral if you are borderline fail or honours after the exams have been corrected. Honour orals are optional, fail orals are not. They're normally done in June. See www.ucc.ie/current and click on examination timetable.
     
  28. GraduateStud

    GraduateStud Junior Member
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    Your're right KK, I mistook the clinicals to mean something else. They are indeed referring to oral exams :oops: . Good, so the stethescope can wait. Thanks for clearing that up.
     
  29. csname

    csname Junior Member
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    congratulations to all who got in. I'm sure your future looks a bit more certain. :) I just found out from AB that I'm on the waitlist for RCSI and I'm in the top 5. I had my interview at the end of May in NY. I was wondering if anyone knows if the waitlist moves at least 5 spots at RCSI. I know in canada, at least 50 students come of the waitlist at each med school. Should I go study for the MCAT or enjoy my summer since I"m so high on the waitlist and will definitely get in. Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  30. Sage880

    Sage880 Senior Member
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    Hi guys, I just got into UCC for fall 2004 as well and I'm pretty excited. So there's 20 of us international students in first year together? I'd love to hear from the other people who will be going. I'm from Ontario but I lived in Dublin last year for about half a year.

    Can't wait until the fall!

    PS: Any advice on which residence to pick would be great - I saw some advice in this post already but I haven't sat down to really study it quite yet (I'm still too excited!)
     
  31. trapper12

    trapper12 Member
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    Hi Sage, I'm just checking back in, congrats on the acceptance. I still haven't secured a place to live, but it looks like Farranlea is the only place left. I'm going to work on that. I just finished up my loan apps and I'm going to send them off soon. Does anyone here have advice on buying plane tickets? I've started to look at them. I know the semester is supposed to end Dec. 17th I think, does anyone know if you're doing finals up until the end there? I'd like to come back for Christmas because I will have a new niece or nephew by then and I want to see it. But I don't know how early we can take off for Chrismas break. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  32. superstarmd

    superstarmd Junior Member
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    Trapper, I too will fly back home on Dec 17. If our exam schedule is like last years we should be finished midterms in November and there shouldn?t be any exams scheduled on the last day. But don't quote me on that - they could change things ;)
     

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