USyd - BDent 1st Yr Canadian - Ask me anything

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Jun 5, 2010
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Hi All,

I thought I would start a thread to help those who are moving to Sydney for either the DMD or med program. One of these threads was helpful for me last year so I thought I'd pay it forward.

About me: I'm a 37 y.o. male. I've been studying here in Sydney for almost one year. Canadian by birth, Caucasian.

What are you folks curious about? Cost of living in Sydney? How to get an apartment (not easy!)? Which insurance to use? Tools/textbook costs? Gimme questions and I'll try to answer them. Where will you be studying on campus? Budgeting?

I can't answer what the new DMD program will be like as it will be a reboot from the current BDent program but I can give details of my studies here if that helps.

Fire away!:)

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Just an update on some of the messages I've received. Maybe my replies will help others who are also wondering.
Q1: On funding for US citizens.
A1: I'm Canadian, so don't have much info on that but I can explain my funding situation. I'm from Alberta, which gives a combined Alta and Can student loan package of around $36000. $2500 of that is a grant for low income students ( I have zero income as I don't have a part-time job here, it's not an option for me due to the difficulty of the course). I also have a line of credit with a Canadian Bank (RBC was the best for me). There is also the possibility of a Northern Alberta funding option where you take their money ($12k or $24k) but have to work up in the north for each year that you do it. Haven't looked into it too much.

Q2: What was your GPA?/DAT score?
A2: It probably won't matter since the program has changed from BDent to DMD from next year, but FYI I think my GPA was about 3.6 ish, and DAT was avg 22, but I can't remember too well.

Q3: Texts and extra fees?
A3: I've said before that the program will be changing next year to DMD. What does that mean? We're not sure, but as I've understood it, things like studying with the Med students is gone and now the Dent faculty will be taking over. That said, this year I bought no texts. I was given a list of texts that might be helpful, but I found that the library often had multiple copies of those texts. So I just borrowed them from the library. If you do want to buy your own texts I use: Davidson's Medicine, Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, Medical Problems in Dentistry, a human physiology text, an anatomy text. Buying these in Canada will be far cheaper, but heavy and take up valuable suitcase space. As for extra fees, you'll need an articulator $1000, some tool rental fee $300, startup tools and bits and bobs, around $500, so you're looking at $1800, which is what I paid. The DMD program may be different.

Q4 Accommodation? What is better Unilodge or Urban Nest?
A4 I've got friends in both. I've been in both. Unilodge is older and cheaper, location is closer to the university rather than the hospital. Urban Nest is closer to the hospital, newer and nicer, with lots of extras like a roof bbq, computers etc. You'll be spending roughly 2 days per week at the Syd Dent Hospital, and 3 days at the U, though this may change or flip from time to time. Urban Nest is dead close to Paddy's Market which is a great place to get cheap food, and it's really central. Unilodge is next to the mall, and also a nice location, with a short walk to classes. Unilodge rooms seem smaller and without windows, which can suck supremely. Like a prison mebbe. But it's clean (ish) though the kitchens can be pretty dirty I've heard. I like Urban nest better, but you'll pay for it.
Other options: International House: an on-campus dorm; some of the college dormitories like St. Sophia or St. Andrews; Uni Village is also ok, though I heard the rooms are pretty tiny.
I first stayed in a hotel then looked for a place on my own. I'm married so dorm life wasn't an option. Lots of shared houses in the area and I know plenty who go that route.
Q5: Cell Phones: should I bring my unlocked phone to Oz?
A5: Man, I'm 37, and hardly use my cell really. Ummm, smart phones are more expensive here, so if you have your own and it's unlocked, you'd do well to bring it with you. Lots of places have plans for unlocked phones. I use Vodaphone, which is pretty crap, but cheap. I'm not sure which company is the best.
Q6: prepaid vs phone plan
A6: I use a plan, but some of my friends use pre-paid phones. There doesn't seem to be much of a price difference between the two, but with a pre-paid, if you plan on leaving Oz for the holidays, you won't have to pay for the phone. It seems to me the companies here are pretty flexible.
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First of all, thank you for this information. It helps a lot.
My question is how much is Unilodge and Urban Nest per month...or per week (if that's how they do it)?
What is the process involved in coming back to Canada or USA?
What is the process involved in coming back to Canada or USA?

As I understand it, there is no reciprocity agreement, with America, so if you're American, you'll probably have to do the two year study thing in the States when you get back to qualify, or stay in Oz, it's nice here.
For Canadians, we'll have to take the qualification exam. There's been a bit of talk on trying to have something set up in Oz as there are quite a few Canadians here. To be honest, it's something I have to look in to, but now that I'm on holidays, it might be a good idea to look into it further. :idea:
First of all, thank you for this information. It helps a lot.
My question is how much is Unilodge and Urban Nest per month...or per week (if that's how they do it)?
I don't live in either, so I can't say. IIRC Unilodge has their prices on their website. I asked to stay there temporarily while I looked for a place and they seemed open to that, but wanted too much in cleaning fees to make it economical. Urban Nest I would assume the same. Why don't you take a look and post your findings here for others?

BTW rent is by the week, so plan accordingly. Also, rent is high here, a buddy lives on campus and pays $410/wk for a small room and meals. I pay $480/w for a one bedroom about 3 blocks from the U. The cheapest option seems to be shared houses, but as you would assume they are hit and miss.
My wife thought I should also add that if you have a contract with a cell carrier in Canada, you can break it without penalty if you provide proof that you'll be moving overseas. I was on Virgin in Canada, and at first they gave me a song and dance that since there was a Virgin in Oz I could just transfer my account to them. Buuuuut that was a lie, they are separate companies. So then Virgin claimed I had to pay the big contract breaking fee, but that was a lie too, and finally they let me cut my contract short because they couldn't provide cell coverage to where I was moving.