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Getting Ready for Grad School

Posted by Fell4Ever, 08 March 2012 · 1,000 views

Asian Studies maapps mapps asia pacific policy studies policy studies
So now that I've been accepted into both the schools I applied for (Still in shock), its time for me to figure everything else out - like how to get to school, how to pay for school, etc.

I went to a Seton Hall "Meet the Dean and Faculty" meeting, which was a big mistake. Since the beginning I was pretty set on going to UBC, but this meeting gave Seton Hall a fighting chance. After they introduced the faculty and staff and discussed what they were studying and such, they brought on the students. Those undergrads at the Whitehead school are so much better then me. They all had beyond-impressive internships at the State Department, the UN or even the Defense Department. And the alumni they brought in - AMAZING. Some where just three years out of school and had fantastic, high level jobs, and of course they all said it was because of Whitehead and their networking abilities. But I will not be going there >.< I hope anyway. I can live at home and go to Seton Hall, but that's the problem - living at home. My family drives me insane (in a good way, not in an abusive way) and I hate living with them. It might sound stupid, but I'll go to UBC and take on more debt just to get away from them and live on my own. I am 100 percent more happy when I'm in my dorm or apartment, and I think that happiness will really help me out in grad school.

So, now that I'm set on going to UBC (theoretically, at least) I need to get everything planned. I know its still six months away (a little less), but planning helps me relax (and procrastinate, I'm suppose to be studying my Japanese). Again, this blog post is probably more for me and my brain then for you :P

Things To Do
  • Money
  • Graduate Stafford Loan
  • I have to sign up for and apply for the Graduate Stafford Loan so that I can pay for Tuition and Housing (and most likely food). Tuition, after scholarships, is costing me around $2000, and housing (if I get it) is around $9000, so I need at least $11,000 in loan money. I'm going to want extra for food, fun/living expenses, and internship money, so maybe I'll take out a total of $16000. Anything I don't use I can instantly put back into the loan as payment, or I could use it as 'moving costs' for after I graduate
  • I'm not sure if my practicum/internship will be paid for, or if it will even be in Canada or the United States. So I need some money to pay for food/housing for 2 months in case this happens
  • Just for fun, I already have $18000 in loans from Undergrad from the Federal Government and $4400 from the State of Vermont
[*]Pre-Grad School Costs + Job
  • I have been looking for a job for the past 2 months and no one will hire me. At first I applied for "real jobs", like ones that require a cover letter and such. But since then I've been applying to everything, including cashier jobs and restaurants, and no one will even call me back.
  • I also just got an e-mail from the Fed telling me I go into repayment on my student loans in 3 months, and I can't go back into deferral until September when I start school full time. This means I need a job ASAP so I can make the payments on my undergrad loans for July, August, and September (probably)
  • Also, every dollar I make now is one less dollar I need to take out in Loans for grad school.
[/list][*]Housing
  • I officially applied for year-round housing at UBC. There's a huge waiting line, so its good I applied already. The top-choice housing I want is in this graduate only complex called Thunderbird located in the middle of campus. Its furnished, and has a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and 4 bedrooms. I really do not want to share my living space with anyone (Japanese share-houses ruined that for me) but I'll suck it up. I really hope I get it, and it works out to about $650 a month, which is not bad in Vancouver.
  • Of course I wouldn't mind private housing, but I'm worried about the housing contract. I cannot sign a year-round lease in case I end up getting an internship or practicum in another country. I'm sure if I explained it to my landlord or whatever they would forgive me, but it just complicates things. Most housing I've seen ranges from $500-$800, so my on-campus housing isn't a bad choice. Though I do hope it has a kitchen...
[*]Cell Phone
  • My parents pay for my cell phone, but I think they're going to cut me off when I'm in Canada. I'd have to pay massive roaming charges, etc. if I use it there, so it makes sense to switch to one in Canada. I wont sign a contract with anyone, just get one of those pay-as-you-go ones.
[*]Health Insurance
  • Canada has universal health insurance, and unlike Japan's it cost more then 10 dollars a month. I think my parents might take me off of their insurance, which would suck since I could still leech off of it when I move back to the states after graduation.
[*]How the hell am I getting there?
  • Flying: I have no problem with flying. It doesn't bother me, especially after 15 hour flights from Newark to Tokyo non stop. My friend who I met in college in Japan (who is American) has offered to let me visit her in Spokane Washington, stay a few days, and would then drive me up to Vancouver, which seems fun and fine.
  • Driving: I do not have a car, but my father is hinting that he might give me his. I've been in college in a different country for the last few years so I could never buy one, so it would be a really nice graduation gift if he gave me his XD And I would really love to drive across the country, it would be great. He also might want to DRIVE WITH ME (and my mom) to vancouver. Which I wont do. I'll kill them. I have to explain to them that I hate being trapped in small spaces with them and would rather sleep in a dark room with 10 serial killers then drive cross country with them. Ah, love. And it would be really awesome to have a car in Canada and rive to Seattle or what have you on weekends. Though car insurance gets tricky...
[*]Weight:
  • Gotta get thin and sexy for grad school. Or I could cheesedoodles. Yup.
[/list]
I know it sounds like a lot, but I'm good at getting shit settled. And I have 6 months. Plenty of time.



  • -1



rather sleep in a room with ten serial killers? be careful what you wish for. I know you're joking but still...There are a lot of internet creeps who might take you seriously.

On another note, you could always get a dorm/apt at Seton Hall and not live with your family. :-)
    • 0
And you will need health insurance...another thing to think of when deciding. Its nice to leech off the parents sometimes....
    • 1
Thanks haha XD My parents drive me insane, I'm a very independent person when it comes to my living conditions. Seton Hall is only affordable for me if I live at home :( But your suggestion would make great sense otherwise. I know it might be the wrong decision 20 years from now when I'm paying off UBC's debt, but for right now I think its the best decision XD
    • 0
I understand you though. UBC is one yr vs. Seton Hall two yrs. SO thats a big plus. I'm thinking you would spend less in one yr than in two. You could get a job there while taking classes, if you think you could balance it and if you could find one on campus or off. I know my friends who moved to Canada for school did that...working on and off campus and were able to take less in loans so now they have less to pay off. All the best! I'm happy you got into both and were able to make a choice! You'll do well, I'm sure of it.
    • 0

And you will need health insurance...another thing to think of when deciding. Its nice to leech off the parents sometimes....

...Doesn't Canada have Universal Health Care? When I was in England as a student, they just opted me in. Here in Japan, I had a similar process, but through my job instead of a university.

So maybe you don't have to pay for health care? Besides, if you're still under 26(which it sounds like you are), your parents' insurance will probably still cover you, anyway.

Also, congrats!
    • 0

...Doesn't Canada have Universal Health Care? When I was in England as a student, they just opted me in. Here in Japan, I had a similar process, but through my job instead of a university.So maybe you don't have to pay for health care? Besides, if you're still under 26(which it sounds like you are), your parents' insurance will probably still cover you, anyway.Also, congrats!


He said if he moves to Canada his parents will take him off their insurance and Canada does have UHC but it costs more than what he paid in Japan.
    • 0

...Doesn't Canada have Universal Health Care? When I was in England as a student, they just opted me in. Here in Japan, I had a similar process, but through my job instead of a university.So maybe you don't have to pay for health care? Besides, if you're still under 26(which it sounds like you are), your parents' insurance will probably still cover you, anyway.Also, congrats!


In Japan, universal health care only costed me around 10 dollars a month, b ecause I made little to no income. In Canada, its default something like 60 a month? Plus a flat rate at some point, I think. Its cheaper because I'm a university student. I can stay on my parents insurance because, like you said, I"m under 16, but using American insurance in a foreign country is only suppose to be for emergencies and it doesn't cover as much as it would in the United States. Its more for like... "oops, broke my leg!" I think haha. But I don't mind if my parents keep paying :P But they might haha.
    • 0
Probably would have been helpful if I had read that part on Health Insurance before commenting...that's what I get for skimming!

Anyway, $60 a month, while more than nothing, is pretty awesome for health insurance. That's only around $800 for the whole year. Again, more than nothing, but still manageable.

Good luck with the money...I'll probably be doing the same thing here soon...
    • 1
For health insurance- I'm pretty sure your parents could add you back to their insurance during an open enrollment after you graduate even if they take you off now- as long as you are still under 26 years old.
    • 1
Thanks for the info!
    • 0
"I also just got an e-mail from the Fed telling me I go into repayment on my student loans in 3 months, and I can't go back into deferral until September when I start school full time. This means I need a job ASAP so I can make the payments on my undergrad loans for July, August, and September (probably)"


The federal government will defer your loans if you're on some sort of public assistance such as food stamps. You can also apply for an unemployment forbearance if you cannot afford repayments.
    • 0

"I also just got an e-mail from the Fed telling me I go into repayment on my student loans in 3 months, and I can't go back into deferral until September when I start school full time. This means I need a job ASAP so I can make the payments on my undergrad loans for July, August, and September (probably)"


The federal government will defer your loans if you're on some sort of public assistance such as food stamps. You can also apply for an unemployment forbearance if you cannot afford repayments.


I can't get public assistance because I live at home with my parents who claim me as a dependent XD They let me live at home and buy my food, but I'm paying for grad school on my own :P So I will ahve to go into repayment starting July. But if I can't find a job, I will do unemployment forbearance if I still can't find a job :D If I CAN find a job, I'll pay.]

Right now I need enough money to pay for my plane ticket to Vancouver ($400) and first month's rent ($500-750, don't get loan until September 4th, rent due September 1st). And to pay my loan repayments, which should be ($300 per month, or 900). So in 5 months I need $2300. Wishme luck XD
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