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About lmk94

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  • Location
    Buffalo -> Toronto
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Behavioral Neuroscience Ph.D.

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  1. Feeling this 100% right now! Moving to Toronto from the US and even simple things like having a leasing office check my credit score are a mess because apparently your US credit doesnโ€™t follow you to Canada. ๐Ÿ˜•
  2. Began applying at 21, graduated undergrad at 22, didnโ€™t get accepted to PhD until 24, and will start at 25. ๐Ÿ˜
  3. Hi all! I am officially making the move from Buffalo to Toronto for my PhD, with my anticipated move in date being August 1st! It's only a 2 hour move, which isn't too daunting, but the fact that it's an international move is making the situation so much more stressful. My biggest concern right off the bat is the fact that your credit history does not follow you from country to country, so I'm wondering how I'll be able to pass a credit check given that most apartments tend to run them nowadays in order to approve a lease application. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with this type of thing, especially with moving from the states to Canada.
  4. I got into my top choice nearly a month ago and I still feel the need to check this website because it really became part of my identity these past couple years lol (this was my third cycle applying). Sending all the good vibes to those of you still waiting; your day will come. Persistence is key!
  5. lmk94

    Buffalo, NY

    No problem! I don't know anything about the Axis 360 apartments in particular, but if it's gated you should definitely be fine there. The majority of South campus' issues come from the Bailey Ave side of campus, which is opposite of where those apartments are. You'll definitely notice some shady people when you're going grocery shopping around there, but as long as you go out during the day and/or use the buddy system, you'll be fine. I've never personally felt threatened. Yes, there is also a free shuttle from North to South campus that is run by UB. I think you'll need your UB ID card to use it, so make sure you get that as soon as possible. A lot of people trash talk Buffalo but I personally think it's a great place, especially if you'll only be here for a couple of years and won't have the chance for the novelty to wear off. People here are really passionate about our sports teams, specifically the Bills and Sabres, but our lacrosse and minor league baseball teams also have a decent following. There's a handful of concert venues that get a variety of concerts year round, Shea's theatre downtown gets some decent shows/musicals, and they've recently established Canalside which is a multi-purpose outdoor activities area (free fitness classes in the summer, ice skating in the winter, etc). Allentown and the Elmwood Village are the "trendy" areas stacked with cute little local restaurants and a variety of bars, which are open til 4am. It's definitely not too exciting, but there definitely isn't a shortage of things to do either. While it is important to be aware of where the crimes and such tend to happen, the "bad" areas seem to be pretty well contained so as long as you don't wander into those areas by yourself, you won't have any issues (and even then, I think the majority of the crimes are targeted anyways).
  6. lmk94

    Philadelphia, PA

    I recommend combing through this thread, even though it hasn't been updated in a while. Good luck!
  7. lmk94

    Buffalo, NY

    Welcome to Buffalo! UB's North Campus, where you'll probably be as a MFA student, is in a pretty suburban area without totally being in the middle of nowhere. The campus itself is pretty big and has a bit of an undergrad feel, but it's only about a 5-10 minute drive from a mall and different shopping plazas that have pretty much everything within a 2 mile radius. I know people that lived in the Villas nearby and had no complaints, but I don't think they allow dogs. I also know people that lived in the Paradise Lane Apartments in Tonawanda, which is about a 10-15 minute drive. I think they lived by themselves, but they definitely do allow dogs there. Other than that, I don't know too much about housing near North Campus. UB's South Campus is smaller and mainly has the dental, nursing, and OT/PT programs. South campus is located in a pretty rough part of town so definitely be careful if you're looking at apartments in this area. You'll find some cheaper options here, but crime does happen in this area on a regular basis. UB also has a relatively new downtown campus, which is the new home for the medical school and a handful of research centers. Our downtown isn't too exciting, so I definitely wouldn't suggest going out your way for living in the city, as it is pretty expensive for no reason. Also worth mentioning is where our other public school, SUNY Buffalo State, is located. It's in the "trendy/hipster" part of town with a handful of museums and art galleries nearby. There are a lot of houses that have been transformed into apartments/shared housing situations and they're pretty nice from what I've been told. When I was a student there several years ago, Elmwood/Richmond Ave and their cross streets were considered the nicer streets to live on, and we were advised to stay away from Grant St, which is the next street over from Richmond and where it starts to get sketchy. However, apparently they've been working on revitalizing this part of the city and I'm told parts of it aren't that bad anymore. If you're up for a little commute (20-25 minutes), I would definitely recommend this area. Aside from this, there are places to live south of Buffalo which aren't too expensive, but this only increases your commute time and puts you in the middle of the typical lake effect snow zone, which is definitely not ideal if you're new to the city. The general rule of thumb for avoiding the crime/poverty areas is to not live east of Main Street or west of Richmond Ave (or I guess Grant Street, nowadays). You didn't mention anything about bringing a car, but I will also add that Buffalo's public transportation system isn't the best. It is possible to get around without a car, but it gets increasingly more difficult, especially when you start to go outside of the city (aka, you will have a hard time getting to North Campus if you do not live there). Good luck!
  8. lmk94

    Toronto, ON

    Wondering if anyone here has any experience with U of T's on campus options for graduate students (Graduate House at the St. George Campus or Schrieberwood Small/Large Bachelors at UTM, specifically). Also, any advice for international students moving to Canada? I've been told that my credit history won't follow me to Canada, so I was wondering how I could possibly get approved for a lease if they can't even run a credit check on me.
  9. I woke up from a long night of sleep to an email from the application portal. The email simply said "log into the portal to see the decision that was made", so my half asleep self fumbled around with my laptop trying to access the decision letter as fast as I could! Once I finally saw that I was accepted, I texted my boyfriend "OMG", and he replied "...what?? You got in, didn't you?" and then I spent the rest of the morning calling/texting my family and close friends to tell them. Then I had to sit through my three hour class, which was kind of a buzz kill, LOL.
  10. First time I applied, I was a senior in undergrad. At that point, I had a handful of local presentations, 3 regional presentations, and 0 publications. I only had two years of research experience at this point. Second time was the December immediately after undergrad, and I didn't add any presentations/publications for that cycle. I did end up with a full time lab tech job, but by time I applied I was only a few months into that position. This time, I was a year and a half into a two year master's program (I completed my master's in my home country, USA). I added another handful of local presentations, 1 international presentation, and 2 publications. My field within psych is in behavioral neuroscience, so at this point I also acquired some advanced lab techniques, including small animal surgery and genetics work. I think the variety of my experiences (one undergrad lab with human subjects, one undergrad lab with animals, one lab tech position with animals, and my masters lab with animals) helped a lot, along with me reaching out to my advisor of interest several months before the deadline to skype. Hopefully this helps!
  11. I was in the same boat as you in my senior year of undergrad. While I was receiving a boatload of awards/accolades for graduating seniors at my university, I was also being rejected from PhD programs left and right. It sucked. I eventually went on to work full time for a year and get my master's before eventually trying again this year, and now I'm admitted into my top choice. Going into a master's program isn't ideal if you had your heart set on going right to PhD, but it can only help you in the end. Good luck, and keep your chin up. ๐Ÿ˜Š
  12. University of Toronto. My original top choice. ๐Ÿ˜Š
  13. Thanks! American student. Undergrad GPA: 3.8, Masters GPA: 3.4. GRE was 155V/154Q/4.0W, taken nearly 5 years ago. 2 years experience in two different undergrad research labs, one year experience as a full time lab tech, and 2 years experience in my masters thesis lab. 2 publications, handful of presentations, and probably most importantly is my previous experience and current interests matched perfectly with the advisors that ultimately accepted me. Number wise, my GPA (mainly masters) and GRE are quite low, but research experience/productivity and research fit definitely helped me out I think. I didn't get into any Ph.D. programs until this cycle, which was my third time applying, so to anyone reading this please don't lose hope. Tenacity definitely helps out in the end!
  14. For those who applied to Brock - my portal status just changed to "admitted", stating that the official letter will be available in 3-5 business days.
  15. Thank you!! See you around UTM โ˜บ๏ธ
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