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Living outside the city for med school


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Hi everyone,

My partner and I are looking at houses in Timberlea and Lower Sackville which are a 25-30 minute drive from the Tupper building. I’m wondering how feasible living that far from the school is. Can I attend class virtually from home? Are lectures still recorded? Any insight would be appreciated (particularly from current and former students). 

Thanks in advance!

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Got rejected so I can't help on the school specific stuff, but I am a local so I can offer some comments on the commute aspects. 

If I had to guess you got those commute estimates from Google maps directions; they look about right for 7AM in nice weather, but delaying to even 730AM can increase the traffic significantly here. Keep in mind we get a lot of precipitation in the winter and our roads aren't always the best. That Lower Sackville commute can easily double on a snowy winter day. I'm less familiar with the Timberlea commute, but suspect it is the same. Parking is also non-trivial; look into that for any real commute time estimates. 

That is all assuming you have a car. God help you if you are thinking about doing the Lower Sackville to Dalhousie commute on the bus. I did it for a few years as an undergrad and it was rough.

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Yes, lectures are recorded and posted online anywhere from a few hours to 48 hours after the lecture. As of right now, you are not allow to attend virtually from home unless approved by UGME (like you have COVID or something). You also typically have 3x small-group tutorials and 1x Skilled Clinician session per week which are mandatory in-person (and aren’t recorded). Plus, you will intermittently also have some anatomy labs and procedural skills sessions which you will need to be in-person for. Some people live outside the city and make it work though so I think it comes down to personal preference! 

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I'm in dentistry at Dal so not exactly the same but I thought I would tell you about my experience anyway lol I'm on campus everyday from 8am to usually 4pm. I live 30 minutes (on a good day when there is zero traffic) from campus and although it sucks to lose upwards of 1h30 per day for driving, I love living in a smaller community (ie. not downtown Halifax lol). It's more affordable and definitely more quiet. Like RM18 said, it comes down to personal preference.

For reference, I typically leave around 7h-7h10 for my 8am classes, and the drive home can take 30-60 minutes depending on traffic.

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My partner and I live in Larry Uteck so I'll be commuting as well. I commute to the Tupper for work but I leave late in the morning when traffic settles down. One day a week, I need to be in by 8:30 so I leave at 7:30 and can usually get to my parking spot in about 20-30 mins. From Lower Sackville, I probably wouldn't leave any later than 7. I know a number of people in med school who live even further outside the city who make it work just fine, so it comes down to personal preference. For me, I really don't want to pay the extra premiums for living downtown anymore (rent would easily be double for half the size and no amenities) and my partner works from home. I'd say a decent parking spot is a must though. Would you consider living in other areas that are closer like Clayton Park or Kearney Lake? 

If you really want to test it out, try driving in one morning from where you're looking to buy and see what traffic is like at those times. The route you take also makes a huge difference and traffic builds up fast after a certain time. If you want to chat more, feel free to message me anytime but hopefully that helps! 

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