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London: pros and cons

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I have read many threads on the program itself at Western, but what about the city itself? Does anyone have anything to share? i.e. how's public transportation, housing? What's to do around London? Is it diverse? Any good places to eat? etc.

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I actually emailed a friend I know who went to Western a few weeks ago about this. She responded with:


"Well the town is great...compared to most university towns. There is a lot of stuff to do, a lot of choice for restaurants and bars and the students always make it exciting. You wont go to a bar thats dead...ever tongue . As for London itself, its an old town...and to be honest, there are a lot of run-down and sketchy areas, but the students make up a large portion of the town which is good. London is fairly large, so it does draw a lot of bands, and they all play at the John Labatt Centre, or sometimes at the local bars. The city is very accessible, there are a ton of cabs, VIA train, Greyhound buses, and the public transportation will take you everywhere. There is a decent mall, Maisonville, which is like 5 mins away from the school.


The mascot is a Mustang, colours are purple and white. The school has a large Greek (frat/sor.) life, moreso than any other school in Ontario I would say. There is a lot of school spirit, a lot of groups and activities to join. The school also has 3 campuses other than the main one, they are Huron, King's and Brescia (all girls), and these campuses are good if you like smaller classes and stuff, so there is something for everyone. There are a lot of Post-grad options at Western, like med school, law school, teachers college, aviation...so you get a good mix of people.


The campus is really nice, its old and rustic but in a good way. A lot of stone buildings with ivy on them and that kind of thing. And since its a large school (30,000 students) the campus has a lot of amenities. The gym is nice and big (although I believe they are changing the location in the years to come), there is a movie theatre on campus, and lot of libraries and places to eat/hang out. The U.C.C. is the main building for the students (where the gym, theatre, clinic is) and its right across the main library, Welden Library. The campus is very inviting and very safe, its all enclosed which is nice...not random buildings all over the town.




The downtown area is cute...its REALLY SMALL. No big buildings at all, let alone sky scrapers! The living expenses are decent I guess...not as expensive as Toronto obviously, but more expensive than some other uni towns. The only good thing is that there is a ton of choice on where you can live. In smaller uni towns, there is not enough living space to meet demand. London isnt like that."

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I encourage you to check out the city while you are in any city you interview.


I will be very sad to leave London for residency. Obviously everyone will have different interests for a city, but I find London to be a very convenient city. I live in North London, where it is a 15 min walk to campus and the university hospital, 10 min walk to Loblaws, 2 min walk to a large mall and many other strip malls (Staples, Zellers, Bay, LCBO, movie theatre, etc). The public library is a 3 min walk. The 13 bus takes me to all the major hospitals in London (I would need a transfer to get to the psychiatric hospital and CPRI- for child development). I needed to get a car for clerkship, where I could drive to the furthest hospital in 20 mins (faster if at 6am). This area is also incredibly safe. If someone lived more centrally, this commute would be even shorter to the hospitals. If only I could find a place this nice, at an affordable rate, for residency!


Public transportation is generally pretty good, especially on the more common routes like the 6 and 13. Other areas of the city are not serviced as well, so just make sure you check out bus routes and scheduling when figuring out where to live. The year-round bus pass included with student fees is great. :) Driving is not a problem, but certainly a luxury in 1st/2nd year. The only common complaint from drivers are the trains that halt traffic throughout London when they pass by.


For amenities, of course there are nice restaurants (lunch at On The Forks is a real treat and won't break the budget and another inexpensive fave is at Viet Nam). There is a variety of gyms if you don't want to use the one at school, etc. Downtown is small, but there are quaint shops, bars and restaurants.


UWO is more diverse then London. For clinical rotations, there is a big catchment area so you get the variety and still get good at seeing the bread and butter. I always find it nice not needing translators that often (I find I have a better rapport with patients without a translator).


Some might find it cold/snowy in the winter, but this is nothing compared to Ottawa, where I grew up.


Hope this helps.

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While it is moderately big in population 350K or so.... It is really large in area.... So you find lots of neighbourhoods spread throughout the city.


The North (UWO) of the city is becoming more and more developed and newer than the south.


Due to it being spread out while you have the amenities of most big cities there is hardly a time where it feels as busy and congested (with the exception of a few streets during peak hours) in a city of comparable size... maybe Hamilton for example.


If you golf, the course selection is great and priced amazingly.

Diversity is growing and while still limited it's much much better than even 10 years ago. Lots of malls, movie theatres, the bar scene is very good... although the bars I went to in my first few years here I don't tend to visit anymore but it still has a lot of good little bars to have a pitcher and chat with friends at. But if you're looking for the jammed top 40 bar there's a a decent selection in London.


As mentioned transportation is good... Cabs are great, the London Knights are usually competitive lol....


I think it's as good an idea to know about London and surrounding area as it is to know about Western..... You'll hear that although SWOMEN applicants don't get favourable treatment post interview they have an amazingly high acceptance rate.... I think a lot of it has to do with understanding the area.... I don't plan on interviewing until next year but I plan on showing how I not only was very active at Western with clubs and volunteering, I made a big effort to become incorporated into the community volunteering outside of the school, joining golf clubs, working and making friends within the city.


If I had to guess at the minds of those in admissions, with their initiative to help South Western Ontario's health care, they're probably weary of kids from the GTA that are only interested in the schooling.... You see it all too often here..... I'm not sure about medical applicants but lots of undergraduates will come from the golden horseshoe spend 4 years here.... and will know Western, Richmond Row (the bars), Masonville (the shopping north of the school), and the 4 roads that take you from Oxford to the 401 being wonderland, wellington, highbury, and Veteran's memorial parkway..... and they can't tell you another thing about the city.... In an elective geography class we had the professor polled by show of hand who would stay in london after their degree..... haha at least 90-95% of hand stayed down.


Although I'm from Niagara I plan on making my best attempt to show them in the 5+ years I been here I actually learned about London and not just Western.... haha but you never know... maybe I'm completely wrong... but showing you know something about the city can't hurt....

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I am a pure blooded "townie" (born and raised London + Western). I love the city and most of the things here are pretty accurate.


Alot of students not from London consider it a college town because of western + fanshawe so about 40-50 thousand students out of 350 thousand people. I wouldn't say that is the case so much once you get about 10K from Western the student influence is very little. So you get the best of both, rowdy students when you want that, basically whenever you want that, and some quiter areas when that is what you're looking for


The two largest employers in the city are Western and LHSC, meaning the city is saturated with health care professionals and medical research.

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