Planning away electives are hard enough: you have to research programs, get approval from your school, fill out paperwork after paperwork (more if you’re an international student since you cannot use VSAS), and try and coordinate all of the electives dates so there is no overlap. You get accepted and you’re excited to go. There’s a few more details to be figured out, one of the major things being accommodation. Here are some things important things to know when you’re figure out where you’re going to stay during your away electives.
- Plan ahead: It’ll save you time and money. Some university programs have dorm rooms available. But the hospitals/universities/programs will not arrange housing for you.
- Friends and Family: If at all possible, find an elective in a city where you know someone. I rotated in NY and I did not pay rent because I had good friends who let me stay in their apartment for the month. This saved me a lot of money because NY rent is absurd.
- Online resources: RotatingRooms.com is a website where medical students can sublet from other medical students who are doing away rotations. Craigslist is a classified advertisement website where you can find sublets, among other things. But be careful when you use these websites, sometimes it can go very wrong (*Read next post titled “Away Elective Accommodation Nightmare”)
- Hostels: I’ve heard of one student who spent a month in a hostel in NY to save money. He definitely saved some money but it sounded like a rough month…