You did it! After a long, competitive application cycle you were admitted into a PA program. If you are attending a program that requires you to relocate, you likely have a long to-do list. Read on to hear what current students considered before making the move.
Nathan Kleppe, PA-S2: A North Dakotan moves South
“I knew that coming to a bigger city could include much heavier traffic than I was used to. I wanted to find a place close enough to campus so that I could avoid the major busy roads.” Nathan decided to not look for a roommate and knew an unfurnished apartment was best as he had his own furnishings. Once he found apartments that fit his criteria, he scheduled showings and made a weekend trip to see them.
Nathan was excited about the general experience of living somewhere new and all that it had to offer including new restaurants, parks, entertainment and meeting new people.
He encourages incoming students to look into health insurance options ahead of time. This is especially true if the student will not be covered under their parents’ or a significant other’s health insurance coverage. All admitted students are required to have health insurance while in the program.
Michael Kittok, PA-S1: A Minnesotan and his family relocate from Texas
Although Michael is a Minnesotan, he and his family were living in Texas during the application process. “We started planning before I even found out I was accepted.” Together with his wife, they made a list of tasks that needed to be accomplished. Some of the major decisions included: finding a realtor for their home in Texas as well as one in Minnesota; the timing of when to start looking for a home; figuring out their budget; and being pre-approved for a loan before we moved.” In addition to all the logistical items of moving, his family was also leaving and there were emotional ties to their community there. Michael says, “We included our kids very early on after I was accepted. We were able to take full advantage of the Austin area and do the things we wanted to do before we moved.”
Prioritizing study time can also be a challenge when you are a parent. Michael says, “I have had to go outside the house to study which is actually a good thing, I think.” It is important to discuss with your family, significant others and even your friends that you will have less free time as you will need to study. Even during the clinical phase of a program, you will still need to study between your shifts to prepare for end of rotation exams.
Isaac Pierre, PA-S1: A Midwesterner moves back from Seattle
Even though you may be moving for school, it is important to take into account the things you enjoy. Maybe being within walking distance to coffee shops or restaurants is an important factor. Or perhaps you are hoping to save on expenses by living with a roommate. These are all aspects you should weigh when deciding where you’d like to live.
Isaac Pierre decided to first sublet a furnished apartment for the summer semester so that it would be an easier transition. He says, “It allowed me to focus on my studies and integrating into the new city rather than having to worry about moving or furnishing my apartment. Subletting also allowed me to visit apartments, gather furnishings, and get a sense for what neighborhood I wanted to live in before committing to a year-long lease.”
Isaac hails from the land of the Green Bay Packers. When he relocated to Seattle for work, he missed his family that reside in Wisconsin. He looked forward to being closer to them and engage with the community. Another asset of relocating to Minnesota is all the outside recreational activities. Isaac was excited to take advantage of the state’s biking and hiking opportunities, including a trip to the Boundary Waters during the summer break.
Victoria Tahmassebi, PA-S2: A Californian relocates
As a native Californian, Victoria fielded numerous questions about if she was aware how cold Minnesota can be. If you’ve never experienced windchill, it can be quite the adjustment. Although the cold weather was a concern of hers, Victoria was excited to move as she had never lived anywhere but California. She says, “I was excited to experience all the seasons in Minnesota and spend time on the lakes and just exploring a new city.”
Victoria opted to live with a fellow classmate who had a car. They decided to look into how far of a drive it was to campus as well as checking with their PA Buddies about what neighborhoods were the safest and closest to campus. A trip to Ikea helped to furnish their apartment with items they weren’t able to ship or move.
Although Victoria initially did not have a car, she decided to buy one as she frequently had to use uber. Victoria says, ‘I’ve learned that underground heating parking is worth the extra hundred dollars in the winter!”