26 May 2010

107 Days

GAHHH...May is almost over. I feel like I just posted about April being almost over! Just proves that time really does fly.

But that means that in little over a month, I'll FINALLY be able to apply for loans, and thus apply for my visa. I will feel more secure about everything once I get those two things squared away. I'm still waiting for my letter with CAS number in it. I'm guessing it's going to come in with all of the student packet RVC told me that I'd be receiving in the early summer.

And I just sent an email to RVC to make sure they received my housing forms...probably a good idea since the deadline is on May 31st. I'm sure they did, since I sent them over a week and a half ago.

So many things left to do...and it seems like there is so little time left.

23 May 2010

American TV Shows I Will Miss

It's almost 3am as I'm writing this...and I just finished watching the season 5 finale of Bones. It's going to be necessary to bribe family members and friends to tape next season's episodes so I won't have to wait until July 2011 to catch up on all my favorite TV shows. Here's a few that I can think of off the top of my head:

2. Burn Notice (MacGuyver for spies)
3. Lie To Me (maybe it'll air in the UK since the lead character is from there??)
4. CSI (I don't really watch the new seasons...but I will miss re-runs on Spike)
5. House (oh, how I love that snarky bastard)

So family/friends...this is a plea (in advance, of course...fair notice, right?) that should you watch these shows, please obtain them illegally and send them to me so that I do not shrivel up and die (figuratively) from the long absence of my beloved characters.

I'm sure there are more...but for my sleep-deprived mind, these are the only ones that matter.


ETA: I shall not miss Kitchen Nightmares...mostly because it's a UK show. Bastardized by Fox Network to be a crazy, high-stress reality drama. For those of you only familiar with the US version: you're missing out on how awesome Chef Ramsay really is.

19 May 2010

OT: Gulf Oil Spill

Not anything to do with my going to vet school, but I saw this picture of the oil spill in the Gulf and I died a little inside. I really hope they figure out a way to stop this thing...yesterday. (Unfortunately, blogger is cutting the dimensions of this picture, so click here to view the full NASA satellite photo).

18 May 2010

Money money money...

Love ABBA. Oh, those Scandinavian songbirds sure had a way with words and notes. LOVE Mamma Mia too...

Wow. Totally off-track.

Ok. Focus.

Out of sheer curiosity, I just checked to see what the current exchange rate was for sterling to US dollar. Holy crap...it's $1.44USD to every £1GBP. Doesn't seem like a lot, but considering that most of what RVC has been basing it's Cost of Living (COL) on, it's a HUGE difference. Especially when you're talking thousands of sterling/dollars.

When I had my interview and subsequent presentation with RVC, the estimated tuition in USD was $31000+ (£19320 in GBP). When I just checked it with the current exchange rate, it was around $27500. HUGE(ish) difference. I've estimated that my total debt that I will incur while in vet school (just from loans) will be approximately $300,000. About the same I would have gotten into if I had gone to Tufts (sort of...I probably would have lived with my parents to avoid paying for rent, but what would be the fun in THAT?!). But if I factor for a lower exchange rate? Shaves off at least $30,000. Doesn't seem like a lot compared to the total, but any money I DON'T have to pay back?

Priceless. Literally.

16 May 2010

117 Days...

I have 117 days in which to do the following:

1. Apply for loans (supposedly available on July 1st according to the news)
2. Apply for a visa
3. Buy a plane ticket
4. Pack
5. Visit everyone I possibly can (will happen in August)
6. Do my equine AHEMS (so I have one less to do during the school year and summer before Year 3, also to happen in August).

It doesn't really look like that much, does it?

Lists can be deceiving...just so you know.

09 May 2010

What I need to learn before London: How to save money.

I cannot go on doing what I've been doing for the past few days: spending money like it is replenished as quickly as it's spent. Duh. It doesn't work that way. My bank account can attest to this.

SO. I simply need to learn how to cooperate with a budget (urgh). I'll have to do it eventually for the next four years so I don't run out of loan money. No more going out and spending a RIDICULOUS amount on food and beer (and consequently 100 credits at Dave and Busters...). No more buying clothes because I might need them for London (if I need them for London, I'll buy them IN London). No more late night runs to McDonald's for a large fry because I'm hungry (go without, you big glutton).

Henceforth, I shall only spend money on what I actually need: gas for the car, meds for Bailey, and toiletries.

Oh, and coffee. I don't think I can get through a day without a Dunkin Iced. And the occasional 6-pack of Sam Adams Summer (yum).

This is never going to work...

05 May 2010

I knew it was going to be harder...

...but does it have to be this hard? I just realized that I can't apply for Stafford or GradPLUS loans through most (read: all) lenders like Citibank and Sallie Mae because RVC's disbursement dates don't fall in line with their preferred (read: required) disbursement dates.

Sooooo...what do I do now? Apply directly to the US Department of Education for student loans? Apparently. I already sent an email to the financial officer at RVC regarding this. I have a feeling she's going to tell me what I already figured out: I can only apply for GradPLUS loans (higher percentage rate) since that is the only type available to me as a professional student. Yay for voluntarily making my life more difficult by choosing the best school for me that just HAPPENS to be across the ocean. In a different country. With different loan disbursement dates because they start school months after here AND is on a trimester system.

I need a switch to turn off my brain because this is going to keep me up all night.

ETA#1: Got an email back from financial officer at RVC. Got a copy and paste of what is on the website, so I'm guessing they don't really know what's up or down either. Looks like I won't be able to do anything at all regarding loans until they sign up as a Direct Loan originator. Boo...:/

04 May 2010


Bought my luggage yesterday. Really makes things real (not that the $1500 deposit doesn't...). I ended up going to Macy's because they had a huge sale on a lot of things, including luggage, and then had a family and friends discount on top of that. They had a few great choices available, but ultimately I went with the Samsonite spinners, a 25" and a 21". Here's a picture of one:

The reviews on the Macy's website weren't too awesome. One said the handle didn't work, another that the wheels didn't work well on carpet, etc etc blah blah blah. I dunno. I might return them, since I ended up spending around $216 on them. But again..I'm not too picky about what "not working" means. If I get a huge hole in them during the first time I travel with them...yes, that's "not working". If one of the wheels is a little sticky and doesn't work on carpet all that well...I can deal with it.

Which brings me to my next point: cost of flights. Knock on wood, the volcano in Iceland isn't really affecting flights any more, so odds are that I'm going to be flying with ease across the pond. Cheaptickets.com has some awesome prices, and originally I thought that Icelandair would be the best choice, since it's so cheap (I mean...flights starting at $310? Can't go wrong, right?). But now that I think about it, I'm already going to be exhausted from the time change. Do I really want to tack on a layover (possibly 8 hours)? So now I'm thinking of going with Virgin Atlantic, mostly because they have the cheapest option for a one-way nonstop that I can find. I even signed up for the Flying Club, since I'm assuming that I'm going to be a frequent flyer (even though the first time I will most likely be coming home is the middle of July). I'll be able to earn miles by booking flights with them. It's just...ugh. Do I really want to spend $1000+ on a flight?

However, I'm probably jumping the gun a little here. It is only May (HOW did it get here so quickly?!). There is no reason for me to be anxious about booking a flight RIGHT NOW. So I will stop thinking about it...


Oh, who am I kidding. I'm going to be worrying about it until I step on the flight. And probably while I'm on the plane, too.

02 May 2010

Time flies...

I can't believe it's May already! Where is the time going? 3 months left at Express, and only 132 days before I leave for the UK.

Soon sending my housing forms to RVC. Hopefully I get placed in College Grove, since it seems to be the best fit for me. Self-catered hall, my own room, my own BATHROOM. Mary Brancker House isn't too bad either. Both require a tenancy of 50 weeks (ouch) but when I think about it, I'm going to be living there from September 22nd to July 16th at the latest. That's...at least 46 weeks? I'm too lazy/tired to count accurately. So it's not THAT much of a stretch to have to be there for 50 weeks. I REALLY don't want to do the dorm thing, since I'm not too interested in living with 18 and 19 year olds again (the last time was not pretty). It seems they reserve the self-catered halls for international students, so I'm guessing that it won't be too hard to secure a place at one of them.

I'm really excited/nervous/going out of my mind. A giant part of me is excited beyond belief and can't wait til September comes...but there is a part of me that is going to be enormously homesick and, in a way, already is. How can you miss a place you haven't even left yet? It's possible, because I'm starting to get sentimental about things. But still, mostly excited.

So, soon will send out housing forms along with SAR from FAFSA so that they can process my loan requests without any issues. I did request my 8-page SAR, but (so funny) it's actually more like 10. Make sense? Not really. I'm thinking an email to the financial dept. is in order. For the moment, bed.

PS: Have re-read Bridget Jones' Diary (v.g.). Forgot how fantastic it is.