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UWaterloo English Graduate Student Life Wikia

Pros and Cons of Living in Columbia Lake Village

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You've made it into the University of Waterloo's Graduate English program, Congratulations!

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Now that you're putting the life of Mr.Noodles behind you, you can start buying your instant ramen from the import aisle! Also, you kind of have to find a place to live in the Kitchener/Waterloo area! As a prestigious graduate student you would never dream of living in residence again, but maybe you should? At least for one semester anyways.

First of all, here's the the link to the university's residence page where you can click around and discover the great amenities Columbia Lake village north will offer to you.

Click here to see more

Now that you’ve read through the page (or maybe you already have?) you can begin to consider whether these swanky flats are for you.

Can't

First of all, this isn’t free and you will not have enough money per term with your base funding of 5000$/term for a masters. With Tuition, student fees, and residence, your total cost per term (before groceries, phone bill, and spending money for much needed self care), comes to $5704.65. So, already you’re 704.65$ in the hole (again ignoring pesky needs like eating, calling your loved ones, and the occasional fun thing on the town!)

Eating

So yes, you’re guaranteed to need more money if you decide to go this route.


Poor

That said, while the pictures on Waterloo’s website imply a fully furnished home, it really isn’t. You do share with another graduate student three floors, (2 bedrooms on the top, living room and kitchen in the middle, finished basement living room, and unfinished laundry room {With FREE LAUNDRY} on the bottom. It is a decent place, and you each get a desk, a bed (that is marginally more comfortable than a futon), a rocking (literally, no seriously) desk chair, and a dresser each; and you share a couple tables and chairs, and one VERY UNCOMFORTABLE couch.

Activities

You'll need that room for activities, because the Internet is campus wifi and you have a long list of Network Policies governing your activities on their networks. Not to mention, you cannot get a wired connection on the network.

Alright, so the place is average. And you’re paying 686.25$ a month. So, it’s not the worst situation to be in, but I definitely have kept my post groceries and phone bill costs a month, during my undergrad, below 750$ a month, and I had much more freedom with my Internet Connection. Still, if you’re not coming from somewhere inside of Ontario, FINDING an apartment you’ll be happy with might not be the easiest.

Bad time


Bear in mind, if you have a vehicle you will need two parking passes, one for CLV-North (Columbia Lake Village's Graduate Student Suburb), and one for the main campus. Each pass is 150$.

There is a residence community, but there’s a chance that class obligations or other things may keep you from participating. Your houses will be right next to the family homes, so get ready for potentially neighbors with children. That said, the walls from my experience are thick enough, you won’t really hear things from your neighbors.

There is an undergraduate residence community that you have to pass by in order to get into the graduate community, so again, something you have to consider. They do have occasional meals they provide, and there is a shuttle bus to campus, as well as the grocery store. There definitely is a lot of pros to go with the cons of living in Columbia Lake Village North.

Decide

So, should you live in Residence?

That's hard to say. Ultimately you need to decide based on your own status quo. For example, PHD students get more funding, so that might make it more affordable. Still, while there is many aspects that are unsavoury, Waterloo's graduate residence is more like an apartment with 4 month long leases that are owned by the university, instead of the traditional idea of what denotes a dormitory.

Betterthanexpected

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