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Does anyone know about these places?


Evie
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Hi everyone!

Since alot of you are from the US i thought it may be a good place to ask about these areas. I am applying for exchange the second half of next year and was looking at universities in these places. (Uni of Texas-Austin, UNC Chappel hill and Boston College)

I was worried about workloads and heard that Austin has the most laid back atmosphere and it allows me to live next door to the university if i wish, so i have made it my first choice. I was wondering if its very hilly or anything else that is non pots friendly? (i realise its hot... i cant seem to win though .. i either get heat or snow)

Sorry i know it seems a bit of a random question i just really have no idea what to expect from these places and looking at thier websites doesnt tend to cater for many POTS concerns. I was also wondering if a city like boston would be a bit more threatening if i happend to faint or get dizzy compaired to a College town, i am not sure if attitudes towards people change much from place to place.

I would be grateful for any advice on any of the options. Thanks so much :)

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Dear Evie...

I am from the "Great State of Texas", so fine, I now live in Colorado. Austin, yes as you well know from your reading is very hot and humid, not good for POTS pts. More than likely, there will be NO Dr.s' for POTS in Texas, this, for whatever reason, seems to be an "East Coast'" disease. I take my daughter to Ohio to see Dr. Grubb!

Angie

Oh, Austin, is not so much known for it's educational system, but for the PARTIES!!!

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i have a friend in grad school in boston, and his main form of transportation is walking or taking the subway...not really POTS friendly, but he loves the city. I've been there to visit and it is quite a fun place...lots of young people because of so many colleges.

I also have a friend in grad school at Duke. It's very hot there. She has a tan all the time. She also loves the area. I don't know much more than that because i have not been there to visit. I do know she uses a car to get around most of the time...not as much walking.

In terms of distance to the great state of OHIO, Boston and Chapel Hill are about the same, i think. Boston may be a little further. But Texas is definitely the furthest. Good luck with your decision and let me know if you have any specific questions...i'd be happy to email my friends and ask!

Kristen

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Yeh i heard texas was known for parties too .. that was my main reason for wanting to go there lol (in the hope that it would be less stressful academically if i do get sick)

I want to try for georgetown the following year (although my lecturer said that another student went there and found it alot easier than where i am atm which suprised me).

Im not too worried about drs knowing about POTS as such .. i am more NCS and i think i should be ok and can bug my drs back home if i need to. I am more interested in the people and if they were friendly or not(especially if i fainted in the street). I realise you get idiots everywhere but i thought there may be areas that are more 'friendly' than others.

I was worried about getting around boston ... i know that i would have to live in an apartment off campus and if i was tired i didnt want to have to travel far to classes. However since i was 12 i always dreamed of going to college on the East coast (Brown was my dream .. i didnt think about $ back then lol). Is boston very hilly?

Someone told me NC was humid while texas tended to be more of a dry heat is that correct?

thanks for the offer of finding out stuff for me, i appreciate it! if i can think of less general questions i will keep you in mind :)

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I have an aunt who lives in Chapel Hill and I spent 3 years near there. While it is hot and humid, it is also very wooded and on weekends you hae easy access to the beach - always better! But I don't know if they have very much public transportation.

Academically, I have heard that Chapel Hill or Austin are easier than Boston.

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Oh i love woods! I have heard the campus is pretty. I thought it was inland i didnt realise there was a beach nearby :P

Im lucky as my grade will be transferred as a pass or fail ... so hopefully i wont fail anything. I have never failed anything before and usually get really decent marks ... im just unsure about not having my support network around me and how much of my marks i should assosiate with them heh.

Has anyone who has studied found the disability units helpful?

In aus i get alot of help so hopefully it will transfer over (notetakers and computers in exams and sometimes extentions if i have a major brain fog)

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My uncle taught at Chapel Hill for a few years before returning "home" to NYC. He and my aunt loved it there. It is a beautiful, tree-filled city, as Dawg Tired replied. I visited there when they had there wedding, and was ready to move there. I live much farther south, so I'm used to dealing with the heat and the humidity (though it does make my symptoms worse). But Chapel Hill has a really peaceful atmosphere...and they know how to throw a pretty good party there too!! :P

Melly

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You wrote -- "I was also wondering if a city like boston would be a bit more threatening if i happend to faint or get dizzy compaired to a College town, i am not sure if attitudes towards people change much from place to place."

:( No hon, Boston is a great place. We are really friendly. People are always willing to help you out. You would love Boston College. It has a great campus. And the train is like 10 feet from the campus. Not a lot of walking there.

Good luck in switching, wherever you go. :(

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chapel hill is gorgeous & definitely a get-around-by-car-place (versus public transportation). i visited UNC-chapel hill & duke when i was college hunting years back...

boston is a public transportation-based city with great rowing (not that anyone else cares, but it's the capital for crew-junkies...)

one thing worth mentioning though is that boston gets VERY cold & snowy. just wanted to put that out there as i know some have just as much or more trouble with cold as with heat....

i don't have any personal knowledge of austin.

good luck with all of your decisions...

:( melissa

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I went to college in the Boston area. It is a great place to go to school. They have a good subway system and there are lots of schools in the area, so there are many young people. And there is a lot to do: shopping, restaurants, bars, arts and cultural events, etc. I hate the cold weather there, which is worst in Jan and Feb. Otherwise it's a good city. One advantage to being in Boston is that it's easy to get around if you want to travel in the U.S. There are lots of interesting places to visit in the Northeast within driving distance and Boston's airport is well connected to other cities in the U.S.

My parents live in Austin. I just visited them last week. I love it there. It is a fun and hip city. People are friendly and things are relatively inexpensive. It is deathly hot there from late May to early August and the sun is very strong. Even in late Sept. the temperature was above 100F every afternoon. The rest of the year, the weather is fabulous. When we went anywhere, my parents dropped me off right at the door and picked me up because I couldn't walk outside in that heat for more than a couple of minutes. The call Austin "Hill County" beause the rest of Texas is totally flat. I would say that it is not hilly at all compared to NY where I live! I am sure they have lots of things within walking distance in the university area, but otherwise you need a car to get around, and there isn't good transportation. The airport doesn't have great connections, other than to Dallas and Houston.

I don't know anything about N.C. You have gotten into three good schools, though. I am sure you'll have a blast whichever you choose!

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Wow thanks so much for the replies ... it makes me feel better that there isnt a school that everyone is saying DONT GO! B)

Im planning on going second half of next year. So that would be sept-december 2006. (i think thats your first half of school?... in aus we go via the actual year due to being in the southern hemisphere)

The exchange program works like this, i write three options and order them in preference and depending on competition they will try and get me into my highest preference. Aparantly it changes from year to year what is most competitive, however berkely, UCLA, Georgetown and Boston are usually quite up there. (they usually let law students go to boston i think as its supposed to be known for its law college?)

I think i will go 1. Austin 2. Boston 3. Chapel hill and shall see where i end up *eek*

Im still frightend that im throwing myself in the deep end. Yet i really want to prove to myself that i can do it alone (or semi alone considering my parents are helping with most of the financials).

Has anyone here gone away to college after they were diagnosed? (i guess your not on the other side of the world from your support group though heh..in some cases i suppose its still a vast distance). Was it scary? did you manage it?

Oh also i was wondering about the dorms, it seems that they are mostly shared with a roommate? I was wondering how well that works. I really need my sleep so was thinking of paying extra for a single room yet i dont want to put more financial strain on my parents unless i really have to. I thought maybe having a roommate would be a big part of the 'college' experience and be beneficial to my trip or it could be totally horrid. I realise it would depend on person to person but in general would you say having a roommate works well for people with pots or should i avoid it?

(sorry i realise that is most likely a personal preference question its just that i am a only child and have not lived with other people much. I did board at school for a short while but i had my own 'cubicle' so it was not a shared room as such, boarding drove me nutty due to all the rules and regulation of time)

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  • 2 months later...
You wrote -- "I was also wondering if a city like boston would be a bit more threatening if i happend to faint or get dizzy compaired to a College town, i am not sure if attitudes towards people change much from place to place."

:) No hon, Boston is a great place. We are really friendly. People are always willing to help you out. You would love Boston College. It has a great campus. And the train is like 10 feet from the campus. Not a lot of walking there.

Good luck in switching, wherever you go. :)

This post makes me feel so much better! thanks :)

My university let me know yesterday that i have been nominated to Boston college. If they accept me for exchange (aparantly its very rare that they reject us and 99% get accepted .. yet it may be more likely for me because of my lack of full time study on my record which will be a requirement to gain a visa).

I was freaking out as i thought id get into texas and i thought boston would be highly competitive so i didnt expect to be going there. It seems all the aussie students want to go to texas as it has such a party image and is consider easy for classwork, i think it may have been more competitive than berkeley! lol

Now im just worried about the workload. Is it common for people to fail in the US?

I have never failed a class and i suppose i would have aprox a A to B average (we grade in percentages so its a bit hard to translate). However i have been doing part time and am doing three subjects next semester. At boston i will have to do 4 subjects. Luckily the grades will get translated as pass/fail so i just need to pass. I was just wondering if students get their work in do they usually pass? I guess it may vary alot college to college so i may be asking a silly question.

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Hi Evie,

Congrates on your acceptance to Boston! That is great! Sounds like you'll have a wonderful experience there. It does get very cold however! brrrrr. Usually if you connect with the college disability office if you need to for any changes are needed depending on the severity of your health issue, they usually are very helpful. The sleep issue with room mates is always a delima unless you are forunate enough to get someone who is considerate towards health problems. both my daughters are attending different colleges, one in our homestate and the other in Florida (heat helps her pain issues). Both girls have health issues including blood pressure problems but for the most part have done pretty well and at time have had to take time off when needed but the universities have also been helpful because we made them aware of the possible problems before hand (for our situation anyway).

I wish you the best at your College and the best of health while attending. You may want to see if the college has a website that the students may have to get better information about rooming, classes etc. I think most usually have this type thing once you have joined with them.

good luck

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Thanks Sally :huh:

Are your daughters able to raise thier beds? I realise that different dorms would be fitted out differently, i was worried some beds may be bolted to the floor. I will have to put on weight to get padding for the snow! eeek. I am not use to cold, well at least not in the past 10 years.

I have looked up lots of details and will confirm details later down the track when its certain i am going there (will take a few months longer for them to confirm). I have stated on my exchange paperwork that i have a chronic condition, in my interview they were worried I wouldnt handle it so i dont want to make a fuss about it just yet. I personally think i have the right to try exchange just like all the 'normal' people. I just wish we could know when our POTS would flare up. I dont want to pass up this opportunity as there is a very good chance i will be fine. Its still scary though isnt it. Im glad your daughters are handeling being away from home with health troubles well :)

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Hi Evie,

I think alot of the college dorm beds are pretty much the same and you are able to make into different heights as well as some are connectable to each other to make bunk beds. The ones we've seen are not bolted to the floor. As far as raising the head abit if that is what you may need to do, you might have to do some modification (home made modify) to adjust it to what you need. If I may suggest though, to purchase what we call egg crate foam for the beds to fit under the mattress pads. It softens the bed abit, as they are usually quite hard. Also a down topper works wonderfully to lay on especially if you have painful joints.

At least while in Boston you won't have the heat factor bothering your blood pressure issues, it's pretty nice in the summer. While scary it is, at least you sound prepared and on the right track with things and it sounds like you will do very well in what you set out to do. If you don't mind me asking what are you studying?

My girls are hanging in there, although they are not like the normal people around them, but they rise and fall at times and try to sleep when they can as illness really aggravates the blood pressure issues and fatigue problems. But as you well know, that's quite a task while at college to get the right amount of rest as there is always something thats need to be done. For them, they are lucky that Midodrine seems to help so they can function better. I was more worried then they were I think about things.

Good luck and take care.

sent you a PM as well.

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Thank you for the PM. The angels were lovely :huh: I just got back from a Green Day concert. It was good fun. I had seats as i dont like standing for a long time but then everyone stood up eeek! lucky for me i was near a concreate wall so i could squeeze between people and sit down while still having a good view. It was a fun concert.

Yeh its really hard juggeling sleep/study/friends. I hope they have understanding friends, that makes the would of difference. I have to turn down offers to do things sometimes and i worry people will just stop asking (as they sometimes do).

Thanks for the advice on the beds! I will have to look into it when i get over there.

I am studying History. I have not decided my minor yet, i think it will be womens studies, politics or philosophy. However at boston i will most likely do mostly sociology (aparantly sociology is fairly easy to pass as long as you back up your ideas). Sometimes in history i have ideas but the formal evidence can be lacking.

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Hi, I am from Bean Town aka Boston, MA. I love it here and wouldnt wanna live anywhere else. Boston is where I go for my POTS and Boston has the best hospitals, most are teaching schools. My friend goes to BC and she absolutely loves it. I personally would prefer to be in a city, so that is anything happens I'd be near a hospital that has heard of POTS lol. Which ever choice you make I wish you the best of luck!

* I am heading to Boston today and Friday, but if you have any questions feel free to PM me about anything. Oh and we get snow here!!!! :huh:

Jacquie

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Thanks so much for the comments jacquie :) To tell you the truth i am really dissapointed on missing out on Texas (i was loosing sleep over it) and these comments about Boston and BC are making me feel so much better! I realise that could sound strange as i have heard BC is harder to get into than UT (well if you are from the US i mean). Now im just working on making myself all excited about Boston and you guys are helping me alot :blink:

I better not need a hospital over there or i will send my parents broke! (ok i wont really but it will still be a expensive exercise for them). I am getting insurance i will have to check that it covers that sort of stuff.

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There is soo much to do in Boston, atleast you will never be bored!!!!!!! If you need a doctor for your POTS I have a really great neurologist here. There are quite a few to choose from that deal with POTS!

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Oh thanks, I will bug you for details in a few months time. :blink: I will try and avoid going to specialists as I can see them in australia for much less money but its always nice to know that they are near if i do need them.

Do pcp's tend to be familiar with OI in Boston?

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evie -

obviously it's best if you don't need it at all, but BC (or any US school) will generally require you to have insurance of some type and offer you an option through the school. plans differ and there are lots of details/rules/regulations to follow but you would likely have some coverage for a wide range of care...from the student health center to meds to hospitals if absolutely needed.

you should be able to get basic info from BC's website.

hope this helps,

:blink: melissa

p.s. congrats on your good news! :)

p.p.s. here's the link to BC's student insurance. it says it's an automatic if you're not a U.S. citizen....

http://www.bc.edu/offices/gsc/bc-links/insurance/

Edited by Sunfish
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Hi, my PCP is from my home town. I'm not sure if as many PCP's know about POTS as do neurologists or cardiologists. I know my PCP doesn't konw much that is why I go to Boston soo much!!!

:) Jacquie

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Thanks Melissa :)

Yeh we have to have insurance and my australian uni provides insurance so i can use thiers or if i dont think that covers me well enough i can go and seek out my own. I will have to look into the nitty gritty to make sure it covers things like hospital and ambulance. In some ways its good that i have to think about this stuff (other students tend to not worry about it but if something happend to them they would have wished they did) and other times i get really jealous of the people who dont have to think about every big step so much.

Im trying to get my dad to get as much visiting work in the US as he can while im over there so they can vist me. I have never lived out of home before due to not being able to work to pay for it. Thats one of the reasons i am doing the exchange because i want to prove to myself i can be independent. Im really nervous about it. I will be bugging you all for hints for coping with "being on your own for the first time" when the time comes B)

Jacquie i will have to get you to tell me all the good cheap places to go/eat hehe. You can be my insider :) I am brushing up on my US history next semester to prepare. Unfortunately it does not involve learning about the Boston Tea Party so i will have to do some Boston research on my own.

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