======= Date Modified 20 06 2008 23:06:50 =======
Hi PhDs in the UK.
I applied successfully for a PhD at the U of Reading, Uk. I was granted less thant 12.5k. As I am from Austria I wonder if it is possible to cover all running expenses with this amount per year as I was offered small single rooms (4sqm) for 325 pcm. Furthermore, I would have to travel quite often to Oxford, so I suppose there would be extra costs of 170 pcm.
The studentship does not included any amount for conferences and travel costs. What do you think? What do I have to pay for a reasonable room in that would fit a double bed, normal desk, shelves, wardrobe and lot of books in Reading? It is possible to get along with 300 pcm for everything else? The university recommends for food and housekeeping 150-200pcm. It seems there would not be much left. I have to admit that it would be nice if I could see my boy-friend every six weeks in Austria, too.
What do you think and would advise?
Reading is relatively cheap. You won't face London prices, nor prices of some parts of Austria. You will be able to survive on £12,500.
Are you looking for a small room in university accommodation or a private place? You may benefit from getting a room in student accommodation as your utilities (electric, gas, internet) will be included and these things are very expensive at the moment. Renting a room in private accommodation sometimes has running costs within the price, and then sometimes you have to pay a portion of the overall bills (this can get messy and expensive).
You'd probably get a private room as a lodger/flatshare for £400 with utilities included, or £300 in student accommodation (check out spareroom.co.uk for private lets). Travelling to Oxford won't cost much if you forward plan buying train/bus tickets online (check out trainline and national express websites).
You biggest cost will be visiting Austria every 6 weeks (the UK does have budget flights to Budapest & Graz, check out ryanair).
Hi... I live in Reading and did a PhD at the University of Reading. I lived with my boyfriend in a house and we paid £650 rent a month - my stipend was slightly lower than yours as it goes up each year by £500 or so and I finished my PhD a little while ago. Reading is expensive but I actually think £325 a month is pretty good - as for conferences, I refused to go unless my supervisor allowed me to expense it... I certainly wouldn't have paid for conference travel myself.
It is possible to live on that, however I think seeing your boyfriend in Austria every 6 weeks will eat into your finances quite a lot.
We both topped up our cash working labs / marking undergrad work and being a student mentor for disabled students... perhaps that's worth looking into? I know the exams office are usually looking for people to invigilate and write exams for disabled students... and it pays quite well..
Hi thanks for the answers.
I think 12.5k is a budget in Reading. I do need a larger room as I would need a normal desk and my books in the room. A tiny room with 4sqm is not an option.
@PC_geek: Do I get this right that first of all you got no financial support for attend a conference? Why is this actually? In my case it is the same problem and I don't know where to ask for funds and how easy it would be to get funding.
I thought about demonstrating etc, too. I would like it but only if it would not eat up much of my time as the studentship is strictly paid for three years.
As I would move alone to the UK there is not a chance to save costs, e.g. by sharing a room etc.
' Do I get this right that first of all you got no financial support for attend a conference? '
Well, I didn't get any financial support in my stipend... so I told my Supervisor - pay for expenses to go to conferences, else I'm not going....
Thankfully he was a nice bloke so put aside some of his budget to send us to conferences he felt were good to go to.
The studentship does not included any amount for conferences and travel costs. What do you think? What do I have to pay for a reasonable room in that would fit a double bed, normal desk, shelves, wardrobe and lot of books in Reading? It is possible to get along with 300 pcm for everything else? The university recommends for food and housekeeping 150-200pcm. It seems there would not be much left.
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Studentships vary from university to university and also depend on funding councils. So basically you have to do the best you can.
I would shop around for your accommodation, sharing a large house with other postgrads would be cheaper but you will probably have to look at something a bit further away from your campus.
Booking your flights well in advance to Austria would save quite a lot via budget airlines.
Re the conferences and travel costs, there might be some money available in your department, you should check. Additionally, some conferences have bursaries for students, especially if you present an oral or poster.
Like others have said, try to take on teaching jobs etc to get the extra cash.
======= Date Modified 23 Oct 2008 10:28:22 =======
Bluesky, why don't you just contact your prospective department or PhD administrator and ask about the travel/conference allowances that come along with your studentship?? Studentships are all different, so no one can give you a definitive answer. Generally, studentships have no travel/conference budgets attached to them, but you can apply to your graduate school/department for funding for specific conferences, they usually set money aside for that, but don't expect much (maybe a few hundred).
Ignore Sandy...she's spam.
Hi Bluesky81, i am a PhD student at Reading, just going into my 3rd year, so i've been living in Reading for just over 2 years now. Reading is a bit more expensive than other parts of the UK. If you want a bigger room (double bed, desk, shelves, cupboard etc) the normal price is roughly £350 - £400 a month, depending on what other features the house has. Check out reading.gumtree.com and click on houseshares to get an idea. Personally, i find that my overal monthly spending is under £1000 per month, but this does vary. For example, if i don't have much of a social life for a month (as often happens with a bloody PhD!) i can get away with spending about £600 on rent and food. The remaining £400 carries over to the next month, thus giving me a bit more financial security for the next month.
If i'm honest, to do everything you want to do (travel to oxford regularly, go back to Austria etc) you might struggle a bit on 12.5k (sorry if that's not what you want to hear!) But it is still possible to acheive everything if you save and use EVERY last penny. It's possible, but just bare in mind it will not be too easy.
I'm happy to answer any more questions you have about Reading/accommodation/money.
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