Mariam Sharfi

My name is Mariam and I'm a fourth year medical student at RCSI. I’m from Boston, Massachusetts and currently live in Dublin city centre with my roommate. I decided not to work in Ireland during the school year and to focus fully on my studies.

I love trying new restaurants and cafés with my friends and am determined to find the best coffee in Dublin! I try to save money by cooking my own meals for the week and then enjoy the weekends while out with my friends. This week is a little unconventional as I am preparing to fly to Boston, while also studying for exams, so I have less time to cook at home.

This week, I finish up my psychiatry rotation in Cavan General Hospital and travel back to Dublin to study for my end of psychiatry rotation final exam. I also participate in society meetings and celebrate one of my friend’s birthdays.

  • Programme: Medicine (Year 4)
  • Living quarters: Dublin city centre

Monthly expenses

Rent: €950.

Number of housemates: One.

Transport: This varies depending on which hospital I’m placed at for the week, but approx. €60.

Household bills: €40 for electricity and Wi-Fi.

Phone bill: €10 for unlimited data.

Groceries: €100.

Subscriptions: None.

Budget breakdown

  • 7:30am: I get up and start my day by making coffee from home before heading to the RCSI Library with my overnight oats for breakfast which I made last night. I start studying as my psychiatry exam is in two days.
  • 12pm: I brought the rest of the food I had left at home for lunch and ate this during my study break at the library. I then study with my friend to prepare for our Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
  • 4pm: I take a study break to go grab some bubble tea with a friend as it was such a sunny day in Dublin (€4.75). We drink our bubble tea and take a walk around St Stephen's Green before I head back to the library.
  • 7:30pm: My friend and I decide to order some Thai food to the library for dinner as we continue studying for our exam (€15). We finish up our studying and finally leave the library after a long day.
  • 9pm: I stop by Lidl on my way home to grab some groceries and meal prepare for the week. I buy less than I normally would as I am flying back home for the summer next week (€15). I usually do my grocery shopping on Sunday or Monday to prepare my meals for the week.

Total: €34.75

  • 7:30am: My alarm goes off and I get up and start getting ready for the day ahead. I am travelling to Cavan General Hospital for my final few days of my psychiatry rotation.
  • 9:45am: I split a cab with my friend to get our luggage to the bus station (€5). I also get a coffee from the station (€3.50) before getting on the bus (€4.45).
  • 12:15pm: We reach Cavan and stop at a café near the clinic for lunch (€10). We go to the clinic to see patients before heading back to the B&B provided by RCSI. 
  • 6pm: I brought my prepared meal of chilli and rice for dinner (which I had made the day before) and eat that at the B&B, before spending the rest of the evening studying.

Total: €22.95

  • 7:30am: I start getting ready for another day at the clinic. Our B&B provides breakfast covered by RCSI, so I eat that this morning before packing up my stuff and bringing it to the clinic. My friend and I split a cab to the clinic since we were bringing out luggage (€5).
  • 12pm: After seeing some patients, we grab lunch and a coffee from the café by the clinic (€15). My classmates and I then stop at Centra to pick up a card and small dessert for our tutor to say thank you, as it is our last day of the five-week psychiatry rotation (€3 each).
  • 4:30pm: We finish up at the clinic and then walk to the bus station before heading on the bus back to Dublin (€4.45).
  • 7:30pm: Arriving back in Dublin, my group splits a cab back to our accommodations (€3). I get home, unpack and eat some leftover food in the fridge, before doing some pre-bedtime study.

Total: €30.45

  • 7:30am: I wake up this morning and grab a coffee and croissant and I head to library for a day of studying (€5.50). We have our end of rotation psychiatry exam next week, so I study for that as well as my final exams, which are in two weeks' time.
  • 12pm: After studying for a while, I take a break and head to the RCSI canteen where I grab lunch (€5). I head back to my spot at the library to continue studying.
  • 4pm: After finishing up some more work, I go to the RCSI sports centre and gym for a quick workout. I then go home to shower and make myself a smoothie before getting ready for my Neuroscience Society meeting at school.
  • 7:30pm: I attend the meeting and then head back to the library to finish up a couple of assignments. I wasn’t very hungry, so I just ate some of the snacks I brought as I finish up my work and head back home to get ready for bed.

Total: €10.50

  • 7am: I get ready to visit Beaumont Hospital. As part of our psychiatry rotation, we have classes at Beaumont on Fridays. I take the bus to Beaumont with my student Leap Card (€1).
  • 12pm: We finish up our morning lectures and have a short break for lunch. I brought some pasta and a granola bar from home to eat for lunch before heading back to our afternoon lectures.
  • 3pm: Our lectures finish for the day and I grab the bus back to city centre (€1). I have an appointment at Mercer's Medical Centre to get my vaccination forms signed (€10). At this appointment, I also realise I am due for a tetanus booster shot so I decide to avail of that as well (€50).
  • 4:30pm: I head to school after my appointment to get some studying done at the library. While at school, I see that there is an RCSI merchandise pop-up store where I buy an RCSI tote bag (€5).
  • 7:30pm: After doing some studying, I head to the RCSI gym to get a quick workout in and then meet up with a friend for dinner (€16). After dinner, I head home and relax, before going to sleep.

Total: €83

  • 9am: I sleep in a little bit as I am exhausted, before heading to the library to do some studying for finals. I make my coffee from home today and eat a granola bar for breakfast.
  • 12pm: At noon, I go to a society meeting where they ordered pizza for everyone for lunch. There was a lot of pizza left over, so I was able to take some home with me as well. I head back to the library after the meeting and lunch and finish up my work.
  • 6pm: I leave the library and go shopping on Grafton Street as it’s my friend’s birthday and I purchase her a gift (€30). I then head to her birthday dinner where we had a nice celebratory meal (€25). I head home for an early night in, as I have a long day of studying tomorrow.

Total: €55

  • 8am: I wake up and start my day with some home study. I have plans to meet up with some friends for lunch, so I try to get as much work done as possible before this.
  • 12pm: I go out with a couple friends I haven’t seen in a while and catch up over lunch (€13). We then walk towards the library and notice a flea market was going on in town where we stop by for a little bit of window shopping –  and I buy myself a cute mug (€7).
  • 7pm: I take a break from studying to eat dinner at the library – I had some leftovers from the night before. I study for my psychiatry exam with a friend before heading back home to get ready for bed.

Total: €20

Weekly total: €256.65