Yu Qing Chang

Hi, I am Yu Qing and I am in my third year of studying Medicine at RCSI. I’m from Singapore and live a five-minute walk away from RCSI with my friend in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

I would usually eat three to four meals out with my friends each week, but other than that I tend to grab groceries from Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Asian Market. I walk to college everyday, but take the bus to placements.

This week, I finish my rotations in Waterford and travel back to Dublin to study for my exams. I will also be having a farewell dinner with the badminton club and will be going for a gathering at a friend’s home.

  • Programme: Medicine (Year 3)
  • Living quarters: Dublin city centre

Monthly expenses

Rent: €1,150 for my room in a two-bedroom apartment.

Number of housemates: One.

Transport: My Leap Card is topped up with approx. €40 (mainly for transport to placement, as I always walk to college).

Household bills: €40-50 for electricity and Wi-Fi.

Phone bill: €25 for 100Gb data.

Groceries: €100.

Subscriptions: I use my family’s Netflix and Apple Music accounts.

Budget breakdown

  • 9.15am: My alarm goes off and I get up and start getting ready to head to college for my self-study. This week is a week without placements.
  • 10.15am: I get to campus and grab a cup of iced dirty chai latte from These Hands coffee shop (€4.20).
  • 1pm: I get spiced chicken with fries from the 1784 cafeteria at RCSI (€5).
  • 4pm: I have another cup of coffee (€4).
  • 6pm: I go to badminton practice.
  • 8.30pm: I attend a farewell dinner with the badminton team (€23.40).

Total: €36.60

  • 9.15am: I get up and head to college for some self-study, as I have no placements this week.
  • 10.15am: I make a cup of cold brew at home and bring it to campus in a keep cup.
  • 1pm: I eat the fried rice which I meal prepared for lunch.
  • 3pm: I get an avocado shake (€6) and a packet of crisps (€1.50) as a mid-revision snack.
  • 7.30pm: I visit a friend’s place for dinner and card games.

Total: €7.50

  • 7.45am: Today I'm on placement in Waterford – RCSI covers the hotel and travel fares to and from the hospital when we have placements outside of Dublin.
  • 8.45am: I get to the hospital and start my day with a tutorial from our clinical tutor.
  • 1pm: I finish my placement early today, as we have two online tutorials to attend later in the afternoon.
  • 1.15 pm: I go to Hook & Ladder to order French toast with bacon for brunch (€13.95) and an oat latte from Blackfriar Cafe (€3.50).
  • 2pm: I attend some online lectures.
  • 7pm: I grab McDonalds for dinner (€4).

Total: €21.45

  • 7.45am: Today is another placement day in Waterford.
  • 8.55am: I get to the hospital and start my day.
  • 1pm: On my 40-minute break, I eat a tomato meatball pasta and a mocha from the canteen (€13.01) and have a quick chat with the rest of my groupmates before heading off to the theatre.
  • 5pm: We catch a cab back to the hotel.
  • 7pm: I head out for dinner with a group of friends (€13.95).

Total: €26.96

  • 7.45am: I get ready for my last day on placement in Waterford.
  • 8.45am: I get to the hospital for a group presentation as well as a clinical assessment.
  • 10.30pm: We finish our placement and share a cab to a café near to Waterford train station (€3). I order a mushroom omelette and an oat latte (€9).
  • 1.05pm: We catch the train back to Dublin (€7.20).
  • 3.30pm: Three of us share a cab back home as we live in the same apartment building (€3.50).
  • 8.30pm: I go to school for badminton and after that a few of us decide to have dinner at a Korean restaurant – I order a tuna kimchi soup and a bubble tea (€16.50).

Total: €39.20

  • 10am: I wake up and head to school to study.
  • 10.45am: I get to campus and grab a cup of iced dirty chai latte from These Hands coffee shop (€4.20).
  • 1pm: I go for lunch with a few friends and got a bowl of noodles (€13.50).
  • 1.50pm: I get the Luas (a light rail system in Dublin) back to college as it was raining (€1).
  • 4pm: I get another cup of coffee, as I was feeling a little tired (€4).
  • 7pm: To relax, I decide to organise a dinner with friends (€15).

Total: €37.70

  • 9.45am: I get up and buy groceries for meal preparation for the week ahead.
  • 10.30am: I go to Dunnes Stores and buy a week’s worth of groceries, utilising a discount coupon of €5 (€22.30) and also stock up on some ingredients from Asia Market (€9.80).
  • 2pm: I cook fried rice and have one portion for lunch, while leaving four portions in the fridge for other days of the week.
  • 2pm: I head into college to study.
  • 8.30pm: I eat fried rice for dinner again.

Total: €32.10