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Student commutes by plane every week to get to his classes because it’s cheaper than renting
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/BerkleyEngineering/Pixabay

Student commutes by plane every week to get to his classes because it’s cheaper than renting

Bill Zhou has spent the last year studying at University of California, Berkeley, commuting tree times a week by plane from LA.

With much of the world having almost no Covid-19 guidelines nowadays, many are now readapting to spending more time in the office or university campus rather than doing the bulk of work at home.

And, as a result, those dreaded morning commutes have returned, certainly a disadvantage of working back with people face-to-face.

I think many of us are guilty of moaning about a 20-minute commute to the office, subsequently meaning 20 minutes less in bed.

However, this one student's commute over the last year to university blows everyone else's morning dash to work/school out of the park.

Bill Zhou was accepted into a one-year master's at the University of California, Berkeley, to study transportation engineering.

Bill Zhou has spent the last year studying at UC Berkeley.

Well, Zhou resides in Los Angeles, so you'd expect that he would have moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to complete his studies.

But no, the student decided to stay in LA for the duration of his studies, subsequently commuting to class by plane three times a week.

Speaking to Business Insider, Zhou said: "I had this wild idea of living in Los Angeles and commuting to school by plane to avoid the expensive rent around the campus.

"I knew I would go back to LA after graduation because I really enjoyed my job and wanted to stay at my company. Bay Area rent for a private bedroom and bathroom is super expensive, and I didn't feel justified in spending that much money.

Bill Zhou decided to commute to his university campus in San Francisco from LA.

"My apartment in LA is a great deal — if I left, I would have to break the lease and probably wouldn't be able to get a price like that again."

Over the year, Zhou took 238 flights at a cost of $2,413.14, but how exactly could he afford it?

He explained: "The main reason I could afford flying three times a week to school was that I had accumulated a lot of frequent-flier miles and credit-card points over the past few years.

"Since I knew what my class schedule looked like, I did a lot of planning and booked all my tickets in advance.

"Besides the month of August, all my travel dates fell within the off-peak travel season, so my tickets were much cheaper."

The student found ways to reduce the cost of travel.

The commute from Zhou's door to the university campus clocked in between four-and-a-half to five hours each way.

He did this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and remarkably did not miss a single class during the whole year.

"I graduated with a 3.88 GPA. Including airfare, gas, parking, and a $491 ticket I got from the California Highway Patrol, the commute cost me approximately $6,100 for the year." he said.

"In total, I spent 75,955 minutes on my commute, equivalent to 52.75 24-hour days."

But, if you are thinking of doing the same, Zhou says that it's probably best to avoid unless you are interested in transportation like he is.

"For me, I didn't view this as a dreadful commute — but as a small trip every time I got to class." he said.

Topics: Education, US News, Travel