Seeing that many answers that seem to actually come from the US find the described supervision pattern good/normal/expected,
I'd like to put in a (slightly old-fashioned) European STEM perspective.
However, I'd first like to say that this cultural difference is somewhat unexpected for me. I did a research stay in Canada between finishing my Diplom and beginning my PhD (so a bit earlier than friend) and the experience was quite different from what is described here: true collaboration as opposed to checking up on progress.
So together with the other answers, I'd say that the cultural difference probably does play a role but inexperience of the supervisors probably also adds to that (not recognizing that the close supervision isn't needed and actually hampers progress).
About the cultural difference:
For European PhD "programs*" a sufficiently good Master is typcially the prerequisite.
So any PhD student** in Europe is a fully qualified professional (though I do see recently a tendency to tell the PhD "students" that the PhD is still part of their qualification program/schedule)
- The Master thesis demonstrates that the (then-still) student is able to work out a research topic of manageable complexity (6 - 12 months) essentiall on their own, i.e. with slight guidance by the supervisor.
(The more guidance the lower the mark)
- A PhD thesis in this framework demonstrates that the candidate is able to work out a fairly complex (3 years FTE) research topic on their own. On their own means very importantly means that they'll organize themselves, get collaborations going etc. Of course they'll discuss with supervisors and peers, and of course senior scientists have far more experience of a wider fiels - however in the narrow field of the PhD topic, the "student" is expected .
I wrote above that this is a slightly old-fashioned point of view: things develop into the direction that PhD students are less free in their choice of project and milestones (but paid more) and also more closely supervised.
If the friend comes from a group with the old-fashioned European perspective, the described micro-management is not only unpleasant as micro-management, but for the student it may carry the unspoken notion that the student is essentially failing: if they were doing fine, such a close supervision would not be necessary.
So what can I tell her to do when she asks the next time?
Maybe you could reflect with your friend whether this is a contributing point to the issue. If so, I'd suggest that
- knowing about the cultural difference may already relieve the friend's stress a bit, and
- explaining to the collaborators (incl. professor) that this difference a) unfortunately means that the current close supervision causes a lot of stress and b) friend is actually used to and able to work far more independently and would wish to do so already there.
I've been in a micro-managed research group (in Europe) after 8 years in various not-micro-managed research groups and found it quite stressful and prone to conflicts. For me it certainly diod carry the impression of distrust in my work/professional abilities. It took a considerable amount of reflection to realize what exactly was going on. I decided to refuse that suggestion. I think this kept me healthy - but it certainly did not make me a meek member of staff (i.e. from their point of view: difficult to manage). I'm emphasizing this here because getting to that decision and not just becoming mad at the supervisor took considerable mental energy.
I find that being in a foreign country with a foreign work culture (even if within the Western cultures) and probably foreign language already requires more mental energy than just living "as usual" at home.
Here this may mean that friend's mental resources are already strained without the difficulties at work. Which firstly hampers reflection about what is going on. Secondly, even with reflection she may not be able to brush off of the micro-management as she'd be able to do at home.
However, she may still be able to communicate this to the collaborators. The collaborators in turn may realize that micro-management is counterproductive here if that is clearly pronounced. (At least, there's a chance)
Another nuance to this is that at some point during my stay I got homesick. But I didn't realize it until long afterwards that that's probably how it is called. Nevertheless, it didn't help in terms of equanimity - I'm afraid I became quite grumpy. I'm writing this because what I remember is that I felt decidedly hampered and restricted (by external circumstances, not by collaborators - but I do smell a possible relation to what you describe). That could be a contributing point that doesn't have to do with the collaborators themselves - but again reflecting and communicating this may allow them to help her.
What is worse than micro-management is the combination of micro-management with unspoken rules. So I totally agree with the call for clear spelled-out rules and explanations in some of the other answers.
One such communication could be to say (friend) that she does want to productively collaborate with her supervisors. As the current mode is hampering her due to the stressful experience/connotations she cannot help (for the moment), she suggests to turn around the mode: the supervisors will let her work undisturbed, and she'll call on them (alternatively, schedule meetings).
Possibly, also the style of the meetings could be changed. The description in the question is supervision, not collaboration: supervisors hand out tasks and check completion. Collaboration means that they all should also work on the subject together. (To put it a bit more bluntly, pushing and checking completion of tasks is management, but not an intellectual contribution to a paper in itself). Maybe friend can close her description of what she did with a description of what her next steps are going to be. The collaborators of course can suggest changes, but they'll need to convince her, as she ultimately decides what she does next.
There is no description in the question whether the collaborators actually do think together with friend through her recent results and discuss these scientifically and intelligently. Acting as such discussion partners to help friend to sharpen her thoughts and ideas and contributing their insights are proper contributions on the side of the collaborators.
@OP: maybe you can reflect together with your friend whether such scientific input does take place. If so, that's what she's actually come to that group for - it may be helpful for her to fully appreciate this. First for herself and then also to communicate to the collaborators that she does realize and appreciate this.
If on the other hand this is lacking, I'd say she should clearly formulate her expectation of such a collaboration.
* they are often not very much like anything that is usually called a program. They are almost pure research.
** In German, they are not even called student (nor do they have to enroll to university as students - although they are allowed to do so in order to get some benefits such as cheap bus/train tickets)