I am a first year PhD student. I am doing it from an institute in a remote part of the world where the temperature is -10 degrees most time of the year. I took this opportunity after doing my Masters in Europe and I was really happy with the time I spent during my masters thesis research and really liked my research and came up with good results and very good grades. Now, I have taken this scholarship position but I am already in dark. As said, this institute is in a very small town. I can't speak the language of local people. I can't go out for a walk because its too cold.

I don't think that the project is difficult. In fact it is easier for me. But my daily life is not perfect because to read a research paper or write an article I need a fresh and happy mind, which in this city and cold temperature is not possible. I have money just for food and living and no more for even traveling to another city.

Can someone please tell me if I should leave this program?

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    We can't make life decisions for you. – Memming Apr 8 '16 at 23:29
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    It is your decision to make, do not let anyone or anything change your future. However, doing groundbreaking research in Alaska on million year soil would be fun, no matter the cold. – Nikey Mike Apr 8 '16 at 23:34
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    change as soon as possible, PhD without social life and conection is hell – SSimon Apr 9 '16 at 0:35
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    @SSimon, I disagree. There are many excellent PhD students that succeeded without social life and connections. Of course, it's not for everyone. It depends on the personality of the student. – Dilworth Apr 10 '16 at 14:10
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    @SSimon. No. We are talking about the veracity of your statement: "change as soon as possible, PhD without social life and conection is hell". It has no mention of cold or foreign institutes. – Dilworth Apr 12 '16 at 16:23

It's impossible to advise you what to do. But I would consider to give it more time, e.g., a year, before quitting. You may still be effected psychologically by the change of place, weather, geography and location; you are still not adjusted to the new place. So you feel anxious and perhaps panic. But it may not be a good strategy to haphazardly decide on quitting the PhD while in this position. So I would advise you to wait more time and see if you adjust to your place and perhaps start enjoying your project.

(Also, PhD is never easy, and so mild depression while completing a phd is quite common.)

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    Thank You for the advice as it seems more logical. You used the correct word panic for my situation. In a comment before there came Alaska so exactly its a similar story. Today was the most difficult day of my life. So much depression. I don't want to discourage PhDs but I am concerned with my social life here. Me and my roommates call it a prison. I can take this pain if I am earning 5000 Dollars on an Oil rig far from world but only for food and living, No. I think I am going to do something wrong in my career but I am leaving it. – Alex Apr 10 '16 at 2:58

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