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189 votes
Accepted

I'm afraid of chemicals. How do I handle my required uni biology class?

To further echo one of the comments: Seek professional help. This may be a trained psychologist, or even just a general medical practitioner, who may be able to direct you to another institution if ...
xLeitix's user avatar
  • 136k
126 votes

Are non-citizen Muslim professors and students going to be removed from US universities and subsequently deported by Trump's ban?

The current ban applies only to people who are outside the US. Nobody knows what Trump might do in the future, though. Edit: The situation keeps changing, and I will not be updating this answer. ...
Anonymous Physicist's user avatar
122 votes
Accepted

Why do universities require international students to show language proficiency?

The short answer is that when people want something, they often experience cognitive distortions that prevents entirely accurate assessments. Dunning-Kruger is a good example of one of these effects, ...
BrianH's user avatar
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109 votes
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How to respond to "unfair to write English" comments?

For writing proofs, full knowledge of English is not necessary. Most proofs can be written using a single tense. It is sufficient (and often advisable) to keep the structure of sentences very simple; ...
Dmitry Savostyanov's user avatar
100 votes

My student's family won't let her study what she wants

Some thoughts: Suggest counseling. They are much more likely to be able to help support her in expressing her goals to her parents, understanding their position, and perhaps in negotiating some sort ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
99 votes
Accepted

Should non-native speakers get extra time to compose exam answers?

Disability conditions are applicable when there is an uncontrollable disadvantage that prevents the person fairly demonstrating their knowledge, skill and ability in the same timeframe. This is not ...
Nij's user avatar
  • 1,208
95 votes

My student's family won't let her study what she wants

I have had a small number of students in the same situation over the decades. My first rule is: Don't get between the student and the parents. That's a complicated and stormy dynamic and I can't do ...
B. Goddard's user avatar
  • 7,872
84 votes
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PhD student failing

Have you communicated with the student clearly about the situation? It's easy to softball negative news so they might not realize just how dire their situation is. Sit them down and straightforwardly ...
nengel's user avatar
  • 8,351
69 votes

How to respond to "unfair to write English" comments?

Your experience resonates with me. In my classes I also have many students with imperfect English. I have often noticed (including as recently as a couple of weeks ago) that when I give lengthy word ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 193k
60 votes
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How can I assist other graduate students who may feel increasingly "unwelcome" due to their countries of origin?

The best thing you can do in my opinion is to be the change you wish to see in the world. Namely, be as friendly and welcoming to the international students as you can be. This will show them that ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 193k
59 votes

Should non-native speakers get extra time to compose exam answers?

If the test isn't about language skills, design it such that people with weaker language skills still can complete it. In most but not all cases tests should test knowledge and understanding, not ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 3,187
56 votes

How to respond to "unfair to write English" comments?

Being at a disadvantage due to a lack of necessary skills does not seem unfair to me. The ability to communicate clearly in written form is an essential skill for pretty well everything that we hope ...
Sam's user avatar
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52 votes

My student's family won't let her study what she wants

This is obviously a very difficult situation that raises tricky issues to do with psychology, parenting, and the sociology of the unnamed country the student is from, which are far above my ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 193k
51 votes
Accepted

What should be done about a professor who treats foreign students worse than domestic students?

Your university almost certainly has an office devoted to considering situations of racial harassment and discrimination. If the behavior is in general towards international students rather than just ...
zeldredge's user avatar
  • 1,331
51 votes

If a professor says he will not fund my internship as it will be my first visit, how can I convince him politely?

It may help to look at this from the professor's point of view: You are not a student at his university (or even a citizen of his university's country), so internal research grants are not an option (...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70.5k
50 votes

Do universities check if the PDF of Letter of Recommendation has been edited?

The truth is that no one would probably check if the letter was modified. The moral is that any self-respecting institute should solicit letters directly from the references, and not accept letters ...
Dilworth's user avatar
  • 13.3k
41 votes

I'm afraid of chemicals. How do I handle my required uni biology class?

(This answer supposed the OP is an American; which turns out to be true, but they are attending school in Canada, so while the general thrust of the answer remains valid some of the US-specific ...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
40 votes
Accepted

Are non-citizen Muslim professors and students going to be removed from US universities and subsequently deported by Trump's ban?

I know that some have the "alien of extraordinary ability" work visa, but what about for others that don't have such status? Even green card holders are impacted by the ban. As far as I know, only ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
40 votes

How to respond to "unfair to write English" comments?

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if changing “English” to “Plain Language” was sufficient to quell students’ concerns. It neatly sidesteps their manifest discomfort with the language itself. I doubt ...
Daniel P. Shannon's user avatar
39 votes

Do universities check if the PDF of Letter of Recommendation has been edited?

Do not submit this letter! You were asked to draft one, to help your professor, but it is their name and not yours that is at the bottom. You have no right to change what they have written, but they ...
terdon's user avatar
  • 2,483
36 votes
Accepted

How to fairly assess applications coming from different countries for a master programme in the US/Europe

The solution we have at our (German) university for this is that we require each student to have a certain amount of credits in specific topics (for example at least 10 credits in courses about ...
Claude's user avatar
  • 2,878
36 votes
Accepted

Is it common for universities to accept graduate students who do not speak the local language?

From what I have seen in different places at least throughout Europe, the standard is indeed that the only language requirements are those for the language of instruction. However if the program is ...
mlk's user avatar
  • 8,139
32 votes

How to negotiate such toxic competitiveness during my master’s studies?

Let's consider. There was an internship position for five people, which they secured by approaching the professor before I could...There was one more position available, but they didn't inform me. ...
cag51's user avatar
  • 70.5k
31 votes

Why do universities require international students to show language proficiency?

A language proficiency requirement is no different from any other proficiency requirement. Universities will typically ask you to prove your subject proficiency through grade boundaries in lower ...
Jack Aidley's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Should I include non-English textbooks in the course?

I think you can distinguish between required and optional materials For required materials (students will be expected to read regularly, have exams on the content, solve exercises from the book, etc),...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
31 votes

I'm afraid of chemicals. How do I handle my required uni biology class?

I realize that rational arguments do not help phobias. Dealing with a phobia will require therapy as suggested by the other answers. Sometimes understanding better the things you fear can help you ...
WaterMolecule's user avatar
29 votes

How to respond to "unfair to write English" comments?

A short explanation of my grading philosophy in this instance often comforts my ESL learners: While I will not take off points for general English mistakes (for example with grammar), I do take off ...
Mathprof's user avatar
  • 1,098
29 votes
Accepted

How to negotiate such toxic competitiveness during my master’s studies?

My advice is to ignore them and focus on yourself. In my field in the US, the type of person you're describing is not all that uncommon - usually a type-A person with no self-awareness and a ...
sErISaNo's user avatar
  • 9,475

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible