277 votes
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How to deal with students who submit their homework as an attachment to a completely blank e-mail?

I don't really think this is odd: they have been asked to send the assignment by email and they did. There isn't really a need to say anything further and they didn't. Maybe it would be slightly ...
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190 votes
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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 ...
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  • 127k
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. ...
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113 votes
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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, ...
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105 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; ...
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101 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 ...
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98 votes
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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 ...
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  • 1,286
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 ...
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  • 7,762
87 votes

How to deal with students who submit their homework as an attachment to a completely blank e-mail?

When teaching large classes or multiple classes, it can be very helpful if the email, or even better the subject line, contains the key information about the class, section, group and assignment (and ...
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  • 103k
83 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 ...
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  • 8,301
71 votes

Why is discrimination based on citizenship allowed in PhD funding in the UK?

I wrote a pretty extensive response on this a little while ago: here and also this may be slightly relevant. The short version is: Because they can be, and because they have to be. UK universities ...
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67 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 ...
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  • 171k
61 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 ...
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  • 171k
60 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 ...
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  • 3,167
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 ...
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  • 686
53 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 ...
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  • 171k
52 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 ...
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  • 1,341
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 (...
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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 ...
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40 votes
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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 ...
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39 votes

Are concerns about studying in Russia reasonable?

I try not to think of myself as a person influenced by the US propaganda (I am more acquainted with Soviet and late Russian propaganda, more likely). However, I can not really advise you to go for ...
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38 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 ...
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37 votes
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Misunderstood exam question with consequences for incorrect answer

At my institution the default way to handle this is (3 Stick with the 0 for this question). Essentially, every student is required to handle the teaching language well enough to be able to work on the ...
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  • 127k
37 votes

Why is discrimination based on citizenship allowed in PhD funding in the UK?

In addition to the other answer, I think a big problem you are facing is that you and the UK government do not having matching expectations of what a PhD student position is. You say: Having chosen ...
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  • 127k
36 votes
Accepted

Why is getting your PhD in Iran invalid for obtaining a post-doc position in the US?

I think the answer is simple: your premise is false. There are no rules/regulations forbidding an Iranian earned PhD from being a postdoc in the US. It might be hard to get a postdoc in the US for ...
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  • 9,640
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 ...
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  • 2,173
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 ...
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  • 7,162
33 votes
Accepted

How does one go about doing a Ph.D. in Europe as an American?

I am not even sure it makes sense to speak about “graduate schools” in Europe. In the countries I know, the big divide is between the master's degree and the PhD program, and not between bachelor and ...
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  • 1,306
33 votes
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Should I hold the same writing standards for international students as I do for domestic students?

There are two different types of value judgement that you are discussing here---communication goals and grading---and I think it's important to carefully separate them. Communication Goals: I think ...
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