International students planning to come to US for Graduate school might be wondering with questions like “How would my professors treat me in US? Will they be friendly? Do they hold any grudge against me if I ask them lot of questions? How should I behave with professors in class?” This article will address some of these common questions.
Professors interaction with Students in US Schools
In my experience, studying in few US schools, most of the professors were very friendly. In general, most of them are very prompt and on time to class, they teach the class with passion…depending on the type of class, there is little or lot of discussion in the class. Some professors tell stories to articulate the concepts and some share stories to keep the students attentive. They treat students with great respect. The reality is, graduate classes (MS or MBA) are with students with different age groups ranging from early twenties to late forties or even fifties at times. Professors do not try to control the class by intimidating them that they will cut their final grade or anything like that….in fact, Professors are bound by many university and academic policies. Major ones are, they cannot discriminate students based on their age, race, gender, academic achievement, color or status. They cannot show favoritism to particular set of students and should follow academic honesty policies at all the times. Students can report to the dean if they sense any kind of these policy violations. In fact, I was part of Academic honesty and policies committee representing the student body and was part of some hearings…the laws and policies are strict in US. So, most of the times professors do not do anything against policies and treat everyone with respect and adhere to rules. As a student you can ask as many questions as you want, you will not be penalized for it. They cannot hold the grudge against you and get your grades or do anything like that…if you sense something; you can talk to dean about the situation and student will get justice.
Apart from classes, professors are very friendly outside of classes too…they say Hi to you if you run into them in the hall way. If you go and talk to them in office hours, they are very helpful. They respond to emails very promptly. I had so much interaction with some amazing professors. They are just great and helped me with right guidance. They can help you get internships or jobs too. In fact, I had an internship in one of my professors’ company with his support.
How to interact with Professors as a Graduate Student?
Professors are usually addressed by “Dr.” followed by their last name. If not, you can call them “professor” followed by their last name. Some professors say you can call them by first name, but it is not recommended. You have to respect your professors and call them by “Dr.” …if they do not have PhD, you can call them by “ Mr. or Ms.” Followed by last name. like “ Dr. Will , Mr. Jones or Ms. Roger, etc”. You can say Hi to them if you see them. If you have questions, feel free to talk to them in office hours or in break time. You do not need to be afraid of professors that they will control your grades. Professors do not care about your personal life or other things…all they care about is their class and how well you perform in the class in their rubric.
How was your interaction with Professors ? What do you think ?