A Culture of Friendly Professors by Vidya


Vidya Nalawade

For American students, this blog is simply the normal thing and it won’t make sense. However, my international friends know what I am talking about. So dear friends, ask yourself … Did you ever call your professor by his/her first name?   No sir/madam and not even sometimes Dr/Mr…. 99 % – 100% of the international students’ answer will be…. NO….Are you kidding me?   How can we take their name? Where is the respect? No way… not in my 20 years of education!   J

But now, I welcome you to the culture of friendly professors.  In the USA, you don’t have to say Sir/Madam. At first when I came here, nobody told me this and it was a big shock for me.  Here, we have to call professors, by their last name with Dr. or Mr. in front of it. But most of the time, they ask you to call them by their first name!  Once asked by them you can call them by their first name.  No SIR or MADAM… Funny, right? But trust me, it is very HARD to implement.  I know that very well.  You just can’t get used to it and you feel it is not good way of addressing them.  But you have to keep in mind, it is all about CULTURE and now you are in different culture.

Also one more thing:  I love this culture as, if you have a question you can directly go and ask the professor. These professors are so friendly;  however, back home students are scared of professors. I didn’t even think of going and asking questions to my professors until I come here.  They have what is termed “Office Hours.” Office hours means the professor will be in his office for a set time to answer the questions from the students. If you have any question, just go ahead and stop in during his office hours and meet him! This concept was totally new for me but this is, I think the best way of communication and also professor can give personal attention to the students who are lacking in that particular subject.

I agree that, these things seem small and may not matter much. But it is better to know in advance, right? J

So, Welcome to the culture of friendly professors!  I am glad to be a part of this culture and education system now.


Vidya Nalawade

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