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Dutchy
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PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:26 pm

A friend got his PhD last year. And got me thinking, How do they do this in other countries?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Philosophy

Quite hard to get in The Netherlands, basically two tracks:
- after your master (university level and preferably a research master), you can apply for a PhD position, depending on which subject you want to earn your doctorate it can be quite hard to get. 4 years you earn a bit of money and finish your doctorate, mostly you are also required to do some teaching to bachelor students.
- or you do it in combination with a job, which is quite hard to do of course and many take 7 -10 years to finish it if they finish it at all. You just have to get a professor interested in the subject and of you go. I think a master is a requirement, but I am not absolutely sure about that.

And after all that hard work you get invited to give your dissertation in a beautiful room, full of history:

Image

Although a small anecdote: below those portraits, there is a name and when they have taught at University Utrecht, however, there was a fire in the building, one time, so they got all those portraits out in time, but when it became time to put them back in again, nobody knew where to put them again, so almost certainly no portrait matches the subscription below anymore :)
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:41 pm

Dutchy wrote:
A friend got his PhD last year. And got me thinking, How do they do this in other countries?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Philosophy

Quite hard to get in The Netherlands, basically two tracks:
- after your master (university level and preferably a research master), you can apply for a PhD position, depending on which subject you want to earn your doctorate it can be quite hard to get. 4 years you earn a bit of money and finish your doctorate, mostly you are also required to do some teaching to bachelor students.
- or you do it in combination with a job, which is quite hard to do of course and many take 7 -10 years to finish it if they finish it at all. You just have to get a professor interested in the subject and of you go. I think a master is a requirement, but I am not absolutely sure about that.

And after all that hard work you get invited to give your dissertation in a beautiful room, full of history:

Image

Although a small anecdote: below those portraits, there is a name and when they have taught at University Utrecht, however, there was a fire in the building, one time, so they got all those portraits out in time, but when it became time to put them back in again, nobody knew where to put them again, so almost certainly no portrait matches the subscription below anymore :)


My brother in law did it via the option 2 you describe. He just got his PhD a few months ago. It took him around 4 years.

I think what you described is the way to do it in Western Europe in general, not just in the Netherlands
 
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:44 pm

Then your brother in law did it quite fast for Dutch standards. I think in Germany it is much more common to earn a PhD and to judge from the scandals in German politics, it is quite "easy" to get, although the academic standards must be quite high in Germany.

In general, depending on the subject, you need to have 3-4 articles submitted in peer-reviewed magazines, not admitted, but even so.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Then your brother in law did it quite fast for Dutch standards. I think in Germany it is much more common to earn a PhD and to judge from the scandals in German politics, it is quite "easy" to get, although the academic standards must be quite high in Germany.

In general, depending on the subject, you need to have 3-4 articles submitted in peer-reviewed magazines, not admitted, but even so.


Add on top of that that he's only 34 and has three children.. so yeah quite an achievement. He also had several articles submitted in newspapers.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Newspapers? Or scientific peer-reviewed magazines? Quite a difference :)
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:10 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Newspapers? Or scientific peer-reviewed magazines? Quite a difference :)


Not sure actually. I would have to ask him
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:05 pm

In the US it's the same: you can go to a PhD full time or work and complete it part-time (which is very challenging).

The credit load also depends on whether you have a Master's in the field. Going for a PhD in Physics with a Master's in Biology will be very challenging and you'll have to take remedial courses and then begin the actual PhD courses. Having a Master's in Physics may reduce the credit workload by skipping the remedial courses (duh) and the early PhD credits.

I'm enrolled in a Master's in Systems Engineering and I'm considering going for a Doctorate in Engineering (different from a PhD, in the same way that an MS and ME are different), but that's way down in the future. After I'm done, I wanna take a few years off and enjoy myself.

That being said: unless your plan is to go into research or Academia, it's pointless to get a PhD. You'd be overqualified for a job or you'll have several peers at the same level. A friend of mine is doing his post-doc (as if having spent your whole 20s doing a master and PhD weren't enough...) because even with a PhD he can't land a job as a professor or a researcher.
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SmithAir747
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:16 pm

I attained my PhD in oral & craniofacial sciences in 2012 from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

Previously, I had done a BS (1998) and MS (2001) in biology from Purdue University (at the Fort Wayne local campus).

I pursued further education in biomedical science at King's College London in the UK (2004-2007), attaining a BSc in biomedical science (intercalating in craniofacial science). At King's College London I found my niche in craniofacial genetics laboratory research, and my mentors there encouraged me to pursue a PhD in craniofacial science based on my outstanding work in the lab and potential for a career in that field of research, as well as my life experience with the rare craniofacial disorder Treacher Collins syndrome.

I went on to do my PhD at UCSF from 2007-2012. The first two years, besides didactic courses in craniofacial embryology, anomalies, and related subject matter, also comprised three semester-length laboratory rotations with different professors concentrating on different aspects of craniofacial biology. In my 2nd such rotation, I examined the effect of early embryonic hypoxia (low oxygen, due to oxygen deprivation) on craniofacial development in chicken embryos. My early findings (high mortality of hypoxic chick embryos and a spectrum of gross craniofacial and brain malformations in surviving hypoxic embryos) inspired me to choose that particular lab for my dissertation project, to continue and expand this work.

In my third year, I had to write a NIH-style research proposal and sit a combined oral and written qualifying exam to be considered a candidate for a PhD. The exam covered not only my proposal, but also the general scientific basics of craniofacial embryology. In the written exam, I had to write essay-length answers (including drawing diagrams and pictures of embryos, signalling pathways, and other minutiae of craniofacial embryonic development) as well as justify my proposal's rationale and results and future plans. The oral exam expanded on that. My committee (my immediate lab professor and other mentors in that field at UCSF) administered this two-part exam, critiqued my proposal, and deliberated, before calling me into their private room to congratulate me on passing my qualifying exam for PhD candidacy.

The remainder of my time at UCSF was spent continuing and expanding my experiments to explain why hypoxic chick embryos were getting gross craniofacial malformations, including the possible molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying them. Meanwhile I was presenting my research at national and international scientific meetings, and was even invited once to give a keynote lecture to a dental school in New Zealand. I began writing my dissertation, a young book about the background and rationale for my research, as well as the detailed data and results and discussion of said results and their clinical and scientific significance and implications.

Once completed, I had to defend my dissertation in an open seminar setting (in a lecture theatre, open to the whole UCSF craniofacial research and medical and dental community as well as invited friends); my dissertation committee (my immediate lab professor and other chosen UCSF mentors and even a new mentor from Canada who wanted me for a postdoc for his lab as soon as I finished at UCSF) were in attendance and grilled me after my presentation/seminar. I successfully defended my dissertation in this open seminar setting and shortly thereafter moved from San Francisco to Calgary, Canada, to start my postdoctoral work in the lab of my new Canadian mentor--in craniofacial 3-D imaging and morphometrics (2012-2015).

I am currently in my second postdoctoral fellowship, in craniofacial biology (focusing on craniofacial genomics) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora (suburb of Denver). After this step, I hope to move back to London to continue my work, or even work in Australia!

Meanwhile, I have been for years engaged in my own public outreach campaign for awareness of craniofacial anomalies (using my own life experience with Treacher Collins syndrome as an example) as well as for research. I'm doing public speaking abroad (most recently in Australia, next in the UK), have been interviewed in the media multiple times, done blogging/podcasting sometimes, and even some writing. My memoir, "Wonderfully Made: The Dr. Francis Joel Smith Story", by an author friend of mine, should be released soon.

SmithAir747
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:29 pm

No, if you want to be a professor, then the route is indeed Post doc at a good university. In The Netherlands, preferably abroad because you need a broad experience and you need international experience because the academia is one of the most international fields you could enter, at least at the high levels. So two or three terms of postdocs and then you may land a job as an Assistant Professor and if you are lucky enough, a full Professorship somewhere, but generally you will be in your forties or fifties. Although I knew one which has reached that level at 35, that is quite exceptional.

I thought the US has a bit different system, in The Netherlands.
Here, no real courses are required, you have learned enough, now it is time to add knowledge to the field. And what is called in the US a college or university is quite something different than what is a university in The Netherlands, all universities in The Netherlands are ranked within the top 200 universities in the world and they are all in some subjects top in their field. And in the US I think you have to pay for the "course", here you get paid (and the government will pay the university 100.000 per PhD), it is a job, not a course.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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Channex757
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:16 pm

More or less the same here in the UK. A couple of years doing a Masters, then off you go for the Doctorate. It's called a Doctor of Philosophy as it's more research led than just reading and regurgitating stuff.

A British Professorship is still quite a rare thing. The rank is only awarded to those who excel in their field and do genuinely novel or "useful" work. A good friend of mine just became a Prof as he has done years of extensive medical research in association with a University, and they awarded it to him for this groundbreaking work. He also does some lecturing there so his Professorship is of that University, although the title will go with him wherever he goes afterwards.

There are even a few surgeons too who get promoted from being a Mr or Ms to Professor. It's this work that pushes boundaries that gets them awarded the title.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:25 pm

My late father was able to do his PhD without a Masters degree becausr his undergraduate degree was obtained with distinction.

He was offered a teaching position at his alma mater so they shipped him to the UK for his PhD. Did it in 3 years.
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:17 am

In the U.S. a Ph.D. (at least in the sciences) is a 4-6 year process. The first two years are devoted mostly to coursework, although there is labwork. The remaining 2-4 years are devoted to labwork and writing of the Ph.D. thesis. It's incredibly hard work, but especially for the pure sciences it is necessary to achieve high status as a principal investigator (lead researcher in a lab) or professorship.

I considered getting an MD/PhD but decided that this took too long and that my experience was that physician scientists usually wind up doing one or the other, so I have an unusual combination, which is an MD/MS. I also learned that I really don't like doing research. I prefer the practice of medicine, so there's that.
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Aesma
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:31 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thesis#France

Gives information that I know to be true, I've got the thesis my father made for his doctorate (a large book) to confirm it's many hundreds pages long. For the UK and US part of the page, there is a big paragraph but no concrete number, any ideas ?

My father also got a diploma after that giving him the ability to lead research (in fact not needed to lead research, but that's the name of the diploma for some reason), to be a doctoral advisor and a jury to PhD dissertations, I don't know if other countries have a similar requirement.
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DLFREEBIRD
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:34 am

My father has 3 masters degree's Electrical Engineering, Statistics, Economic's his boss asked him to get them because they needed him to testify at trial as a expert in those fields. He loves to learn so he was thrilled to do it. He was working on a Ph.D. (personal goal ) but, ran out of time. They only give you so much time. They offer him a extension, he declined. He said he took a hard look at himself and realized that he was too old. If your life goal is to get a Ph.D it's probably best to do it before your career takes off.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:49 am

Aesma wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thesis#France

Gives information that I know to be true, I've got the thesis my father made for his doctorate (a large book) to confirm it's many hundreds pages long. For the UK and US part of the page, there is a big paragraph but no concrete number, any ideas ?

My father also got a diploma after that giving him the ability to lead research (in fact not needed to lead research, but that's the name of the diploma for some reason), to be a doctoral advisor and a jury to PhD dissertations, I don't know if other countries have a similar requirement.


I know of a guy whom wrote a doctorate of 24 pages long. It was in the field of mathematics (with honors). So it really depends on the field I guess.

Don't know if it is a requirement to be a doctor to have a place in a jury, but in practice, all will have it and most of them will be professor.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:40 am

Dutchy wrote:
Then your brother in law did it quite fast for Dutch standards. I think in Germany it is much more common to earn a PhD and to judge from the scandals in German politics, it is quite "easy" to get, although the academic standards must be quite high in Germany.


It depends on the field. When I was living in a students' apartment complex during my university years, the medical sutdents I lived with admitted that getting their PhD was the easiest part of their studies.It sometimes took them less effort than I needed to get my diploma thesis done. And I didn't really have much stress when writing it - which was also owed to the very interesting topic "Economical and ecological Effects of Environmental Strategies in the Aviation Business".

Other fields like Law, Natural Sciences, Economics etc. take years to finish and are way more challenging.

Dutchy wrote:
Don't know if it is a requirement to be a doctor to have a place in a jury, but in practice, all will have it and most of them will be professor.


It's not a requirement in Germany but you need to take some kind of training and a certification to testify as an expert before court. (This is only relevant before judical courts - I was once invited as an expert at an International Court of Arbitration in Geneva. Nobody asked for credentials but I got grilled on my field of expertise by the opposing party before I was questioned on the issue itself.)
 
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:50 am

BartSimpson wrote:
Don't know if it is a requirement to be a doctor to have a place in a jury, but in practice, all will have it and most of them will be professor.


It's not a requirement in Germany but you need to take some kind of training and a certification to testify as an expert before court. (This is only relevant before judical courts - I was once invited as an expert at an International Court of Arbitration in Geneva. Nobody asked for credentials but I got grilled on my field of expertise by the opposing party before I was questioned on the issue itself.)[/quote]

Was talking about the dissertation board itself, not by a Court of Law/Arbitration ;). I guess that the latter indeed requires you to be an expert in your field.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:36 am

Dutchy wrote:

Was talking about the dissertation board itself, not by a Court of Law/Arbitration ;). I guess that the latter indeed requires you to be an expert in your field.


Sorry, got that wrong. Yeah, those juries are exclusively set up with professors and maybe PhD holders.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:06 am

BartSimpson wrote:
Dutchy wrote:

Was talking about the dissertation board itself, not by a Court of Law/Arbitration ;). I guess that the latter indeed requires you to be an expert in your field.


Sorry, got that wrong. Yeah, those juries are exclusively set up with professors and maybe PhD holders.


My father was an assistant professor and went into management. He used to have some PhD students as co-promotor and therefore he was in the jury. He was a PhD holder though, but not a full professor. So in The Netherlands that is certainly possible.
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fallap
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:23 am

I believe it takes three years to complete in Denmark, and the procedure and requirements are pretty much the same as in the Netherlands. I am currently studying Political Science (Statskundskab) on my third semester (at the age of 26), and we have two PhD's teaching us.

From what I understand, the final PhD product must be in the vicinity of 250 pages long.
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:46 am

fallap wrote:
I believe it takes three years to complete in Denmark, and the procedure and requirements are pretty much the same as in the Netherlands. I am currently studying Political Science (Statskundskab) on my third semester (at the age of 26), and we have two PhD's teaching us.

From what I understand, the final PhD product must be in the vicinity of 250 pages long.


Great. But who's the neo nazi on your profile pic?
 
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fallap
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:17 am

787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:
I believe it takes three years to complete in Denmark, and the procedure and requirements are pretty much the same as in the Netherlands. I am currently studying Political Science (Statskundskab) on my third semester (at the age of 26), and we have two PhD's teaching us.

From what I understand, the final PhD product must be in the vicinity of 250 pages long.


Great. But who's the neo nazi on your profile pic?


That would be me. Picture is taken at a beach outside Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, while enjoying a drink with some locals. Terrific country.
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:29 am

fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:
I believe it takes three years to complete in Denmark, and the procedure and requirements are pretty much the same as in the Netherlands. I am currently studying Political Science (Statskundskab) on my third semester (at the age of 26), and we have two PhD's teaching us.

From what I understand, the final PhD product must be in the vicinity of 250 pages long.


Great. But who's the neo nazi on your profile pic?


That would be me. Picture is taken at a beach outside Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, while enjoying a drink with some locals. Terrific country.


Then you should try Kenya assuming you were not joking ;)
 
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fallap
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:51 am

787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:

Great. But who's the neo nazi on your profile pic?


That would be me. Picture is taken at a beach outside Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, while enjoying a drink with some locals. Terrific country.


Then you should try Kenya assuming you were not joking ;)


I have been to Kenya as well, and Ethiopia, and South Africa. I also intend on going to Zambia next year. ;)
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:03 pm

fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:

That would be me. Picture is taken at a beach outside Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, while enjoying a drink with some locals. Terrific country.


Then you should try Kenya assuming you were not joking ;)


I have been to Kenya as well, and Ethiopia, and South Africa. I also intend on going to Zambia next year. ;)


Don't forget Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Democratic republic of Congo, Zimbabwe & The Central African Republic. Highly recommendable :)
 
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fallap
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:40 pm

787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:

Then you should try Kenya assuming you were not joking ;)


I have been to Kenya as well, and Ethiopia, and South Africa. I also intend on going to Zambia next year. ;)


Don't forget Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Democratic republic of Congo, Zimbabwe & The Central African Republic. Highly recommendable :)


You haven't been to Africa much, haven't you?
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:44 pm

fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:

I have been to Kenya as well, and Ethiopia, and South Africa. I also intend on going to Zambia next year. ;)


Don't forget Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Democratic republic of Congo, Zimbabwe & The Central African Republic. Highly recommendable :)


You haven't been to Africa much, haven't you?


By the looks of it (and you) it would seem I've been to Africa more than you if you've just been to those countries you just mentioned.
 
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fallap
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:09 pm

787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:

Don't forget Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Democratic republic of Congo, Zimbabwe & The Central African Republic. Highly recommendable :)


You haven't been to Africa much, haven't you?


By the looks of it (and you) it would seem I've been to Africa more than you if you've just been to those countries you just mentioned.


I still don't get how my look can tell whether or not I've been to Africa.
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:23 pm

fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:

You haven't been to Africa much, haven't you?


By the looks of it (and you) it would seem I've been to Africa more than you if you've just been to those countries you just mentioned.


I still don't get how my look can tell whether or not I've been to Africa.


Maybe some day you will
 
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fallap
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:25 pm

787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:

By the looks of it (and you) it would seem I've been to Africa more than you if you've just been to those countries you just mentioned.


I still don't get how my look can tell whether or not I've been to Africa.


Maybe some day you will


I see, it's because I'm bald. Well, don't worry. I always wear a hat to protect my sensitive skin from the Sun. <3
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787Driver
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:33 pm

fallap wrote:
787Driver wrote:
fallap wrote:

I still don't get how my look can tell whether or not I've been to Africa.


Maybe some day you will


I see, it's because I'm bald. Well, don't worry. I always wear a hat to protect my sensitive skin from the Sun. <3


Peace
 
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Dutchy
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Re: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy

Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:49 pm

Great to see that everyone stays on topic :D

Great to see you are starting university at 25.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!

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