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    Recently, I've started considering a career in academia and although there's still plenty of time to decide (finishing my BA and hopefully starting my Master's in the autumn), I'm looking at prospective PhD programmes related to linguistics.

    The thing is that I've lived in the UK for three years now and although I've had great time at uni, I know it's not a place where I'd want to live permanently. The good aspect of my degree is that I can live part-time in the UK and part-time in the Czech Republic (where I come from) as I have ten-week terms, so I'm not missing that much of both countries and I can work in both of them as well (like writing essays and revising at my parents' house).

    However, would things be so feasible if I studied in the UK for a PhD? I mean, could I, from time to time, escape the country, lock myself in an abandoned cottage (with the Internet access) in the middle of nowhere for a week or two and write articles, a dissertation, etc.? (I realised it works perfectly for me...)

    I need to know this so that I can safely consider applying to certain unis without being disappointed in the end.
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    It all depends on your supervisor. In the most extreme case, (s)he might want you in the office 9-5 during the week.

    I would be more concerned with whether there is any place you could find a decent academic job and still enjoy living, and if it makes sense to pursue an academic career at all. If you do not intend to stay in the UK, where would you go for your career in academia? Where would you want to live?
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    (Original post by Zefiros)
    It all depends on your supervisor. In the most extreme case, (s)he might want you in the office 9-5 during the week.

    I would be more concerned with whether there is any place you could find a decent academic job and still enjoy living, and if it makes sense to pursue an academic career at all. If you do not intend to stay in the UK, where would you go for your career in academia? Where would you want to live?
    Ideally, I would like to live in the Czech Republic, but I don't mind living in other countries, for example, in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, BaH or Romania.
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    (Original post by Ivanka)
    Ideally, I would like to live in the Czech Republic, but I don't mind living in other countries, for example, in Germany, Austria, Slovenia, BaH or Romania.
    Does it make sense in your field to do your PhD in one of those countries? Your chances on a post-doc or tenure-track are usually better in the university/country you did your PhD.
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    (Original post by Zefiros)
    Does it make sense in your field to do your PhD in one of those countries? Your chances on a post-doc or tenure-track are usually better in the university/country you did your PhD.
    I believe so. So do you think I shouldn't apply to UK unis, then?
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    I agree with Zefiros that it mainly appears to be down to your supervisors. My uni is quite flexible from an institutional point of view, to the point where we had one PhD student in my department who lived and researched in Spain, only coming to uni (in the UK) for the mandatory three supervisory meetings per year. His supervision was carried out remotely, by email, phone and Skype. Many supervisors wouldn't be comfortable to work in that way. My supervisors didn't care where or when I worked, as long as I met deadlines and produced good quality work. I mainly researched in a different town and wrote at home. However there were supervisors who expected to see their PhD students in their office 9-5 Mon-Fri, and wanted notice of when they would be off campus and why.

    My advice would be to ask a uni for their overall policy before you apply for a PhD. You can then ask potential supervisors if you get as far as the selection process.
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    (Original post by Ivanka)
    I believe so. So do you think I shouldn't apply to UK unis, then?
    I am not sure how big of an issue your dislike for British life is in your day-to-day life, but I would seriously consider applying somewhere where you enjoy living more. To me it doesn't make sense to live somewhere where I am desperate to get away from.

    Of course, you could always apply to both the UK and continental Europe, and see where you can work things out with a UK supervisor. In any case, for a PhD the supervisor and project are more important than the university by itself, and maybe you have better opportunities in continental Europe anyway.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    I agree with Zefiros that it mainly appears to be down to your supervisors. My uni is quite flexible from an institutional point of view, to the point where we had one PhD student in my department who lived and researched in Spain, only coming to uni (in the UK) for the mandatory three supervisory meetings per year. His supervision was carried out remotely, by email, phone and Skype. Many supervisors wouldn't be comfortable to work in that way. My supervisors didn't care where or when I worked, as long as I met deadlines and produced good quality work. I mainly researched in a different town and wrote at home. However there were supervisors who expected to see their PhD students in their office 9-5 Mon-Fri, and wanted notice of when they would be off campus and why.

    My advice would be to ask a uni for their overall policy before you apply for a PhD. You can then ask potential supervisors if you get as far as the selection process.
    I know someone that did their PhD at UCL, but lived in another country although they did a distance PhD (I'm not sure if this is the correct term). Was this the case of the student in Spain? Or did they study full time on paper?
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    (Original post by Zefiros)
    I am not sure how big of an issue your dislike for British life is in your day-to-day life, but I would seriously consider applying somewhere where you enjoy living more. To me it doesn't make sense to live somewhere where I am desperate to get away from.

    Of course, you could always apply to both the UK and continental Europe, and see where you can work things out with a UK supervisor. In any case, for a PhD the supervisor and project are more important than the university by itself, and maybe you have better opportunities in continental Europe anyway.
    Just to make it clear - it's not that I am desperate in the UK, but I can't imagine myself being here for, let's say, four months in a row without having a chance to go away for at least a week.

    If I could do a PhD in continental Europe, that would great, but I'm not sure what topic I will work on, how many people in the field there will be and how many will be willing to supervise me and, ultimately, if I'll get offers. So I thought that maybe I could stay in the UK for a few more years if I don't find an alternative. Maybe too early to worry though.
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    (Original post by Ivanka)
    I know someone that did their PhD at UCL, but lived in another country although they did a distance PhD (I'm not sure if this is the correct term). Was this the case of the student in Spain? Or did they study full time on paper?
    They were officially enrolled as a full-time PhD student at my UK uni, whilst living and researching in Spain.
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    (Original post by Ivanka)
    Just to make it clear - it's not that I am desperate in the UK, but I can't imagine myself being here for, let's say, four months in a row without having a chance to go away for at least a week.

    If I could do a PhD in continental Europe, that would great, but I'm not sure what topic I will work on, how many people in the field there will be and how many will be willing to supervise me and, ultimately, if I'll get offers. So I thought that maybe I could stay in the UK for a few more years if I don't find an alternative. Maybe too early to worry though.
    By "I can't imagine" I guess you mean "I can't bear". So if the UK is so unbearable, why don't you try Germany/Netherlands? Their unis rank high in global rankings.
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    (Original post by Juichiro)
    By "I can't imagine" I guess you mean "I can't bear". So if the UK is so unbearable, why don't you try Germany/Netherlands? Their unis rank high in global rankings.
    I'm looking at German unis and will at the Dutch ones as well.
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    (Original post by Ivanka)
    I'm looking at German unis and will at the Dutch ones as well.
    Not sure what your exact field is, but in the Netherlands Leiden is very good for comparative/historical/Indo-European linguistics (and humanties in general).
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    Assuming you don't need to do fieldwork, I don't see how this wouldn't work, to be honest, although the point about your supervisor's wishes is also worth bearing in mind. During my PhD I have spent time in other countries (usually my own or my boyfriend's) while also working, and no one has ever had a problem with it. My university doesn't provide working space or offices for postgraduates, so aside from combing all of the many libraries to find me, how my supervisor would know if I wasn't working on the premises is beyond me. However, this is not universal, as Kilx has pointed out, so, before applying if possible, try find out a little about the working culture of the departments you're interested in, and gauge your supervisor's likely working style.

    Also, the abandoned-cottage idea is one I've heard of before, and love. A friend actually wrote a big chunk of her Master's thesis like this-- she rented a loft in Edinburgh for a couple of weeks and wrote during the day, while enjoying the town in the evenings. It worked great for her. I also love the idea of a country cottage for writing, with some walks etc. during the day as distraction. I think many people do something like this, often during crunch periods of writing when being away from other people can be beneficial.
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    Wow, how time flies! I remember you applying as an undergrad and now you're nearly done! :eek:

    (Original post by Ivanka)
    I'm not sure what topic I will work on, how many people in the field there will be and how many will be willing to supervise me ...
    Tbh, I would try and decide upon a topic before worrying what country you will live in, as it will depend where the best potential supervisors for your chosen topic in your chosen field are based :yes: Though for what it's worth, there are people in my department at RHUL who live in Greece, or spend their time flying back and forth between Spain/Italy and England. So as Klix88 has said, it's not totally impossible, but it DOES depend on the institution and (as someone else has mentioned) the need to conduct fieldwork :yes:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Wow, how time flies! I remember you applying as an undergrad and now you're nearly done! :eek:



    Tbh, I would try and decide upon a topic before worrying what country you will live in, as it will depend where the best potential supervisors for your chosen topic in your chosen field are based :yes: Though for what it's worth, there are people in my department at RHUL who live in Greece, or spend their time flying back and forth between Spain/Italy and England. So as Klix88 has said, it's not totally impossible, but it DOES depend on the institution and (as someone else has mentioned) the need to conduct fieldwork :yes:
    Yeah, time flies. I'll be celebrating my five year anniversary of TSRing in the autumn

    There are just so many interesting topics out there, but I have 2-3 years to decide, so hopefully I'll make decision someday
 
 
 

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