International Students’ Narration of Educational Concerns


Though TUMS provided suitable bedrock for the international students’ utmost identification with the domestic students, they themselves inevitably emphasize upon their distinction.

Our policy-makers are escaping from imposing any differentiation between the domestic and international students, because the humanity ordains us to go beyond any sorts of borders and classifications. The educational administrations concretely make such an effort to make a melting pot in TUMS for the students’ sense of unity.

However, eyebrow-raisingly international students are not consistent in being unified and they themselves quite consciously remind the education administrators how different they are from domestic students and ask them to be the loudspeaker of their difference.

It is everyone’s insistence on difference that culminates in Derrida’s idea of difference. To put it differently, no one can claim to be different from others just egoistically and simultaneously expect not to be called different initiatively by others. Here is when human beings want to have the cake and eat it.

They have a desire (wunsch) for being different in order to see more leniencies from their professors to get higher scores. They directly tell us they know they are weaker in comparison with the students of the mother faculty, but imagine what will happen if we use such a label for them?

All in all, the education office must be at the service of their requests, but what will happen when their requests are all conflicting: It will be too difficult to see what leniency means to them.

Once they have a request for taking their exams in English, though they know there had been a rule since they applied that after basic science phase the medium for teaching and exam-taking must be Persian in order to be homogenized with domestic students. Let it not remained unsaid that even during their first encounter with Persian exam during their Physiopathology phase, they had the chance of having translators simultaneously with 80% more than the allocated time for the exam duration.

With regard to all the bonuses, they complained about their difficult situations, then TUMS tried to give the chance they desired; i.e. taking English exam has been extended for them up to the clerkship phase rather than up to the physiopathology phase. What is their reaction after this so-called leniency?

After some negotiations, Exam Domain promised to give two versions of questions (English & Persian ones) with the similar time duration for both groups. And there was not even a rule for the absolute correspondence between questions; in other words, English questions were not supposed to be the literal translations of the Persian ones. As a result, in most cases even the number of exam questions for the international students was less than Persian questions. But astonishingly they were not satisfied about their conditions and claimed it is not fair due to their belief that with losing every single questions they will lose more scores and due to the lowest number of questions, their chance for compensation is infinitesimal.

As it is obvious, we confront with the Chinese box of requests, they have a request to take the exam with the same number of questions and some of them also wanted to have more time for answering the questions.

Clearly, the narration of students’ requests is the paragon model of their subjective definition of leniency, so their logic of leniency is variable with regard to their own benefits. Then how can we be fair toward others who just see fairness and leniency from their own perspective. They become part of TUMS far more easier than domestic students, but they expect to go on in this manner infinitely.



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