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About ✿Blossom✿

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  1. Hello folks! I am an international student who will soon start doing a PhD in psychology in the US. Since I am working in the field of psycholinguistics (language acquisition), I will also have to test native speakers of my language for my research - which means that I will have to regularly travel to my home country to recruit participants there and to conduct research with them. Now, here is the thing. I have met my advisor last week, and among other things, we have also talked about the issue of IRB (Institutional Review Board, aka Ethics Committee) approval for research. In the studies I did for my BA thesis and then for my MA thesis, I have always received an IRB approval from my former institution, and I was thinking that my future studies would be similar, i.e., this time I would get an approval from the IRB of my new university (the one in the US), come back to my home country, and conduct my tests. (I thought no other institutions and bureaucracy in my home country would be involved, because my job basically depends upon contacting the participants (and their parents and teachers) in their nurseries and/or schools and obtaining their approval for testing them. At this point, the IRB approval does only two things: (1) establishes trust with the participants and their legal guardians and (2) saves the university from getting into any trouble over having neglected their legal responsibilities in this regard.) But my advisor seems to think that getting an IRB approval from my US university may not be sufficient and I might also have to contact local authorities - which I find really confusing. If an IRB approval is required, I think the one that I would obtain from my US university should be enough - and frankly, any other option seems weird to me. Because can you actually get an IRB approval from a university with which you are not affiliated at all??? Are there any international psychology students here who have had to obtain two different IRB approvals from (1) their current university abroad and (2) from a local university in the country where they conducted their research?
  2. Thank you. As a matter of fact, yesterday I went to the hospital where I had had my early childhood vaccines (not the ones administered to me when I was at school), but the employees told me that the hospital was obligated to safeguard the records for only 10 years - so there is a good chance that my records have been destroyed. We have also called the archive section of the hospital, but nothing came up. The people were also puzzled, in my opinion, and almost everyone I talked to expressed surprise, as - I presume - nobody had requested their vaccination records from 20+ years ago. So in my case, at least, it seems I will not be able to track my records down. I see that this is a viable option, but as you said - it is hardly ethical. I mean, technically it wouldn't be a lie, because if I've been vaccinated against varicella (which I have), the idea is that it is supposed to provide lifelong protection (which is not the case for all vaccines) and hence, the exact date on which I received this particular vaccine shouldn't matter. But still, I'd rather not do this. I feel uneasy about giving false info, even though it would practically not change anything as far as some vaccines are concerned. This is also the case at my school. You cannot enroll in classes, and nor can you stay in a dorm, unless you provide documentation of immunization. Thank you for these suggestions. After some consideration, I have also decided to take all those vaccines, as this appears to be the only option that will work. I'll just write down why I made this decision, as it might help someone else in the future who browses the forum to find an answer to a similar question. There are 5 vaccines that are required by my school, and these are MMR, Tdap, varicella, Hepatitis B, and meningococcal. First of all, Tdap is not a kind of vaccine that gives you lifelong protection, it protects you for 5-10 years, and your immunity to the diseases that this vaccine protects you from cannot be proven via blood tests (titers) - so I'll have to take this vaccine. (And I really should, because it's been over 5 years since the last time I received this vaccine.) The same goes for meningococcal - the FAQ section of my school says that immunity to meningitis cannot be shown via blood tests, so unless I have proper documentation to prove that I have taken the vaccine (and I don't), I should take it (which I will). Technically, my immunity for measles/mumps/rubella, varicella, and Hepatitis B could be proven via blood tests, if antibodies are found in my blood. BUT, I have read online that the results of these blood tests can sometimes be "equivocal." And if this is the case, I will have to get vaccinated again. Now, such blood tests are not inexpensive in my country. I called a lab a couple of days ago to get pricing information, and it turned out that a blood test for checking immunity for measles, mumps (curiously enough, rubella is not included), and varicella would cost me several hundred dollars. "Several hundred dollars" may not sound like too much to you, perhaps, but considering the currency exchange rate in my country, this is like a small fortune for me. And at the end, there is always the risk that my blood tests will yield equivocal results, and I will have to re-take the vaccines anyway - in which case I will have just poured my money down the drain. All in all, it seems that taking these vaccines will be both cheaper, and much less of a hassle. And as you have pointed out, I may have the additional advantage of having them as "boosters" - which doesn't harm. Also, thank you @E-P, for your kind words. I am looking forward to coming to the US! And also many thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread to help me - I appreciate your advice, and it has helped me make up my mind about this issue.
  3. Hello everyone! I am an overseas student and I will start my PhD in the US in Fall 2018. My admit package was saying that, in accordance with the health laws of the state in which my school is located, I should be vaccinated against a number of diseases. I didn't care about this much, as I had taken all these vaccinations on the list (MMR, Tdap, Hepatitis B, etc.) in my home country. But when I went to the website of my university's health services to download the forms I have to fill, I saw that they want a much more comprehensive documentation of my vaccinations than I had initially expected. The biggest problem is that they want me to specify when exactly (MM/DD/YYYY) I received a vaccine. Now, the problem is, I have received all these obligatory vaccines in my schools throughout K-12, and this is how it happened: On a pre-specified day, healthcare professionals from a nearby public hospital visited our school and basically vaccinated every student. This is how I received ALL my immunization shots. As an individual student, I was not given a certificate of vaccination - so I cannot technically prove that I have been vaccinated, nor can I show the exact date on which I have been vaccinated. I also don't know how well official records of school vaccinations are kept in my country but I suspect I couldn't get any info on this from any official sources. So how should I go about filling these forms, actually? I should be writing the dates of my vaccinations, and my doctor has to sign this document. Would it be OK if I only specified the year in which I took the vaccine (as this is fixed for many vaccines in my country - for example MMR is given in 1st and 5th grades, if I am not mistaken - I'll check this again, though) and left out the day and month info? And would I get into trouble if I made up the month and day info just to submit a complete form? Thanks in advance for your help!
  4. Thank you! Your advice is both wise and sweet. I will certainly look into shipping as an option. As I will start the semester in late summer, I guess I could ask my mother to send me some winter clothes after I have arrived there. I also don't think I will take kitchen utensils with me. This is also brilliant advice, thank you!
  5. Wow, thank you folks! Your posts really sound reassuring. Well, I believe I'll soon have to buy a couple of big and sturdy suitcases
  6. Hello everyone! This is my first post here, so apologies if I make a mistake. I am an overseas student and I will be starting my PhD in the US in Fall 2018. This might sound like a silly question, but what do you think is the ideal number of clothes, shoes, or similar items of textiles that one should put in one's suitcase when one moves to a different country? I tried to imagine this, and I was dumbstruck when I thought about how much space some items would take - especially fluffy stuff like sweaters (a necessity for the cold climate of the city I'll live in). Add to that one coat for the winter, at least one bathrobe and maybe 1-2 bath towels... Well, you get the idea. On the one hand, I know I will be on a rather tight budget as a grad student, and therefore I want to take as many clothing items as I can, just so I won't have to go shopping for clothes (and clothes happen to be much cheaper in my home country, just like everything else. Why spend my meagre stipend on clothes?). On the other hand I don't want to attract attention in the residence hall by arriving there with 3 giant suitcases. O_O I would like to know about the experiences of other grad students, if possible. Is it really as weird to take many clothes with you as I fear it might be? Also, could you recommend some stores where I could find cheap but decent clothing, in case I DO have to shop for clothes? Thank you!
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