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Indian student gets unusual response to email seeking internship in Germany

A conversation between an Indian student and a German professor has caught netizens’ attention over the kind of response the student received from him.

An X (formerly Twitter) user Harshit Tiwari posted a screenshot of the email his friend, who wanted to apply for an internship in Germany at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, sent to the professor.

Harshit Tiwari’s caption read, “My friend sent a mail for a research internship in Germany to a German professor! Here what’s the response was! Can someone explain this remark.”

The student wrote in the subject line of the mail, “Seeking for internship under your guidance” in the mail addressed to the professor, Arndt Last.

It was a formal mail sent by the student seeking guidance for an internship. However, the professor’s reply has gathered a plethora of reactions with many claiming that it was racist.

The professor responded saying, “You would pollute the air by flying here: That is why I will not invite you here. Think about doing your internship close to where you live to avoid polluting our world!”

The post has gotten many views since it was posted with the majority opining that professor’s response was rude.

A user commented, “In my personal opinion, He meant that he is unavailable. you can have simply asked him to do remote research internship if possible and if you’re really determined. But yeah, he could have replied in more positive tone though.”

“Assuming there is a strong tendency between air pollution and your research field, would kind of explain his reply, but would not justify the harsh tone though,” wrote another.

“He’s referring to GHG emissions as a result of the flight thus forcing people to consider climate change. He could have said it politely tho,” wrote a third.

The university, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology also commented on the post, justifying the professor’s action. They wrote, “Dear Harshit Tiwari, of course, KIT does _not_ endorse racist statements. We regret that you misinterpreted Professor Last’s answer in this way. His answer was unquestionably short, but in no way intentionally hurtful.”

(Published 28 October 2023, 05:59 IST)

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