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I don't know if the "boot at the end" thing is standard even in Europe. Many places simply stop giving you money and your advisor won't be able to help you as much, but you're free to hang around until you're done. My girlfriend for example recently finished her PhD (on time), and there where a couple of PhD students hanging around her department who had been there for close to a decade.

This is not true for all countries. In Sweden you get kicked out with no PhD if you haven't finished in eight years. And that is clock years. (You can get on or two extra years for childbirth and military service I seem to remember)

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