The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of academic engagement of twelve Indonesian doctoral students attending an American graduate school during their first term and over time through demographic background surveys and semi - structured in - depth interviews. The research design was qualitative in the phenomenological approach (Creswell, 2007; Merriam, 1998; Moustakas, 1994; Patton, 1990). We analyzed our interviews data by using within - case and cross - case displays and analyses (Miles & Huberman, 1994) while we analyzed the demographic data descriptively. We identified five major themes related to Indonesian doctoral students’ academic engagement experiences , including (a) academic workload, (b) unfamiliarity with classroom dynamics, (c) unfamiliarity with the nature of relationships between faculty and student, (d) personal conflicts with and unfair treatment from professors, and (e) linguistic barriers. Implications of findings and future research are discussed.


Academic Engagement, Indonesian Doctoral Students, Phenomenology, Asian International Students, Student Engagement

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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