Humans, unlike other creatures, have an inherent desire to develop and grow. This desire to grow, Personal Growth Initiative, is an intentional way that humans cognitively and behaviorally navigate their environment and resources to effect change. While many researchers argue that this construct works only in individualistic cultures, others contend that the construct is applicable to collectivist cultures as well. We therefore undertook an exploration of the lived experiences of eight international students from predominantly collectivist cultures, through the lens of the Personal Growth Initiative theory. Using a phenomenological qualitative methodology, we interviewed these doctoral students via semi-structured interview questions. Results of the data indicated that participants cycled through the four factors in the construct to handle both successes and challenges in school. Recommendations for international students’ offices and recruitment agencies are provided.
Personal Growth Initiative, Graduate International Students, Non-Native Speakers of English, Phenomenology, Doctoral Students
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Recommended APA Citation
Acquaye, H. E., Welch, C., Jacobs, L. N., & Ross, A. (2020). A Phenomenological Study of International Students in US Graduate Programs Through the Lens of Personal Growth Initiative Construct. The Qualitative Report, 25(10), 3762-3777. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2020.4496