ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

L Yi Zhang


A missing component in the current international student literature is how international Indian graduate students adjust academically and socially to a new learning environment and how academic advising influences international Indian graduate students’ academic success and social adjustment. This qualitative study addresses this gap in the literature by using Rendón’s (1994) validation theory and by drawing upon 11 students’ lived experiences at a four-year public research university in the state of Texas. Four distinct themes emerged from the study’s findings, such as international Indian graduate students’ lack of understanding of academic advising, their perceptions of academic advising, supportive academic advising experiences, and challenging academic advising experiences. The study revealed that international Indian graduate students’ understanding and perceptions of academic advising were different from their lived experiences. The results also highlight the role of an academic advisor in students’ adjustment process as well as the importance of an academic advisor in making informed decisions related to academics. More importantly, guided by Rendón’s validation theory, it was determined that participants’ believed their supportive experiences with academic advising validates their academic success and social adjustment, while their challenging experiences with academic advising (in)validate their academic success and social adjustment. The larger international student experience research must continue to delve into ways in which colleges and universities across the United States can play a substantive role in better preparing and supporting international students prior to and after their arrival. To that end, colleges and universities must also better prepare academic advisors when serving international students and provide for increased support and infrastructure in the field of academic advising.


International students, International Indian graduate students, Academic advising, Academic adjustment, Social adjustment


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington