Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Dr. Alla Korzh


This study explores Afghan students’ academic experiences in pursuing graduate studies in the United States and contributes to the scarce literature on the adjustment experiences of Afghan students in the US. Data was obtained by employing a qualitative research methodology, particularly phenomenology, through individual interviews with four participants. The findings of this study reveal that the education these participants received throughout their schooling in Afghanistan was rote learning and teacher-centered. Studying in the US, Afghan students experienced a range of academic challenges (teaching methodologies, educational practices, language, research, and educational facilities). They were also confronted with non-academic challenges (social, cultural, psychological, food, and new environment) that exacerbated their academic challenges in the US. Despite the challenges, their education in the US was rewarding. Findings of this study present a list of recommendations to U.S. study abroad program organizers to provide support services that will help Afghan students succeed in their studies. Additionally, recommendations are provided to the Afghan students who are aiming to study in the US to overcome potential challenges in the US.


Educational Sociology | Higher Education | International and Area Studies | International and Comparative Education