The Decision-Making Process: Experiences of New International Graduate Students Enrolled in U.S. Higher Education
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the holistic motivations and decision-making experiences of new international graduate learners who made conscious decisions to engage in US higher education. International graduate students are adult learners, and this study was interested in understanding why and how international individuals become motivated to learn in adulthood. Specifically, this study investigated the process in which international adult learners engaged with their social worlds and made choices to pursue graduate education at public higher education institutions in central Texas. This study was particularly focused on how and why international adults made decisions to study in the US given recent geopolitical changes that threatened international student mobility trends. This study moved beyond identifying what motivated adult learners and sought to uncover the conditions that support and influenced international adults to choose graduate education in the US. The synthesis model developed by Chen (2007) was used to holistically explore international adult learner decision-making. The two research questions that guided this study were: 1. Why do international graduate learners choose to enroll in US higher education? 2. What is the decision-making experience of international graduate learners who chose to enroll in US higher education?