Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael T. Miller

Committee Member

Hevel, Michael S.

Second Committee Member

Murry, Jr., John W.


Graduate Students, International Students, Wellness, Women


The pursuit of higher education symbolizes a profound and transformative journey, particularly for international students who embark on the path of studying abroad. This dissertation undertakes an in-depth exploration of the well-being of Arab women pursuing their graduate studies in the United States (US), emphasizing four crucial dimensions of wellness: social, mental/emotional, physical, and financial well-being. Employing a qualitative research methodology, this study delves into the multifaceted experiences of this specific student population and investigates how these experiences impact them. Through a series of interviews and rigorous qualitative analysis, we illuminate the distinct challenges and opportunities that Arab graduate students encounter in both their academic pursuits and personal lives as they navigate the educational system and life in the US. The research engages with a group of seven participants, each contributing a unique perspective to our exploration of Arab women graduate students' wellness in the United States. These participants, who will be referred to by pseudonyms throughout the study, come from various educational backgrounds and regions of the Arab world, including Kurdistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco. The findings uncover key insights into the factors that significantly contribute to the overall wellness of Arab women graduate students. These insights include the critical role of cultural adaptation, the importance of robust social support networks, the pivotal role of mental health resources, providing health system awareness, the significance of access to culturally appropriate food, and the need for awareness about the financial systems. These elements collectively influence and shape the well-being of these students in their academic journey. This dissertation did not only provide an understanding of the wellness dynamics experienced by Arab female graduate students and the strategies they employ for adaptation but also offers insights for academic institutions, policymakers, and student support services. By recognizing and addressing the unique challenges and needs of this student demographic, institutions can work toward enhancing the overall well-being and success of international students in their academic pursuits. In summary, this research illuminates the transformative journey undertaken by Arab female graduate students in the United States. It underscores the importance of considering holistic wellness and provides a roadmap for cultivating a supportive and enriching academic environment for international students.