Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Tracy L. Cross

Committee Member

Jennifer R. Cross

Committee Member

Jennifer H. Robins

Committee Member

Colm O'Reilly


Supporting the continuous successful talent development of high-ability individuals from various backgrounds has been one of the main goals and issues in gifted education. However, the lack of resources, enrichment supports, and opportunities for talent development often inhibit realization of potential of precocious students. Exploration of successful academic talent development experiences of high-ability international young adults from developing countries offers a unique perspective and highlights universal supports necessary for continuous development of expertise. Internationalization of education, brain circulation, and talent development have been studied in the fields of education, psychology, and sociology. However, no empirical study to date explored the successful talent development path and opportunities in the lives of high-ability doctoral students from developing countries. The present phenomenological study focused on experiences and perceptions of high-ability international doctoral students who are successfully developing expertise in various academic fields at a selective U.S. university. Semi-structured individual and focus group interviews, demographic data and constructed academic talent development trajectories ensured thorough exploration of the participants’ successful academic talent development experiences. Analysis also provided a clearer conceptualization of the construct of opportunity as perceived by the participants. The results of this study will inform research, internationalization of higher education institutions, and academic talent development of high-ability students from various backgrounds.



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