Experiences of international PhD students in Denmark as quest stories

Tijana Maksimovic, Sofie Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article explores how the metaphor of quest can be used to conceptualise PhD experience and be employed in PhD supervision practice. As part of a small-scale study of the PhD experience of international students in Denmark, whose numbers have significantly increased in recent years, we conducted narrative interviews with nine doctoral students. They were asked to select and describe up to five photographs that represent what they will remember about their PhDs. These narratives were first analysed inductively and then deductively organised using the quest metaphor. The findings indicate that the quest metaphor can capture the complexity of the PhD experience and provide a starting point for discussion. However, it also presents certain limitations, so one direction for future studies might be to combine ‘quest’ with other metaphors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDansk universitetspædagogisk tidsskrift [online]
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • education, professions and jobs

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