Thought, Attitude and Action

The Struggle of an International PhD Student-Mother during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia


  • Lara Fridani
  • Ulfa Elfiah
  • Selfi Handayani
  • Aschawir Ali



COVID-19, family and community support, international student, mental spiritual power, mother


The purpose of this narrative study was to explore how an international PhD student-mother, who has a young child, negotiated and coped with the challenges to complete her studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple semi-structured interviews were adopted to collect narrative data. Anchored in a thematic analysis, qualitative data showed that the participant encountered such challenges as the skills of managing academic time and activities, difficulty in focusing on studying, worries about family conditions in Indonesia and financial needs. We concluded that physical, mental and spiritual strengths of an individual derived from family and community support play a pivotal role in thinking of, managing, and coping with various challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Author Biographies

Lara Fridani

Lara Fridani is a lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the Faculty of Education of Universitas Negeri Jakarta. Her research focuses on educational and developmental psychology, family and educational assessment. Email:

Ulfa Elfiah

Ulfiah Elfiah (corresponding author) is a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine of Universitas Jember based in East Java, Indonesia. Her research interests lie in human anatomy and plastic surgery. Email:

Selfi Handayani

Selfi Handayani is a lecturer at Faculty of Medicine of Univesitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta based in Central Java, Indonesia. She is interested in researching human anatomy and  medical acupuncture. Email:

Aschawir Ali

Aschawir Ali is a lecturer in the Department of English Education at the Faculty of Tarbiyah of Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Bone, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. His research interests include English as an additional language (EAL), academic writing, and research methodology in language education. Email:


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How to Cite

Fridani, L., Elfiah, U., Handayani, S., & Ali, A. (2020). Thought, Attitude and Action: The Struggle of an International PhD Student-Mother during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia. Journal of International Students, 10(S3), 75–90.



Research Articles (English)