“We Begin 300 Meters Behind the Starting Line”

Adaptation of Iranian Students in Hungary in the Post-Sanctions Era

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.1779

Keywords:

banking challenges , economic crisis, international student, Iran, mental health

Abstract

This longitudinal qualitative research investigated the psychosocial adaptation trajectory of Iranian international students in Hungary and the challenges they encountered. Semistructured interviews were conducted between 7-month to 1-year intervals with 20 Iranian students. Inductive content analysis was utilized to analyze the interview transcripts. Three themes identified were visa and banking challenges, the impact of the currency crisis in Iran on mental health, and positive and negative changes in psychological well-being. The results revealed that almost all students’ well-being improved over time, despite facing challenges related to visas, banking, and Iran’s recent economic crisis.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Sara Hosseini-Nezhad, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary

SARA HOSSEINI-NEZHAD is a PhD student in the Doctoral School of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), in Budapest, Hungary, under the joint supervision of Dr. Lan Anh Nguyen Luu from ELTE and Dr. Saba Safdar from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Her primary research interests lie in the area of clinical, social, and cross-cultural psychology. 

Saba Safdar, University of Guelph, Canada

SABA SAFDAR is an Iranian-born Canadian-educated professor in the psychology department at the University of Guelph in Canada. She received her PhD in 2002 from York University, Toronto, Canada, and has held an academic position at the University of Guelph since 2002. She is Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the University of Guelph. Her research focus is on acculturation and understanding the adaptation processes of newcomers, including immigrants, refugees, and international students. Professor Safdar’s research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, amongst others. In addition to her Canadian academic position, Professor Safdar has held academic appointments in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, India, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Lan Anh Nguyen Luu, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary

LAN ANH NGUYEN LUU is a Vietnamese-born, Budapest-based intercultural/social psychologist. She is an associate professor and director of the Institute of Intercultural Psychology and Education and the Socialization and Social Processes PhD Program at the Psychology Doctoral School at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. Her main research interests are acculturation, ethnic identity, gender beliefs, and teachers’ attitudes toward diversity.

References

Astinova, M. (2011). Legal, social and economic issues of international students in Saxion University [Unpublished bachelor’s thesis]. The Saxion University of Applied Science.

Bani Kamal, A. M., & Hossain, I. (2017). The Iranian diaspora in Malaysia: A socio-economic and political analysis. Diaspora Studies, 10(1), 116–129. https://doi.org/10.1080/09739572.2016.1239439

Bianchi, R. V., & Stephenson, M. L. (2014). Tourism and citizenship: Rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the global order. Routledge.

Branscombe, N. R., Ellemers, N., Spears, R., & Doosje, B. (1999). The context and content of social identity threat. In N. Ellemers, R. Spears, & B. Doosje (Eds.), Social identity: Context, commitment, content (pp. 35–58). Blackwell Science.

Burnard, P., Gill, P. W., Stewart, K. F., Treasure, E., & Chadwick, B. (2008). Analysing and presenting qualitative data. British Dental Journal, 204(8), 429–432. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2008.292

Cemalcilar, Z., & Falbo, T. (2008). A longitudinal study of the adaptation of international students in the United States. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39(6), 799–804. http://doi.org/10.1177/0022022108323787

Ditto, S. (2014). Red tape, iron nerve: The Iranian quest for U.S. education. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Ehteshami, A. (2017). Iran stuck in transition. Routledge.

Erlingsson, C., & Brysiewicz, P. (2017). A hands-on guide to doing content analysis. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 7(3), 93–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2017.08.001

EU Sanctions Map. (2020, February 27). Thematic restrictions. https://www.sanctionsmap.eu/#/main

Eurofast Global Ltd. (2017, March 23). Iran: Opening a bank account in Europe for Iranians. Mondaq. https://www.mondaq.com/financial-services/576970/opening-a-bank-account-in-europe-for-iranians?fbclid=IwAR05QjGSiQQvr-1tDqK1XWNvmcpeoHZnO8MIYPcnyLoVIc4rD5IepM8yJIw

Eybagi, M. (2013). Human consequences of economic sanctions: Analyzing the experiences of Iranian residents in Toronto and Halifax about the international sanctions against Iran. [Master’s thesis, Dalhousie University]. DalSpace Institutional Repository. http://hdl.handle.net/10222/35424

Gearan, A., & DeYoung, K. (2018, May 8). Trump pulls United States out of Iran nuclear deal, calling the pact ‘an embarrassment’. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-will-announce-plans-to-pull-out-of-iran-nuclear-deal-despite-pleas-from-european-leaders/2018/05/08/4c148252-52ca-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html

Golden, J. B. (1973). Student adjustment abroad: A psychiatrist’s view. International Educational and Cultural Exchange, 8(4), 28–36.

Graneheim, U. H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24(2), 105–112. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2003.10.001

Hafezi, P. (2016, January 27). Hope but also frustration for Iranians after sanctions lifted. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-sanctions-people/hope-but-also-frustration-for-iranians-after-sanctions-lifted-idUSKCN0V527L?fbclid=IwAR0dvVL9ncRCFz-_Y4WH9Ljz8JxPoXLZmiEEloeoNtV4mHpYRdQfvfZDHfI

Hechanova-Alampay, R., Beehr, T. A., Christiansen, N. D., & Van Horn, R. K. (2002). Adjustment and strain among domestic and international student sojourners: A longitudinal study. School Psychology International, 23(4), 458–474. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034302234007

Hefner-Babb, T. S., & Khoshlessan, R. (2018). Iranian student experience pursuing admission to universities in the United States. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1926–1940. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1482777

Henley & Partners. (2019). The Henley passport index. https://www.henleypassportindex.com/passport

Hirai, R., Frazier, P., & Syed, M. (2015). Psychological and sociocultural adjustment of first-year international students: Trajectories and predictors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(3), 438–452. http://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000085

Hossein-Zadeh, I. (2018, October 3). Neoliberal economics: The plague of Iran’s economy. Counterpunch. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/03/neoliberal-economics-the-plague-of-irans-economy/?fbclid=IwAR0KN_bsCyIqwOVX_hXYQmEoy3iHfUZcSWJi8BQju8KNozuGj9seir9MxCw

Hosseini-Nezhad, S., Safdar, S., & Nguyen Luu, L. A. (2019). Longing for independence, yet depending on family support: A qualitative analysis of psychosocial adaptation of Iranian international students in Hungary. International Journal of Higher Education, 8(4), 16–4174. https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v8n4p164

Internet Forex Resource. (2020, July 7). Top 10-the weakest world currencies in 2020. https://fxssi.com/top-10-of-the-weakest-world-currencies-in-current-year

Jafari, S. (2019, January 13). US sanctions hit Iranian students seeking bank accounts in Europe. Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/iran-students-sanctions-impact-banks-europe-us-visa.html

Johansson, C. (2013). The sanctioned students: An empirical study of sanctions effects on Iranian students studying abroad [Bachelor’s thesis, Linnaeus University]. DiVA Portal. http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:605951/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Karimzad, F. (2016). Life here beyond now: Chronotopes of the ideal life among Iranian transnationals. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 20(5), 607–630. https://doi.org/10.1111/josl.12211

Khodabandelou, R., Karimi, L., & Ehsani, M. (2015). Challenges of international higher education students in a foreign country: A qualitative study. Higher Education for the Future, 2(2), 165–174. https://doi.org/10.1177/2347631115584121

Laub, Z. (2015, July 15). International sanctions on Iran. Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/international-sanctions-iran?fbclid=IwAR1Jf5sWcuE52ZAdtI9RomLvuQORP6Uc2cAm1fx7dAsjGn99pkj6oTdOjtI

Lee, J. J., Paulidor, K., & Mpaga, Y. A. (2017). Sliding doors: Strategic ambiguity in study visas to South Africa. Studies in Higher Education, 43(11), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1296825

Martinot, D., & Redersdorff, S. (2006). The variable impact of upward and downward social comparisons on self-esteem: When the level of analysis matters. In S. Guimond (Ed.), Social comparison and social psychology: Understanding cognition, intergroup relations and culture (pp.127–150). Cambridge University Press.

McNeill, D. (2009, April 7). South Korean students, hit hard by currency decline, opt to stay home. Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/south-korean-students-hit-hard-by-currency-declines-opt-to-stay-home-47169/

Mehdizadeh., N., & Scott, G. (2005). Adjustment problems of Iranian international students in Scotland. International Education Journal, 6(4), 484–493.

Mehrabi, S. (2014). International economic sanctions, university life, and global citizenship education: The case of Iran. Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, 6(1), 43–66. https://doi.org/10.18733/C3D30T

Mobasher, M. M. (2018). The Iranian diaspora: Challenges, negotiations, and transformations. University of Texas Press.

National Iranian American Council. (2020, February 24). NIAC presses treasury on discriminatory bank account closures. https://www.niacouncil.org/press_room/niac-presses-treasury-discriminatory-bank-account-closures/?locale=en&fbclid=IwAR1NPufvPH3XJSXqyB51LHJSxR0ErtoDBnxFtjvJPvDN2d3Xv8ozV1_TNvs

No more cheap currency for Iranian students. (2018, April 8). Financial Tribune. https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/84286/no-more-cheap-currency-for-iranian-students?fbclid=IwAR2xV3jYX-N_QMM6VqWiOHVpn31PxZlktP9V-bpC7t7bHEArbayb6RPnAk8

Office of Foreign Assets Control. (2019). Sanctions programs and country information. U.S. Department of the Treasury. https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/Programs.aspx?fbclid=IwAR3UPiBnp7R6OGnoFByyEg10cDxiR3PqY-NKdbaKqnMyN-z0dfcKeg8GHIw

Oktatási Hivatal. (2018). Higher educational statistics. https://www.oktatas.hu/felsooktatas/kozerdeku_adatok/felsooktatasi_adatok_kozzetetele/felsooktatasi_statisztikak

Rose-Redwood, C., & Rose-Redwood, R. (2017). Rethinking the politics of the international student experience in the age of Trump. Journal of International Students, 7(3), i–ix. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v7i3.201

Sadler, G. R., Lee, H.-C., Lim, R. S.-H., & Fullerton, J. (2010). Recruitment of hard-to-reach population subgroups via adaptations of the snowball sampling strategy. Nursing and Health Sciences, 12(3), 369–374. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-2018.2010.00541.x

Shi, M. (2016, January 21). China’s overseas students are dumping yuan to hedge against tuition hikes. Quartz. https://qz.com/590831/chinas-weak-yuan-hits-home-for-thousands-of-overseas-students/?fbclid=IwAR0tr9f_PVPOTjN-gekq0a2IV2Q3fZctr_4VxS8Lbvqkz45D8MjZZu2DrmM

Smith, H. J., & Pettigrew, T. F. (2015). Advances in relative deprivation theory and research. Social Justice Research, 28(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11211-014-0231-5

Thakar, D.A. (2010). Trajectories of mental health and acculturation among first year international graduate students from India (no. 255) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts-Amherst]. Open Access Dissertations. https://scholarworks.umass.edu/open_access_dissertations/255

Timofeev, I. (2020, January 22). US sanctions against Iran: New escalation. The Russian International Affairs Council. https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-and-comments/analytics/us-sanctions-against-iran-new-escalation/

Todoran, C., & Peterson, C. (2019). Should they stay or should they go? How the 2017 U.S. travel ban affects international doctoral students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 24(4), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315319861344

Torbati, Y. (2012, October 17). Iranian students feel the pain as currency collapses. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-students/iranian-students-feel-the-pain-as-currency-collapses-idUSBRE89G10220121017?fbclid=IwAR0604mCj21vbjR0qBJ0g0dONC2wa3mqoY6sixYLVtEGBHKVC3w0vOLVCSc

Tummala-Narra, P., & Claudius, M. (2013). A qualitative examination of Muslim graduate international students' experiences in the United States. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 2(2), 132–147. https://doi.org/10.1037/ipp0000003

Valverde, M., & Hemlock, D. (2015). Venezuela’s economy squeezes students in South Florida. Sun Sentinel. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-venezuelan-students-dollars-20151002-story.html

Wallace, P. (2020, February 26). Coronavirus panic causes more woes for Iran’s currency: Chart. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-26/coronavirus-panic-causes-more-woes-for-iran-s-currency-chart

Ward, C., & Geeraert, N. (2016). Advancing acculturation theory and research: The acculturation process in its ecological context. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 98–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.09.021

Ward, C., Okura, A., Kennedy, A., & Kojima, T. (1998). The U-curve on trial: A longitudinal study of psychological and sociocultural adjustment during cross-cultural transition. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 22(3), 277–291. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-1767(98)00008-X

Yan, K. (2017). Chinese international students’ stressors and coping strategies in the United States. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-3347-6

Downloads

Published

2021-04-12

How to Cite

Hosseini-Nezhad, S., Safdar, S. ., & Nguyen Luu, L. A. (2021). “We Begin 300 Meters Behind the Starting Line”: Adaptation of Iranian Students in Hungary in the Post-Sanctions Era. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 341–360. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.1779

Issue

Section

Research Articles