Sociocultural Adaptation Among University Students in Hungary

The Case of International Students From Post-Soviet Countries


  • Aigerim Yerken Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
  • Róbert Urbán Eötvös Loránd University
  • Lan Anh Nguyen Luu Eötvös Loránd University



sociocultural adaptation, psychological adaptation, international students, post-Soviet countries, higher education, Hungary


With the number of international students increasing worldwide, the sociocultural adaptation difficulties that sojourners face should be addressed adequately. This study explored the sociocultural adaptation of international students (N = 267, Mage = 24.5, SD = 4.7) in Hungary. The exploratory factor analysis of the Sociocultural Adaptation Scale yielded five factors: Affiliative Relations, Bureaucracy and Services, Power Relations, Cultural Understanding, and Academic Performance. The students’ countries of origin (post-Soviet countries versus others) and locations of residence (the capital versus small cities) were determinants of sociocultural adaptation. Depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and lower life satisfaction were associated with greater sociocultural adaptation difficulties. Resilient coping was linked with a lower level of difficulties in academic performance (rs = −.20) and cultural understanding (rs = −.15). Our findings supported that the students’ countries of origin, places of residence, and mental health should be considered in improving counseling and educational programs targeting international students.

Author Biographies

Aigerim Yerken, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary

AIGERIM YERKEN is currently a PhD candidate in the Doctoral School of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary. She also works as a senior lecturer at M. Narikbayev KAZGUU University in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Her primary research interests lie in the area of cross-cultural and social psychology, with a focus on the adaptation and acculturation processes of newcomers, ethnic identity, and gender beliefs. Email:

Róbert Urbán, Eötvös Loránd University

RÓBERT URBÁN works as a professor of psychology at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Faculty of Education and Psychology. His research focuses on health-related behaviors (smoking, e-cigarette, eating behaviors, unhealthy use of alcohol, technology-related problem behaviors), psychosocial determinants of health and diseases (psychosocial epidemiology), measurement models, and psychometrics. Email:

Lan Anh Nguyen Luu, Eötvös Loránd University

LAN ANH NGUYEN LUU is a professor of psychology and director of the Institute of Intercultural Psychology and Education at the Faculty of Education and Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary. Her main research interests are acculturation, ethnic identity, gender beliefs, and teachers’ attitudes toward diversity. Email:


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How to Cite

Yerken, A., Urbán, R., & Nguyen Luu, L. A. (2022). Sociocultural Adaptation Among University Students in Hungary: The Case of International Students From Post-Soviet Countries. Journal of International Students, 12(4), 867–888.