Purpose. Difficulties and stress associated with cultural adjustment are significant issues affecting the life experience of the rural-to-urban migrant students. They may experience problems such as culture shock, psycho-social difficulties and interpersonal conflicts, which may negatively affect migrant students’ socialization. The goal of this research was to identify socialization and adaptation related problems that migrant students encounter.
Design/methodology/approach. In the framework of qualitative research method, the focus groups were identified and studied.
Findings. Majority of students had difficulties adapting to the urban environment. They felt uncomfortable in urban noise, traffic jams and crowded streets. For the majority of students living conditions worsened after arriving to the capital city. Because of the lack of free time, most of the migrant students could visit their families only on holidays. Some of them felt discriminated because of their language accent, taste and style. Most students plan to return to their home region and use experience and knowledge gained in urban places. However, some students do not plan to return because they don’t see any career prospects back home.
Recommendations. It is recommended to develop specific types of interventions that will target the unique needs of rural-to-urban migrant students. Training and educational programs can be done to increase students’ awareness of available services. In addition, creating a more flexible and tailored environment, where students can actively engage in various activities in order to increase the quality of their socialization, will be beneficial.
Keywords: Acculturative stress, cultural adjustment, migrant students.