The Problems of Migrant Students in Georgia (2013-1019)

Tamar Meladze


The phenomenon of migration in the modern world became a complex issue for research because of the increased scope and other actual reasons. Migration changed face, scopes and directions, got attention from states and international organizations, became the main subject of social, political, cultural problems and marked itself in the daily agenda. Migration of various groups is increasing from year to year, including student migration, which is one of the most relevant and large-scale processes in the 21st century.
The paper aims to identify the main social, cultural and economic problems, which are faced by migrant students living in Georgia; to explain differences of cultural barriers, which the students with different cultural background have to overcome on the way of integration into the Georgian society. Modern theories of migration comprise the theoretical framework of our research, namely, the assimilation theory and racial/ethnic non affordable condition models were used.
Qualitative research methods include:
• Analysis of secondary materials and scientific literature;
• In-depth interview with 18 migrant students of various origins: 6 from India, 6 from Near East and 6 from African countries. 9 female and 9 male persons participated in this process. The criteria for the selection are: citizenship of different countries, an active student status in Georgia and the age from18 to 30. Georgian students also participated in the research: 12 students were selected: 3 female and 3 male students, who have relations with migrant students; and 3 female and 3 male students, who have no experience of relations with them.
The study has the following limitations:
• Problems of integration of the European and American students are not discussed;
• Extended public attitude towards migrant students is not presented in the paper.
The main findings of the research could be listed as follows:
• Migrant students have difficulties of interaction with the local population;
• Language barrier is one of the main problems;
• Most of the respondents werethe objects of discrimination in different times;
• Discrimination and xenophobic attitudes decrease over time;
• Attitude of Georgian students towards the migrant classmates is heterogeneous;
• Male migrant students face social and cultural problems more than female ones.

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