Challenges faced by international students and their life satisfaction in Azerbaijan

Ever since Azerbaijan's educational system reform to that of the European standards coupled with the fairly low cost of obtaining a European-style education, there is an increasing number of international students from different countries studying in Azerbaijan each year. Despite the fact that international students face massive challenges while studying away from their home countries. The purpose of this paper was to uncover challenges faced by international students in Azerbaijan, their life satisfaction and its overall impact on the study experience. The data were collected using a mixedmethods research, both qualitative and quantitative tools employed. An electronic questionnaire was developed and sent to be filled-up by sample international students studying at different universities in Azerbaijan. Through one-to-one discussions and focus groups individual experiences were recorded. Approximately, the total number of 50 plus international students voluntarily filled-up the questionnaire; 10 universities and about 20 different nationalities. The data collected were analyzed by excel analytics. The findings reveal that participants widely face challenges in communication, adapting to the local cuisine, cultural environment and social interaction. Nonetheless, the overall experience is positive and life satisfaction is skewed towards satisfaction. For the country to attract more students, an increased focus on minimizing all the challenges is a must.