The psychological impacts of quarantine on international students’ life satisfaction in Russia during coronavirus COVID-19


As coronavirus quarantine period is increasing, concerns are growing about its possible impact on international migrants and students. The article discusses the basics of quarantine concept and its impact during COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of study is to develop scale to determine relationship between such factors as financial stability, living condition, educational condition, social life and physiological reactions with psychological stability and life satisfaction of international students in Russia. The focus is done on international students of Russian universities. The questionnaires (n=300) were distributed among target respondents using the convenience random sampling technique. The analysis of survey results established relationship between the factors mentioned above and international students’ psychological stability and life satisfaction. The study results proved that the original scale applied in this study is reliable and valid to assess level of life satisfaction. Therefore, policy makers should resolve related problems, including financial incentives, availability of such products as food and hygiene products through applying proper and sufficient information about the situation. using distance learning technologies, communication tools to insure positive impact on life satisfaction of international students. Moreover, the study results can provide to prospect researchers in the field of life satisfaction and psychological stability reliable and useful information.

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Introduction Over the last 100 years, there have been few global pandemics, such as Spanish flu, Asian flu, H1N1, SARS, and Ebola, and now the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that after the first infections in China at the end of 2019 has continued to spread across the world and no country has been able to escape this virus. Since 31 December 2019 and as of 2:46 pm CEST, 9 August 2020, over 19,462,112 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide (216 countries and territories are affected) with average mortality of 3.7% (722,285 persons), more than 3.5 million confirmed cases reported in Europe and 10 million in America. The United States of America (4,897,958), Brazil (2,962,442), India (2,153,010) the Russian Federation (887,536), South Africa (553,188), are the top 5 countries with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported [1]. Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, COVID-19 has become a global emergency, and in order to stop the expansion and spreading of this virus nationwide, self-isolation at home followed by lockdown or quarantine (the separation and restriction of movement of people who have potentially been exposed to a contagious disease to ascertain if they become unwell, so reducing the risk of them infecting others) [2] were strongly enforced that appeared to be the solution but, in order to achieve effective results from quarantine, people must adhere to it, and if they don’t, the efficacy of quarantine stays unclear and uncertain [3]. Although, this decision can save many peoples’ lives, it increases difficulties and ends up in chaos [4] (under the circumstances where quarantine is regarded as vital, authorities should quarantine individuals for no longer than required), because it is an unpleasant event that has separated people, shattered the lifestyle and disrupted the global human lives across the world, it closed universities, schools, airports, borders, cultural sites, movies, theatres, gyms, etc., therefore, all these result in stress, anxiety and sense of uncertainty about future, that influences psychological stability and mental state of many people especially international migrants and international students. International students around the world have a very special situation during this pandemic. In 2017 over 5.3 million international students were studying in countries rather than their own [5], and in Russia according to “Export of Russian Education Services” statistical collection, over the past three decades the number of international students in the Russian Federation has increased and mounted to more than 230,000 international students (4.3% of the world’s share) in 2016/2017; almost half of these international students come from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS countries), however during the last years, the number of students from Asian countries (China, India and Vietnam are the major sending countries) has increased by 17% and mounted to 57,362 students; and the number of international students from the Middle East and African countries has increased by 19% and mounted to 31,360 students, the majority of these students come from Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana. In 2016/2017 engineering majors by around 22 % and medical majors with 20% have been the most popular fields of studies among international students in the Russian Federation [6]. Therefore, we can conclude that with a high number of international students and confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Russian Federation, as of many other countries, educational and living conditions of international students have been affected and changed by the pandemic and quarantine. Literature review During the quarantine, we have lost our daily routine life, our regular activities are stopped, our social and physical contacts are limited, the fear of death may cause depression, anxiety and stress disorder [7], all these factors may lead to frustration and a sense of isolation from the rest of the world. On the other hand, people’s environmental changes, such as financial stability, social life, living conditions, healthcare, educational conditions, physiological changes can lead to socio-economic distress and psychological instability that finally affect life satisfaction. Moreover, during the quarantine, supplies of foods, water, clothes, accommodation, access to medical care, poor information from public health authorities, etc., have been found to be a source of frustration among people [8] that leads to some increase in anxiety and stress, since they are insufficient or have been provided in the wrong time. Today as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, concerns are growing about the effects this will have on international students because they face, besides the same health threats as the population in the host country do, additional problems such as language barriers, access to the health care, living and working conditions, discrimination, legal issues etc., therefore they are very vulnerable against this pandemic. During the public health emergencies such as coronavirus Covid-19 and the quarantine, students and younger generation can be psychologically affected, that results in anxiety, worry, etc. [9], for example the effect of COVID-19 and the pattern of hopelessness among young adult Chinese have been found [10], or among Brazilians, the younger people are a little bit more stressed, depressed, and anxious with the quarantine situation than those who are older [11]; furthermore, Alberto Filgueiras and Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen found the evidence that those completing higher levels of education may lead to less psychological distress, depression, and anxiety [12] and, Steele LS, Dewa CS, Lin E, et al. results showed that people who complete higher levels of education were more likely to seek psychological or psychiatric help that highlights the importance of psychological interventions during the quarantine [13]. Moreover, not only the quarantine can directly influence life satisfaction, it can be associated with psychological stability or instability through financial capability, living conditions, educational conditions, physiological stability and social relations. The psychological and psycho-social effects of this pandemic can be severe and result in depression and lower life satisfaction of international students, because students are vulnerable to mental health problems [14], and during this pandemic in addition to their academic efficacy they must deal with their future career, social life and the financial situation. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is slowing down the global economy and influencing economy of individuals, many families and student are losing the source of their income over the quarantine time, financial pressures borne with students and their families are increasing [15], and because the income level is falling, procurement of daily needs is getting more difficult, cost of living becomes unreasonable, tuition fees seem more expensive than before and those who are staying in foreign countries with the extension of the stay and isolation may face extra financial and monetary problems [16], the same situation is with as those who return to their home country: they bear additional transportation cost, that is why financial stability is particularly crucial during economic recessions. During the quarantine, students may experience anxiety and get stressed because of their financial well-being; financial stability is positively linked to emotional well-being [17]; financial strains and a sudden loss of wealth are associated with symptoms of depression [18] and it influences not only psychological health but also on academic efficiency and performance [19]; on the other hand, higher income may reduce the financial distress that helps the depression treatment [20], therefore, students must be financially stable, capable, and be able to manage their money, control their finances, make right financial decisions and not simply have an income and material well-being [21], they must be able to pay for their daily needs, tuition fees, monthly rents, monthly bills, medical care, etc., and if they are unable to do so their life well-being will decrease and they will experience lower self-esteem, frustration and anxiety [22], therefore those students who do not have sufficient resources will have less overall life satisfaction (OLS) and become more vulnerable during this pandemic. In general, those who have an access to higher financial stability and capability have higher standards of living and they are more likely to reach their life aspiration [23] because the amount of money that people have is associated with greater daily happiness and additional life satisfaction, the individual is happier and develops better social relations, health, infrastructure and leisure [24], and as a result students’ ability to plan ahead their life and reach their academic goals is increased and it improves psychological health, leads to higher life satisfaction and enables them to adopt their desired life style [25]. During the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic social relations patterns have changed, many countries are imposing social distancing which is defined as a non-pharmaceutical countermeasures action designed to minimize any contact with other individuals, it reduces interactions between people in a broader community, in which individuals may be infectious but have not yet been identified, hence not yet isolated [26]. In addition, non-essential use of public transport must be avoided and, if possible, arrangements to work from home should be intended, it includes the closure of schools or office buildings and suspension of public markets, people should use remote technology to keep in touch with their friends and family, as all large and small gatherings must be forbidden [27]. On the other hand, social distancing and the restrictions confining people to stay home for several consecutive days may represent a further risk factor for physical and mental health and the absence of interpersonal relations and social distances can lead to anxiety and stress [28]. Veritably, the characteristics of the place of living, including its size, luminosity, the possibility of physical exercising, and the possibility of privacy, may crucially moderate people's experience of social distancing [29]. Just as some articles submit that a lack of home conditions such as low levels of natural light, or inadequate space can prompt both physical (e.g., respiratory morbidity) and mental (e.g., negative feelings) consequences and compromising psychological well-being [30]. Social isolation alludes to an objective physical separation from society and is not quite same with loneliness which is a subjective feeling of disconnectedness [31]. Online contacts technologies could cradle the negative connection between days of isolation and mental health which means online contacts may partially be replaced with offline social contacts when face-to-face contacts are not possible during isolation, and quantity and quality of online contacts are important for effectiveness depending on whether it allows a deeper understanding of people’s thoughts and feelings [32]. To this fact, we can add that massive amount of fake news in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. and news has increased the fear and promoted the uncertainty, which has created a stressful atmosphere for people, especially students, therefore, media should be monitored in order to stop the leaking of unreliable sources of news and information that increases stress. However, during the quarantine and isolation time, students’ and their families’ living behavior is changing that leads to physical and emotional dysfunction, such as hypertension, insomnia, low immunity, impatience etc., In physiological science stress is known as an intrinsic or extrinsic stimulus that evokes a biological response [33]. Activation of the neurophysiological response system helps organisms to cope with situations that constantly challenge their survival by internal or external adverse forces which termed stressors and maintain a complex dynamic equilibrium or homeostasis [34], homeostasis is re-established by various physiological and behavioral adaptive responses. Moreover, sustained stressors can have severe and long-lasting adverse effects on brain function and behavioral physiology [35]. Neurophysiological stress system partly located in the central nervous system and partly in peripheral organs which consist of the interconnected effectors such as the hypothalamic hormones arginine vasopressin, corticotrophin-releasing hormone, pro-opiomelanocortin-derived peptides, the locus ceruleus and autonomic norepinephrine centers in the brainstem and targets of these effectors include the executive and/or cognitive reward and fear systems, the wake-sleep centers of the brain, the growth, reproductive and thyroid hormone axes, and the gastrointestinal, cardiorespiratory, metabolic, and immune systems [36]. Appropriate responsiveness of the neurophysiological stress system to stressors is a crucial prerequisite for a sense of well-being, adequate performance of tasks, positive social interactions, and finally life satisfaction [37]. Stressors during the quarantine can include the duration of quarantine which is not always clear, anxiety for their own health or fears of infecting others, frustration and boredom, inadequate basic supplies such as groceries or other routine supplies needed for daily living or regular medical care, inadequate information and financial loss [38]. The response of the neurophysiological stress system to these stressors can be different, the point is the following: if these stressors continued for a long time obviously it may cause adverse effects on the human body and mind which react to stress by activating a complex repertoire of physiologic and behavioral central nervous system and peripheral adaptive responses [39]. These inadequate or excessive and/or prolonged responses may affect a person`s development and behavior and may have adverse consequences on physiologic functions, such as growth, metabolism, circulation, reproduction, and the inflammatory/immune system. These different kinds of tensions disrupt the sleep time of the students, create irregular sleep patterns and less energy expenditure that are linked to obesity [40] which eventually decreases the body's immunity and therefore, makes them more susceptible to the infection, in the following, stress and depression increase the consumption of high sugar and junk food like chocolate, soft drinks etc. [41], that results in obesity. In addition to above, food, eating diets and disorders such as anorexia are linked to life satisfaction, eating disorders are related to numerous negative psychological and behavioral factors, such as negative self-evaluation, depression, and low self-esteem [42], and those who are afraid of becoming overweight and care about their weight control and body shape are believed to have less life satisfaction [43], conversely, a good diet increases life satisfaction [44]. Therefore, during the quarantine, international students who may face financial and social problems may shift to a bad eating diet that will affect their psychological stability and finally their life satisfaction. Due to the closedown, the education sector has not been immune; universities, colleges and academic institutions as very vulnerable spaces are under pressure, the stress resulted from so called “social and physical distancing” in this pandemic has suddenly changed the students’ academic and social life and minimized the interpersonal contact, in addition, the face to face method of teaching during the lockdown in order to maintain the social distancing has been replaced by online and distance learning so that the spread of this virus is not expanding [45] therefore, the education quality has changed [46]. The transition of students to the next level of study, to tertiary education and employment is disrupted (because they may graduate late due to the postponement of the final examination and they will face challenges in employment due to the global recession caused by this virus), students have to rearrange their daily lives, they are unable to finish their programs and curriculum, and they have been far away from their social groups, in addition, their timetable of studies (admissions of international students and the upcoming academic session is shifted) [47] and examinations (examinations have been postponed due to the virus and there is uncertainty about the examination policies) has changed and students’ scientific and social activities in many countries have been distorted that cause frustration and stress among students and affect their mental health. On the other hand, universities should take steps to establish a task force to plan and deal with the crisis in order to inform and maintain the contact with students and increase their ability to perform their tasks remotely. Both lecturers and students must remain at home and carry out their responsibilities, while the interaction of lecturers with students continues online. Although, digital classroom gives teachers and students more flexibility, objectives and the content of the institutes and teachers needs an immediate transition to the online method of teaching, and institutes should put an extra effort in plans for distance learning that is meant to be implemented over months. However, during this pandemic to provide high quality lectures and class activities given to students is a very difficult task, because the lecturers, university staffs, faculty members and students are not trained for the effective use of online resources, therefore those lecturers and students who are used to traditional teaching methods find it difficult to handle the online classrooms, and as a result the relation between lecturers and students and subsequently students with students during this quarantine will be negatively affected and in addition, the stress level among psychologically weak students and lecturers will be intensified, since they are not comfortable in using online classrooms, thus, students and university staffs have to make an effort to adapt to what for many of them is a new way of teaching and learning. Moreover, students and lecturers may face additional problems such as poor internet connection in remote areas [48], lack of access to computers and IT equipment, lack of control over students during the online classes, the interruption in research activities, inability to use facilities in laboratories, inability to access online journals that are available through institutional web access only, improper assessment and evaluation (since examinations have been postponed and suspended), this is especially very important for many of international students who have returned home [49] and may not have proper access to necessary books, computers, and high-speed Internet connection. On the other hand, it is a very challenging task for administration to provide international students who stay in university hostels health care, safety, security, proper advice and consultation [50]. According to the research by Gilman and Huebner (2006) [51] life satisfaction is positively correlates with academic performance, hope, interpersonal and intrapersonal relations, self-esteem and parental relations, and it can negatively affect the attitude towards teachers, school, social stress, anxiety and depression, they also claim that university students who are happier and have a higher life satisfaction are likely to have better performance, good social relationship with others and possess a healthier mental and psychological stability, and those with lower life satisfaction reported a higher level of intrapersonal and interpersonal distress and less positive academic experiences. The question of what determines or causes life satisfaction has been widely discussed in literature, life satisfaction allows individuals to assess his or her own life and it is a conscious evaluative process of one's life as a whole [52], life satisfaction discusses how a life of a person should be rather than how it is [53] based on a presumed standard set of criteria that meets the expectation of the individual. Life satisfaction is related to a personality of an individual and the things which happen in the environment around him, there are a number of variables that may influence life satisfaction, such as psychological flexibility, an internal control and openness to experience [54], However, for the young generation, life satisfaction is affected by their psychological systems such as physical health, depression etc. [55], and it is shown that it can be a shield against negative influences of stress and psychological inappropriate behavior [56], and those who have higher life satisfaction are less likely to commit violence or have any risky behaviors [57] including personal, psychological, social, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, that is why, life satisfaction is considered a key indicator of mental health. Methodology In this study quantitative non-probability research methodology using questionnaires was undertaken, international students who are studying in the universities in Russia were randomly approached and convenience sampling method employed for data collection refers to the accessibility and availability of the members in the population [58] it is quick and cheap and it permits the researcher to achieve data from the members of the population swiftly. The participants answered our survey online through Google Forms, E-mails that were based on the principles of anonymity and confidentiality. The respondents were to answer the questions based on their own current experience during the quarantine and coronavirus COVID-19. The final sample compromised 300 international students. Once the overall completed questionnaires gathered, the data analysis SPSS software was used to investigate the information from the questionnaires. SPSS software is employed for statistical analysis and provides information mining solutions. The questionnaire for this study has been designed on the base of our theoretical framework and it is divided into part A: socio-demographic questions such as age, gender, marital status, nationality, level of Russian language, living time in Russia, place of living, living expenses and students’ field of study, this part will be measured using a nominal scale as most of these variables are groups mutually exclusive to each other; and part B of this questionnaire has the scales of the responses to our different variables questions (FS “financial stability”, LC “living conditions”, EC “educational condition”, SL “social life”, P “physiological factor”, PS “psychological stability” and LS “life satisfaction”). The data obtained through this technique will help to calculate the percentage of each element in the overall sample of that exact subject within the study. Scale measurement: 1. Strongly disagree; 2. Disagree; 3. Neutral; 4. Agree; 5. Strongly agree. The following statements are the hypotheses: H1. Financial stability and capability have a significant positive relationship with international students’ psychological stability. H2. The level of living conditions has a significant positive relationship with psychological stability of international students. H3. The educational condition during the quarantine has a significant positive correlation to psychological stability. H4. The level of international students’ social life has a positive significant relationship with psychological stability. H5. Physiological changes have a significant positive relationship with psychological stability H6. Psychological stability has a significant positive correlation with life satisfaction. Results and discussion Table 1: briefly shows the demography of the respondents obtained from the questionnaire, it shows that majority of the respondents are males with proportion of 195 people compared to the females with 105 people; the respondents are mostly single 67% (201 people) followed by those who are either in relationship or in complicated situation with 28% (85 people) and we have 14 respondents (4.7%) married, more than 85% of our participants have been living in Russia for more than one year. In addition, because the majority of respondents are university students our age cluster of this demography are from 18-23 years old (57.7%) followed by 24-29 years old (39%) and those more than 35 years old have the least number of our respondents with 3.3 %. In addition, Table 1 shows that majority of our respondents 55.7% (167 respondents) are studying medical and dentistry, following by engineering 18.3% (55 respondents) and around 6% (18 students) are studying Russian language at the preparatory faculty, agricultural studies with only one student has the least number of participants in our research. Moreover, since our research is about international students in Russia, there is race diversity in our research, the nationalities of the respondents who have participated in our study are shown in Table 2. ps202006.4htm00001.jpg Based on Table 2, more than 65% of our respondents are from middle eastern and African countries following by Asian students and students from CIS countries. The students from Iran by 30.3% (91 respondents), China 13.7% (41 respondents), South Africa 13% (39 respondents), Iraq 11.3% (34 respondents), Bahrain and Egypt 7.3% (22 respondents) have the highest number of participants in our study and Kazakhstan with only one respondent has the lowest number of participants in our study. Moreover, more than 65% of these students believe that their Russian language level is very low and it is very difficult for them to communicate, and they estimate their ability lower than intermediate, 27% believe that their Russian language ability is quite enough and they have an intermediate level, 7% believe that they know Russian language very well and 3 people have indicated the level of their Russian language as native which is 1% of our respondents. Furthermore, in our reliability analysis that refers to the measure which is free of any errors and shows the consistency of the results [59], our data are considered to be reliable since the coefficient alpha value is more than 0.7; the research is reliable when a coefficient alpha value is more than 0.6 but cut-off point of 0.7 is more suitable [60], and any amount less than 0.7 is considered to be unreliable and unsatisfactory. As Table 3 illustrates, living conditions have the highest reliability with 0.794 followed by psychological stability with 0.767 and financial stability with 0.705 has the least reliability in our research. Moreover, the descriptive analysis including mean, standard deviation and variance are shown in Table 3. As you can see financial stability followed by the social life with means of 3.6433 and 3.5983 respectively have the highest mean among our variables, and the physiological factor has the lowest mean of 2.7706; but, has the highest amount of standard deviation and variance with 0.87920 and 0.773 respectively and life satisfaction with standard deviation 0.58134 and variance 0.338 has the lowest amount in our study. ps202006.4htm00003.jpg In order to find the correlation among our variables, we use Bivariate Pearson correlation (Sig. 2 tailed), in our study, the significant level < 0.05 is considered acceptable. In Table 4, bivariate correlation among our variables is shown, the highest significant level of independent factors with psychological stability in this study is 0.000 followed by 0.02. The results in this research show that our variables are directly and indirectly (through psychological stability) correlated with life satisfaction. ps202006.4htm00005.jpg International students in Russia believe that their financial stability and capability have influenced their psychological stability (H1). As our result in table 4 shows there is positive correlation (Sig. 0.022, r (Cronbach’s Alpha) = 0.705) between financial stability and psychological stability and it is directly positively correlated to life satisfaction with Sig. 0.012. Students believe that with their current financial situation and monthly income (either received from their parents or themselves) they are facing difficulties with their rents, monthly bills, or daily needs, and 60% believe that living expenses in Moscow during coronavirus and the quarantine have become more expensive and rather difficult or impossible to stay in Russia during this period (see Table 1) and around 40% believe that they are able to cover their daily and monthly expenses, however, 64% of the students believe that with their financial capability they are relatively able to cover their medical care insurance. Furthermore, our results show that the second hypothesis (H2), living condition has a Signiant positive relationship with psychological stability of international students, the results from the table show that there is positive correlation (Sig. 0.041, r = 0.794) between living condition and psychological stability and it is also influencing on life satisfaction with Sig. 0.001. Around 49% of our respondents believe that the quality of their current place of living is not good enough and more than 57% think that they have unreasonable rental payment, 162 of our respondents 54% are living in private or university hostels and 43% are living in apartments (see table 1). In addition, majority of the respondents believe that their leisure time and hobbies have significantly changed and they feel bored in their life however, more than 66% of the respondents agree that they have access (either online or physically) to pharmacy, supermarkets, clinics, etc. and they believe that their daily needs such as foods, hygiene products etc. are available in somehow reasonable prices. It is also shown that the educational condition during the quarantine has influenced on psychological stability of international students, and it has a significant positive correlation with psychological stability (Sig. 0.035, r = 0.725) and life satisfaction with Sig. 0.020, therefore, our H3: Educational condition during the quarantine has a significant positive correlation with psychological stability is confirmed. Although, around 60% of our respondents agree that universities could successfully manage the distance learning, less than 48% believe that the infrastructure for distance learning is sufficient, and more than 55% believe that university lecturers are unable to adopt themselves with the current method of distance teaching, and they are unable to handle the online classes, and more than 73% believe that their relationship with other students or with their professors has changed and they are unable to effectively discuss their problems and only 17% of students think that their education quality has stayed unchanged during the quarantine. Moreover, we can accept the fourth hypothesis H4 that international students’ level of social life has a significant positive relationship with psychological stability and life satisfaction (Sig. 0.020, r = 0.712) and Sig. 0.002. More than 80% of respondents are following news more seriously and more than 60% of students think that the time they spend on social networks and the Internet has increased however, they are not satisfied with doing the daily tasks and needs online, this can be possible since majority of our respondents do not know the Russian language, and the quality of their connection with families and friends has changed, furthermore they do not believe that their communication and relationship with friends has improved. One of the most important factors that influences psychological stability of people is physiological factor. Our hypotheses H5 shows that physiological changes have a significant relationship with psychological stability and basing on our results we can conclude that there is a significant positive correlation between the physiological factor and psychological stability with (Sig. 0.000, r = 0.747), and it has positive correlation with life satisfaction with Sig. 0.011. Only 26% of students think that their body shape and weight have stayed unchanged, and the majority believe that they have gained weight and their body shape has changed, and they believe that their eating habits, diet and timing during the quarantine have changed, they are eating more junk food and less meals per day, since their sleeping time has changed as well, they are sleeping relatively more than before, and as it is shown in Table 1 around 40% of students are sleeping more than 9 hours per day, in addition only 31% believe that their sleeping quality has improve, and around 36% believe that it has got worse. Majority of the students 70% are having less physical activity and they feel more physiologically discomfort, such as body pain, a headache, diseases etc. and only 30% believe that their sexual life has unchanged, and others believe that quality and number of their sexual relationship has decreased significantly. At the end, our H6: Psychological stability has a significant positive correlation to life satisfaction. It is confirmed since our results show that there is a significant positive correlation (Sig. 0.024, r = 0.729), between psychological stability and life satisfaction, during the quarantine time due to coronavirus Covid-19, international students in Russia think that their self-confidence is slightly influenced by the quarantine, but more than 58 % feel that they are more stressed and nervous, 74% feel that they are relatively more irritated, only 28% feel that they are happier and majority of the respondents 72% worry about their families’ health condition more than before. Moreover, self-organization, future planning, and control over the things happen around students are strongly influenced by quarantine, only 20% of students feel that they can control happenings around themselves, and 50% believe that they are less organized than before and 73% think that they are less focused on their studies. Conclusion Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic has sent billions of people to self-isolation and quarantine that is associated with a negative psychological effect; during this time psychological stability plays an important role in keeping life quality and life satisfaction as high as possible. However, during this period there are groups of people who are more vulnerable against this pandemic such as migrants, students etc. therefore the objective of this study is to determine the factors affecting on life satisfaction and psychological stability of international students in Russia. These factors are our variables in this study: financial stability, living conditions, educational conditions, social life and physiological factors. These factors affect international students’ life satisfaction directly and indirectly through psychological stability, therefore, it is important and necessary for policymakers or any person in charge to facilitate problems related to these factors, they must consider different kinds of financial incentives, and ensure the availability of needed products such as food, hygiene products, etc. and give people as much information as possible about the situation, keep the quarantine time as short as possible, moreover, infrastructure for distance learning must be provided, and lecturers and students must be adopted with the online classrooms; communication tools and channels must be developed to at least improve online social life, and students must keep their physiological life pace as normal and organized as possible, eating diet, sleeping time, number of meals, etc. are believed to affect peoples’ psychological stability. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the students’ migration situation in Russia. Travel restrictions and border closures have highlighted the vulnerability of international students. One of the forms of actions to be taken in order to deal with the vulnerability of international students is to create a center for socio-psychological adaptation in local societies in the current pandemic that would help to avoid negative consequences, both for the host country and for international students [61].

About the authors

Afzali Mehdi

The Institute of Socio-Political Research - Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

S. V. Ryazantsev

The Institute of Socio-Political Research - Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Shakeri Ali

The Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Education «The I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University» of Minzdrav of Russia


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