Refugee Integration: should newly arrived refugees stay where they are resettled?
Advantages of refugees’ integration into the host community. Refugee Integration can be difficult, but it does not have to be.
It might be tempting for the majority of refugees to live in American cities and towns that already have a large number of people from their home country, people of their home religion or speakers of their native language.
This might be good initially, but when you look at in the long term, it can be counterproductive. Besides fleeing war and persecution, one of the refugees’ most important goals of coming to live in America is to learn, from Americans, the “ropes” of being successful and living a prosperous life. Such goals may not be achievable if we end up keeping ourselves in “a small version” of our home communities. It is about going against the flow.
Refugee integration will create opportunities to speak English outside the classroom.
When you live in a community where your daily interactions are mostly with English-speaking Americans. You create a valid environment for your English language to improve quickly. This can serve as putting into practice the theoretical English skills you learn at school. In addition, it is the most effective way of mastering the language.
Your English has a few chances of getting better if you spend most of your time speaking your native language. School learning has for a long time proved to be of minimal benefit. If not put into intensive practice in real life.
Refugees will learn about the American culture and value faster.
As a new resident of America, and later as a citizen. It is in your best interest to learn about the American culture and values as much as possible. This is one of the most important recipes for success and prosperity in the new life.
American culture has a lot of great features that for some time seem to have been disappeared in our home countries. That is due to reasons such as conflict and hardship. You can truly forget the trauma you went through back in your country. You should find the best in yourself when you encounter the great manners and civilized behavior among many great traits that are vibrant in the American society.
Integration will make it easier for newcomers to make English-speaking friends.
Networking is a crucial requirement of securing good employment in America. It is also one of the most effective ways of networking. This can help to make American friends who can get you introduced to influential people in the business world. You can also learn a lot of things from the friends you make that can help you thrive in your new life. These friends and host community members are normally more knowledgeable of the American life than your fellow refugees. As result, they can be a great source of assistance for you as you navigate through the details of your new life in America.
They are more likely to become active members of their new community.
When refugees come to America, they are expected to work hard to become active members of their new community as workers, tax-payers, and consumers, just like all immigrants who came to America over the last centuries. It is important to meet this expectation sooner rather than later to achieve your goals in your new life and to make yourself a valuable asset to your new community and country, not a burden.
Your host community will provide you with all the possible means to survive when starting your life in America, you just have to be willing to integrate and embrace your new life and community with open arms and open-mindedness.
Don’t let fear and stereotypes hold you back from becoming a true American.
A lot of refugees come to America with concerns about how to maintain their home and religious values and traditions in the new community. These often create obstacles in their integration into the host community and hinder their progress, if not tackled early and effectively. One thing to keep in mind here is that once you land in America, you are totally free to practice your religion, maintain your traditions and live the life you like, as long as you are abiding by the law.
Living in your host community like other Americans, will not pose a threat to your values.
Rather, it will help you thrive and be more successful. This way you do not have to compromise your religious traditions. It will also give opportunities to share aspects of your home culture, through food and culture shows. After all, diversity is one of the great features that have made America a great superpower. So as you integrate and mingle with Americans, don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of getting yourself isolated.
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