Cultural Orientation for Quota Refugees

IOM provides pre-departure orientation training courses for refugees accepted for resettlement to a third country. Over the past 25 years, IOM has conducted courses for over 500,000 refugees in over 70 refugee processing locations around the world. The tailored approached to training takes into consideration the specific needs of migrants and of the receiving country.

IOM Finland currently provides pre-departure orientation for Finland-bound quota refugees. Since 2001, IOM Finland has provided Finnish Pre-Departure Orientation to more than 4,000 refugees.

The Finnish Pre-Departure Orientation project (FINCO) is implemented in cooperation with the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences and field-based IOM offices. The project is coordinated by the Finnish Immigration Service and receives funding from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

In addition, IOM Finland is also providing Pre-Departure Orientation training for quota refugees selected to resettle in Iceland. The Icelandic Pre-Departure Orientation is implemented by the IOM Finland based on the current needs of Iceland, and upon their request.


Pre-departure cultural orientation prepares refugees by providing practical information on country of destination, and assists refugees in setting realistic goals and developing the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in their new environment.

IOM works closely with governments to identify the key priority messages and values that are critical for refugees’ successful resettlement and integration.Pre-departure orientation is designed to assist refugees to develop realistic expectations and to become self-sufficient more quickly.

Courses by IOM’s multilingual, multi-ethnic trainers help refugees anticipate integration challenges and facilitate their transition into the receiving society. Topics addressed in the orientation include housing, health, money management, finding employment, being informed about the types of post-arrival resettlement services, education, cultural adaptation, rights and responsibilities, and others. They have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Finnish language. The pre-departure training also provides a forum for the refugees in which to ask questions, express their fears and concerns, so as to be better equipped to deal with cultural adaptation and change.

IOM believes pre-departure orientation is an integral component of successful resettlement programmes and is most effective when linked closely to domestic settlement services.


IOM's training methodology recognizes an interactive, learner- and family-centred approach while also taking into account different learning styles. The primary goal of any training is to encourage participation and to strive to empower participants through creating meaningful and experiential learning opportunities.

The methodology is participatory and interactive, and relies on a host of approaches designed to engage and empower refugees. For example role-playing, video presentations, simulations, discussions and small group activities are used.

Moving to Finland website

Moving to Finland is a website which offers information in nine languages for newcomers, especially quota refugees, coming to Finland.

The project is coordinated by the Finnish Immigration Service and receives funding from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. 

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