IOM Finland provides orientation courses for refugees accepted for resettlement to Finland, Iceland and Sweden. The courses are organized before the refugees’ departure for their new home country. To support refugees’ adaptation to their new environment, the courses offer them practical information about their new home country, its society and culture, as well as foster realistic ideas and expectations of what is coming. They help refugees to develop the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in their new environment.
Topics addressed in orientation sessions 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. The refugees also have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with a language spoken in their new home country. The pre-departure training also provides a forum for them to ask questions and express their concerns to be better equipped for dealing with cultural adaptation and change.
A tailored approach to training takes into consideration the specific needs of migrants and of the receiving country. IOM's training methodology recognizes an interactive, learner- and family-centered 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 by creating meaningful and experiential learning opportunities. For example, role-plays, video presentations, simulations, discussions and small group activities are used.
The pre-departure orientation model has been proven successful in advancing early and effective integration. IOM Finland works closely with IOM missions in refugees’ countries of first asylum throughout all pre-departure orientation activities.
- The Orientation Courses for Refugees Received by Finland
IOM Finland works closely with the Finnish Immigration Service Migri on pre-departure orientation, also known as cultural orientation. Beyond the provision of courses for refugees, this long-standing cooperation between Migri and IOM has produced, among others, a Handbook for Pre-Departure Orientation Training for trainers leading the orientation course for quota refugees received by Finland. The second part of the book, Moving to Finland, is a workbook that contains self-study materials about Finland. It can be used by both trainers and participants.
- Moving to Finland Website
IOM Finland is involved in developing Moving to Finland website which offers information in nine languages for newcomers, especially quota refugees, coming to Finland. The website is coordinated by the Finnish Immigration Service and receives funding from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
- The Orientation Courses for Refugees Received by Sweden
The courses for Sweden-bound quota refugees are organized by IOM Finland as part of the comprehensive cooperation on resettlement with the Swedish Migration Agency. IOM Finland has produced a Facilitator’s Handbook for Swedish Pre-Departure Orientation, a guide for cross-cultural facilitators conducting the orientation courses for refugees received by Sweden.
- The Orientation Courses for Refugees Received by Iceland
IOM Finland coordinates the provision of pre-departure orientation for refugees accepted for resettlement to Iceland. The courses are primarily taught by qualified trainers from IOM missions in refugees’ countries of first asylum, based on materials developed and maintained by IOM Finland in cooperation with the Icelandic Ministry of Social Affairs.