How to Create Interactive One-on-One Cultural Orientation Sessions

Refugee training

Group Cultural Orientation inherently creates opportunities for dynamic exchange among learners as well as student-centered activities that enhance learning. When group Cultural Orientation is not possible, instruction can easily become teacher-centered and static. To avoid that tendency, CORE recommends the following tips to create one-on-one sessions that are interactive, engaging, and encourage community integration and overall self-sufficiency.

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Deliver Information Over Time

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Examples of Experiential Learning in Cultural Orientation

  • Accompany the learner to the grocery store using public transportation, as appropriate, and conduct a shopping trip that allows the learner to demonstrate knowledge of good nutrition while applying principles of budgeting.
  • Allow the learner to discover the role of the Resettlement Agency through an office scavenger hunt where the learner meets and collects information from different staff members.
  • During a home-based orientation, ask the learner to provide housing and safety orientation as if you are a newly arrived refugee.

 

  • Role play the experience of requesting an interpreter in different settings, such as at a school or in a doctor’s office.
  • Reflect on the impact of budgeting and financial decisions by playing the Financial Advisor Game with the learner, following the instructions available in the Money Management Supplemental Lesson Plan.

Practice in Action

Jewish Family and Community Services in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to develop a sustainable resource provided in hard copy to all refugees and integrated into CO delivery. The resource is a city passport with localized information to best understand and navigate the community. The International Rescue Committee in Richmond, Virginia, conducts home-based CO delivery for all newly arrived refugees. If necessary and particularly if there are childcare needs, they conduct multiple sessions so all family members receive the CO information. Following home-based CO delivery, refugees can attend community orientation, which serves as extended CO in a group setting, discussing CO topics in more depth and interacting with different community members and organizations.