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University Engagement Toolkit: How Campuses are Helping Refugees

The U.S. Department of State enjoys a unique vantage point on the countless efforts undertaken by individuals and organizations to address the global refugee crisis. The purpose of this Toolkit is to share some of the powerful examples we have seen with you: students, professors, and university administrators who want to contribute to the global refugee crisis response.

Post-Secondary Educational Experiences in the Acculturation of Resettled Refugees in the United States

A global refugee crisis necessitates an understanding of policy making governing the resettlement of refugees in the United States. Resettling more refugees than all other countries combined, the United States emphasizes rapid employment over post-secondary education for adult resettled refugees in order to compel their self-sufficiency. However,self-sufficiency does not fully address the manifold aspects that account for a refugee‘s adaptation and adjustment to living in the United States. The resources that they need to become self-sufficient, such as post-secondary education, are difficult to obtain due to immediate employment needs, language barriers, transportation needs, lack of childcare,or lack of social and cultural capital. Using the lens of acculturation theory, this phenomenological study explored the value and influence of post-secondary education in the lives of seven first generation adult refugees living in the Tampa Bay region of Florida. In-depth, semi-structured, one-on-one interviews with resettled refugee participants were conducted to explore the educational experiences of resettled refugees and participant attitudes and beliefs about the importance of education in their process of acculturation. Implications for resettlement and educational policy are discussed.

Distance Learning, Scalability, And Refugee Camps

Refugees living in camp environments and refugees who eventually resettle to a new country after life in refugee camps often have difficult accessing higher education opportunities. Lack of identification, citizenship, and the economic means to attain an education kept many potential refugee students out of post-secondary education. Increasing unrest in refugee camps as well as the need for resettled refugees to find employment in order to create a sustainable living demonstrates the need for education for this vulnerable population. Australian Catholic University offers online post secondary education to refugees living in camps along the Thai-Burmese border. The Open University offers online post secondary education to resettled refugees living in the United Kingdom. Both programs provide lessons learned for institutions considering refugee higher education programs in camp settings or upon resettlement.Recommendations are provided.

Counselling Refugee Young People: An Exploration of Therapeutic Approaches

This paper presents and discusses the key findings from a study that considered significant issues that affect refugees and asylum‐seekers, and explored beneficial counselling approaches relevant to this group. In‐depth narrative interviews were conducted with three counsellors and three specialist children’s support advisors. Data were analysed using the methods of comparative analysis and theme mapping from a grounded theory approach. The key findings reveal that counsellors do not work from a particular approach but adapt a variety of therapeutic methods to the needs of the child. In addition, they focus on the therapeutic relationship; take into account lack of safety and loss of home, traumatic experiences and impacts, and resilience of the child; stress that both short‐term and long‐term therapy is beneficial; and show a concern over lack of specialised training for counsellors and obstacles to accessing counselling.

Help for the Helpers: Caring for Yourself When Assisting Others

Helping members of your community who have been through a traumatic experience can be very rewarding, but it can also take a toll on you bother personally and professionally....The following are some ways to make sure you're taking care of yourself so you can continue to take care of others.