"I am currently a student at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland where I moved from France. Migration means a person's movement from one country to another. It does not only imply work, but also student mobility and more. Sometimes, this move can represent a shock to the system, especially when a person feels unable to do one of the most important things — communicate. I try to support migrants by teaching them French within our French courses at the Graduate Institute. Besides the French classes, I also try to give them moral support by listening to their story and letting them know that not only me, but all my volunteers professor can help them with anything.
Through this work, I have made a few general observations about people who move to a new country, in this case Switzerland. I really found that people were afraid to talk to me about their stories or worries. It is normal that it would take time for people to open up to me, so it is necessary for me to be patient and wait until they are ready talk about how they feel. But I think it is important that when new people arrive, they open their heart and feel welcome by the locals
Integration means getting over the idea that a migrant will stay a migrant, and this is a two-way street both the new arrivals and the locals need to travel. We need to take away that idea that a migrant/refugee will always stay the same; people change and adapt, and it is necessary to take away stigma and keep being open minded."
This story is brought to you in partnership with The Refugee Cultural Festival, 2017 edition. The festival was launched to encourage small, local actions to embrace diversity and support those forced to leave their homes due to war, famine and climate change. Learn more about the festival and donate by clicking here.