"I moved away from France to study abroad and work before my travels brought me to Switzerland. I've been working with migrants for 15 years, first as a teacher of the French language, then as a professional coach trying to help migrants find jobs. In the past few years I have worked as a facilitator of inclusive and interactive activities: to help migrants connect socially, culturally, professionally and emotionally while finding a place in their new country.
My advice to everyone moving to a new country: observe what is going on, be openminded, ask questions, be curious and find people who have the same hobbies as you in order to connect on a fun level.
We are all migrants, by choice or by force. We are all human beings. But I don't like the word "integration," I prefer "inclusion". We all have to work to be a part of the society you live in, give and receive, contribute. Migration is an opportunity to learn from one another, to broaden our horizons and to connect with people from all over the world. By being curious, we can learn a lot from everyone that we encounter. If we removed all the labels, no one would necessarily know who is a migrant and who is a local. Everyone is rich from their life experience — sharing them and listening to others is how we all grow and become better people."
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.