"I'm a journalist working in the UK, where I moved from my home in Spain in search of opportunities. Looking back on my initial relocation, I would urge anyone considering economic migration to learn the language before getting to your new country. They must also prepare mentally, to do the kind of work they never thought they would do in their country of origin.
Another challenge to overcome is the lack of respect between cultures. People immigrate to find opportunities, but I don't think it means people in the host nation can criticize my country of origin, even if it's done as a joke. I have lived through this situation several times already. We should all at least try to understand everybody else's culture! There are ways to do this actively. I remember seeing a campaign on TV that showed ways to bring people from different origins and backgrounds together. The moderator would put people in groups based only on their interest or feelings. For example, one group was made up of people that have been bullied, one group had people who considered themselves to be happy, another group had people that like tennis and so on.
The result was that each group would consist of different types of people — maybe a lesbian, an English hooligan, a red head and a Muslim — that might normally not hang out together. But for this exercise they were united because they shared interests which go beyond origin, culture and skin colour. I think activities like that are useful."
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.