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Below you'll find a list of activities which will help you explore the refugee experience in more depth.

Find out

Do some research to discover what happens to refugees when they first arrive in Britain. Try and find out:

  • How might they get here?
  • Where might they arrive?
  • What happens to them when they arrive?
  • What are the processes they have to go through in order to be given permission to stay?
  • Where might they spend their first few nights in Britain?
  • What would happen if a young person arrived in Britain on their own?


Now imagine that you're a refugee arriving in Britain for the very first time - think about the films you've watched, particularly what you've discovered in the 'First Impressions' section. You might also find this site helpful Maybe you are a refugee arriving from a very hot sprawling city, small jungle village, freezing mountain wilderness or desert war zone - wherever you imagine you're from jot down a list of:

  • Hopes and fears
  • First impressions of the British people - are they friendly? Rude? Indifferent?
  • First impressions of the culture - how does the way of life compare to what you're used to? Do people behave differently? How do British people like to spend their free time?
  • First impressions of the landscape - both in the city and country – is it how you expected Britain to look?
  • Weather - is it too cold or wet for you? Is it warmer than what you expected? Do you like it?
  • Food - is it the same or different? What do you like/dislike about it?


There are many different organisations and agencies who work with refugees and asylum seekers when they arrive in this country - advising them on everything from finding housing to how they might start to learn English. In small groups, discuss the various practical ways in which refugees might need support when they first arrive here. What other kinds of support might refugees, both individuals and families, require? And finally, in what ways do you think people working in these agencies can make the experience of arriving in the UK as a refugee less difficult?


As part of a presentation given to refugees who have recently arrived in Britain you have been asked to create a short film (around two minutes) using the script below as a starting point:

Welcome to Britain!

You'll find lots of different people living here from many different backgrounds, races and religions.

The capital of the UK is London. It's not only the biggest city in Britain but also the largest in Europe. The Government runs the country from here in the Houses of Parliament and the Queen's main home is also in central London at Buckingham Palace.

Britain is 600 miles long and 300 miles wide. From mountains to sandy beaches, countryside to city high-rises, the UK is made up of many different landscapes so there's plenty to explore and enjoy!

You will often hear people in Britain complaining about the weather. It's true, it does rain (sometimes a lot!), but the sun does shine as well.

Britain has changed a lot over the years, but we're proud of our traditions of supporting democracy, justice and fair play for all!

The presentation is not supposed to be a full explanation of what it's like to live in Britain, it just aims to give refugees a quick, engaging visual introduction to some of its people and places, both past and present.

There is a selection of archive footage in Screenonline's online editing tool - The Cutting Room. Start off by looking though the films and extracts in the folder 'Refuge Britain' which is in the 'Browse' section of the tool. Here you will find archive film from the 1910s onwards. There are plenty of other films and extracts in other folders, so you may want to explore further. You might find that you want to adapt the script to represent other aspects of British life so feel free to do so.

Before you start cutting together your film you might want to consider the following points:

  • How will you link the voiceover script to the images in the films? You might want to storyboard some ideas for this.
  • What is the title of your film?
  • What is the mood of your film?
  • Do you want to add music, voiceover or text?
  • What might be a good ending for your film? How might you end it positively? Think about your final image and any accompanying music or text.