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Fitting In

Fitting in to the lifestyle of a new country can be a difficult process for many refugees and asylum seekers. As we've already seen, they may need to adjust to a completely different way of life by learning another language, finding a new job (if they are allowed to work) or school, and settling into a new home without the support of their family or friends. You can begin to see how this experience could be very confusing and even frightening. What's more, some refugees might find themselves having to settle into a community that might be unwelcoming or even hostile towards them.

Of course, refugees and asylum seekers also bring their own culture and values with them when they move to a new country, and for many this is an important way of keeping connected to their homelands. Some refugees might find it easier, or be more prepared to adapt then others, particularly if they are younger. This might lead to tensions within families themselves, especially if the older generation is finding it difficult to come to terms with the move or with what it means to be part of a new culture.

According to the Refugee Council, since 2005 most people recognised as refugees are only given permission to stay in the UK for five years and can have their case reviewed at any time. This creates added difficulties for those trying to make decisions about their future and to make definite plans for their life in the UK.