Integration Center has become an important physical meeting place for newly arrived refugees. Here they come to take courses in Swedish society orientation, which deals with rights and obligations in Swedish society. They can also get individual counseling in their native language at the multilingual information office.
At the Integration Centre there are also opportunities for social integration through participation in the Language friend and Refugee guide's activities, as well as the mentorship program 'Vägvisaren', which offer faster roads into Swedish society.
Integration Centre is also a meeting place for people who in different ways want to involve themselves in the integration of new arrivals. The Integration centre is used extensively by NGOs and institutions that want to get in touch with the hundreds of visitors who pass by our premises every day.
Social orientation courses are a mandatory activity and part of the Public Employment Agency's establishment program for newly arrived refugees. This education has been provided in Gothenburg since 2008.
In 2010 the regulation on social orientation for some newly arrived immigrants was passed and the municipalities were then required to offer courses on social orientation to the target group. For other groups of immigrants, societal orientation is also offered as a voluntary and free introduction to Swedish society.
The course contains information that can provide a good start in Sweden. The course is conducted in the participants' mother tongue with teachers who have dual language and cultural skills.
This involves active participation and discussion of rights and obligations; equality and gender equality; on Swedish democracy and how Swedish society is organized.
The course also deals with practical everyday life such as questions about work and education, housing, health and medical care as well as children and family. Human rights are a cross-cutting theme throughout the course.
Multi-lingual Information Office for New Arrivals
In addition to the courses in social orientation, immigrant have a great need for information and to be able to ask questions. This has led to the integration center opening up an information office for new arrivals in several languages (Arabic, Tigrinya, Dari, Persian and Somali).
The focus of the Information Office, as with as the social orientation courses, is not simply to provide quick answers but to provide help towards self-sufficiency.
The Integration Center offers two in-depth courses with different focus. One of the courses is in digital competence; participants gain the skills to handle digital bank ID, seek information and learn be to critical and question information sources. The second course is about parenting and how it is to be a parent in a new country. These courses are voluntary.
The Mentor Program Roadmap
The roadmap program brings together newly arrived migrants with established mentors who, working together, steer newly arrived individuals towards achieving their professional goals.
Language Friend / Refugee Guide
The Language friend / Refugee guide program started in 2003 and since then has matched many language friends for mutual exchange and social integration. In addition to matching established and newly arrived individuals, groups or families, they also offer group activities and study circles with the motto "Integration occurs where people meet".