Community Orientation

  • Take a ride together on public transportation. Help newcomers locate the nearest bus stop and travel to important locations via public transport (grocery store, hospital, public assistance office, library, etc.)
  • Go grocery shopping at an American grocery store and/or an ethnic store. Look at pricing, pounds, sizes, products, and coupons. Teach newcomers how to shop on a budget.
  • Take a tour of a local government office, i.e. post office, fire station, or police station (usually offered for free if arranged in advance).
  • Visit an ethnic restaurant of which the food is familiar for the newcomer.
  • Enjoy parks, holiday festivities, Church, and sporting events with your refugee partners.
  • Give your refugee partners a map of the city, state, country, and/or world so they can have a perspective on where they are now in relation to their home country.
  • Some refugees may enjoy hearing the history of the area and city they are living in now.

Cultural Adaptation

  • Discuss public safety and how to call 911 – when to call, when not to call, what to say.
  • Review the home for maintenance problems. Practice with the newcomer explaining them to the landlord.
  • Teach newcomers simple English phrases and words important to everyday life. Learn the same phrases in their language.
  •  Review a map of the community. Ride the bus or drive around town to learn street names.
  • Visit the local post office and show them how to buy stamps and mail a letter.
  • Visit the local library, show them how to use the Internet, apply for a library card, and check out books.
  • Practice making and receiving telephone calls. Practice polite greetings and phone etiquette.
  • Discuss money. Practice making change, tipping, etc.
  • Practice telling time with a clock. Explain the importance of being on time in this culture.
  • Take a trip to the laundromat. Discuss temperatures, color separation, amount of detergent, coin machines, etc.
  • Go to a second-hand store or garage sale together and buy something for yourself. Some newcomers may think there is a stigma to buying used items. If you buy some for yourself that will help them see that it is okay.

Friendship Building Activities

  • Take them to the park
  • Invite them to a cultural event (family birthday party, wedding, cultural celebration)
  • Ask them to teach you how to prepare a dish from their culture or teach you some other skill they have.
  • Find out what they like to do and do it with them! (Bike riding, hiking, sewing, dancing, etc.)
  • Find out about international events in the area (International Festival in Raleigh, etc.)