The holidays can be a difficult time for new Canadians, especially immigrants and refugees who find themselves in a country where they don’t speak the language, and may not have any friends or family. University of Guelph psychology professor Saba Safdar is studying the refugee experience in Canada, Germany and Spain from a social, economic and political perspective.
Community support is key to helping refugees feel welcome, she says, adding that it’s important for them to make new friends with their Canadian neighbours and vice versa. The more accepted and welcome refugees feel, the more likely they are to make a successful transition to Canadian society. Canadians can help newcomers feel welcome by getting to know them and inviting them to their holiday celebrations.
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