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Virginia Tech Researchers Investigate Refugee Integration

RADIO IQ / Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs

A team of researchers at Virginia Tech is looking into the challenges facing refugees around the world as they try to integrate into life in their host countries.

The research team is part of an international group of universities investigating the issue. The group’s work first began in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe.

The study’s primary purpose is to provide adequate research in order to prompt policy changes.

Georgeta Pourchot is the coordinator of what’s become known as the International Refugee Research Project. She says lawmakers must choose their words wisely when talking about refugee issues.

“The more inflammatory anti-refugee rhetoric the more the public believes what is being said. So that is one thing that is happening in this country quite a bit. It’s happening now even in Europe and unfortunately even Germany is starting to see significant anti-refugee backlash.”

Pourchot says the research makes a number of recommendations, including a call for media institutions to highlight the conditions refugees face and what awaits them when they arrive to a host country.

The team plans to expand its research to other schools and look into the accessibility of healthcare services to refugee communities.

RADIO IQ is a service of Virginia Tech.

Nick Gilmore is a meteorologist, news producer and reporter/anchor for RADIO IQ.