Some refugees are resettled in their countries of destination without being given accurate information about their new country or sufficient preparation to easily adapt to life there. The result is often an extended period of adjustment, during which the newcomer may suffer personal difficulties. The recipient municipalities also point out that none, too little or wrong information about Norway and Norwegian society often gives resettling refugees unrealistic expectations about their new community. Participation in cultural orientation class not only makes the actual travel to the new country less stressful for the refugees, but it also eases the initial adjustment period. The result of lowering the possibility of culture shock for the refugees also has a positive side effect on the recipient society in terms of resources.
Increasingly, many countries receiving refugees see the benefits of pre-departure cultural orientation. In addition to the Norwegian Cultural Orientation Programme, IOM is implementing CO for migrants and refugees bound for Australia, Canada, Finland, UK and the USA.