Pre-departure cultural orientation classes are provided to Norway bound quota refugees in their first country of asylum. Children between the ages of 8 to 15 are given 10 hours of orientation over a period of two days while refugees from 16 years and above are given 25 hours of orientation over a period of 5 days.
In 2016, CO classes were held in the following countries:
IOM uses Cross Cultural Facilitators, who live and work in Norway and are integrated into the Norwegian society. They are generally from the same or similar cultural and linguistic background as the refugees. The use of the refugees' own language as the language of instruction maximizes effective learning.
The CO classes emphasize a participatory approach, and it is learner-centered, and combine discussions, visual teaching aids, theatre-for-development and learning through dialogue and case studies.
The curriculum for adults includes topics like the resettlement process in Norway, climate, history, geography, housing, introduction programme, education, health care, employment, and other public services. Special attention is given to local customs of the accepted refugees that could be misunderstood or problematic in Norwegian culture. Such topics include gender issues, reproductive health issues and domestic violence.
For the children the curriculum includes topics like Norwegian school system, Being a child/teen in Norway, Children’s right, and lots of interactive activities and games.