PSHE GCSE: How Sweden is integrating migrants and locals

BBC reporter Maddy Savage explores issues around immigration in Sweden, a country that took in 160,000 asylum seekers at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015.

Nearly half of Swedes who took part in a survey said immigration was the country’s biggest source of tension.

More than 18% of the country’s inhabitants were born abroad.

And the recent influx of migrants has triggered a debate over the best way to integrate the new arrivals.

The video focuses on a running group set up to help asylum seekers mix with locals.

One man from Syria says it has been a great way to meet new friends at the same time as keeping fit.

The coach, a Swede, argues that immigration is good for the country, “socially, economically and culturally”.

But about 18% of people in the country support the nationalist Sweden Democrats, which has an anti-immigration stance, in the 2018 elections.

This clip is from the BBC's 'Crossing Divides' project.

Teacher Notes

If you have an asylum seeker, refugee or expat children in your class, you could begin by asking them to describe how they felt on arrival in the UK.

What seemed strange, frightening, exciting or interesting? Did they find their new environment welcoming, or was it initially unfriendly?

Then ask pupils about their experience of newcomers – it could be someone from another country, or even a new arrival from another school. What was their initial reaction? Did their attitude change and, if so, why? Did they learn anything new?

You could ask them to imagine being somewhere different, without their friends – or even family – and where none of their hobbies, their technology, their clubs or groups were available to them. How would they try to fit in?

Ask them to think about activities they like; things that make them think of home, of friends, of good times.

Have they ever shared such an activity with someone they didn’t know? And did that help them change their attitude to that person? Did they make a friend?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching PSHE at GCSE,in particular for Identity and Diversity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and for Modern Studies at National 4/5 in Scotland.

More from Crossing Divides

Friendships forged across racial chasm
A Yorkshire farm offers asylum seekers taste of a new life
The gym bringing young and elderly people together
The school bringing a divided community together
Can music bridge Thailand's sectarian divide?