In discussions on integration, the perspective of newcomers themselves is rarely included. As recently arrived refugees’ integration is subject to policy, we investigate their understanding of and expectations for integration within a (local) policy context in the Netherlands. Using focus group data with Syrian and Eritrean refugees recently settled in Rotterdam, results show participants understood integration as not being marked as different and becoming self-reliant (through work, language, social connections, and cultural knowledge). While partly coinciding with policy objectives, participants emphasized mutual effort, especially socio-culturally. Policy implementation was particularly criticized, pointing toward the need for extensive, practical, and person-oriented support. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2021.2023720.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study would not have been possible without the support of the focus group discussion leaders and assistants. We also thank all respondents for participating and Stichting de Verre Bergen for funding this research project.
© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.