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The key to integration? Feeling welcome

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A Swiss study has found that when the local authorities ask newcomers to Switzerland to a ‘welcome interview’ they have a better chance at fitting in to local communities. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)

Every year, about 30,000 foreign nationals make canton Zurich their new home. For the cantonal authorities it’s important to make foreigners who have recently relocated feel welcome. They also want to make sure the new arrivals are aware of local customs. 

Zurich’s Cantonal Integration Office advises municipalities to meet the newcomers in person. To find out how effective these meetings are, the authorities commissioned a study from the Centre for Labour and Social Policy Studies (BASS).

The results of the study were published in July 2016 – and they’re encouraging for the canton. The study found that the individual meetings have a positive effect. Newcomers that went through the interview are better informed, have a higher chance of attending a German course and tend to view the authorities as friendlier.