World Refugee Day 2022: Explore the experience of crossing borders with our free online courses

Every year on 20 June, World Refugee Day is celebrated around the world, honouring the courage and strength of people fleeing conflict in their homelands in search of sanctuary, and focusing global attention on their plight, creating valuable opportunities to support refugees and their families.  

Every minute 20 people are left with no choice but to leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, natural disaster, or terror. Making arduous journeys across borders and unfamiliar lands, refugees seek asylum and safety, arriving at often inhospitable destinations in their desperate search for a better life.  

To many of us, their plight may seem unthinkable. But we can all do better to improve our understanding of this critical issue, and in turn, ensure refugees’ voices are heard and valued as they rebuild their future. Everyone has the right to be safe. This international event is also an opportunity for everyone to experience, understand and celebrate the rich, intercultural diversity of refugees. 

Keen to get involved with World Refugee Day 2022? The University of Leeds has developed two free online courses, Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Crossing Borders and Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Intercultural Contact to help you get started. 

You will discover how intercultural contact is experienced in our everyday lives and explore the relationship between nationality and culture. Further to this, you will take a closer look at geographical and cultural borders and understand their effects on people who occupy them or cross them. As you progress, you will become more familiar with creating intercultural competence and improving behaviours to ensure the safety of refugees. Both courses require just two weeks each to complete, and you can learn at any time and at your own pace.  

There has never been a better time to build empathy and understanding for refugees. Be sure to enrol on these courses and keep the conversation going by sharing this story using the hashtag #WorldRefugeeDay2022.  

Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Crossing Borders and Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Intercultural Contact are free to access and available now on FutureLearn.