About 200 young immigrants attended a symposium at Hamrahlíd High School in Reykjavík yesterday to discuss their experience of the Icelandic community, the school system, the labor market and their wishes for the future.
“The symposium is the first step towards helping foreign-born young people tell others how they are adjusting to the Icelandic community,” Anh-Dao Tran, project leader for the initiative Future in a New Country, which organized the event, told Morgunbladid.
“I find this group a bit lost within community,” Tran said. “Discussion includes what can be done to help them adjust but no one has asked them what they’ve experienced or what their wishes are.”
“It is not easy to move to a different country, start over and make a new life and future for oneself,” said Jorge Montalvo, a geology student at the University of Iceland who comes from Columbia.
Montalvo said he has experienced many negative things in Iceland. “But if we have come here to stay we try to look past the negative things. Many of us believe than we can have a better life here than back home.”
“We foreigners have come here to learn, but at the same time we can teach others from our experience, like in relation to our culture and background,” Montalvo concluded.