Main characteristics of integration

The four traditional main characteristics of integration in a new society are:

  • integration
  • assimilation
  • separation
  • marginalization.

One fairly old and traditional way of looking at integration is Berry’s model of acculturation attitudes, where acculturation is seen as a process of moving from one stage to another. In the universities, integration as a term is commonly used when speaking about international students.

International students are actually “globo sabiens” with a rich background of experiences from living in different places and constructing a distinctive, personal life in a new environment. The interesting question is: who or what should be integrated, and into what? The students into the Finnish universities and society? Or new types of services, pedagogy, and perspectives into Finnish universities?

Here, in this toolkit, we use these traditional categories to provide ideas that affect students’ well-being, participation, and inclusion in the universities and Finnish society. These are the essential challenges that international students face when moving to a new country.