Center for Forced Migration Studies (CFMS)

Summer Institute

The CFMS Summer Institute is an intensive, rigorous seven-day, non-degree earning certificate program. Through lectures, focused discussions, workshops, films and simulation exercises, the CFMS Summer Institute provides a forum to exchange ideas, build relationships, develop new approaches and policy recommendations and learn about new developments in the field.

The Institute is held at Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, IL.


Past participants have included government officials, non-governmental organization personnel, university faculty, and graduate students. Select advanced undergraduate students may seek permission to attend. Applicants must have good to excellent English speaking and reading skills. No translation services are available.

Past courses

The Refugee and Asylum Status Determination Process. This course provided an intensive and comparative understanding of emerging refugee and asylum issues including representation of LGBT, transgender, unaccompanied minors, and SGBV claims and workshops. Students were able to develop their interviewing skills, learned how to document cases, address issues of credibility, and work cross-professionally with experts and effectively present an asylum claim.

Settling Refugee Resettlement. This course introduced students to the process of refugee resettlement from the local context of refugee hosting states in the global south that lack a rights structure, to the UNHCR and national selection processes of resettlement, the cultural orientation prior to departure and reception in the receiving country. The course focused on the challenges of resettlement as a durable solution including the psycho-social impact of resettlement and engaged students to consider the implementation strategies for effective resettlement and the policy implications of the strategic use of resettlement.