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 2017 Institute will be held at Northwestern University's campus  August 1-11, 2017 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

Refugee Protection and the Rights and Process of (Re)Settlement. This course introduces participants to the resettlement process from identification and classification of refugee status to resettlement in a secondary country, with a particular focus on the United States. The week-long course begins by putting the U.S. Resettlement program in the broader framework of refugee protection and introduces students to local contexts of refugee settlement in the Global South. Students learned about transitions from host to (re)settlement country and then focused on aspects of the U.S. resettlement program including how resettlement makes use of mainstream local, state, and federal programs, short and long term impact of integration on the host community and the refugees who resettle, how resettled refugees contribute to their social networks, ways in which resettlement change the country of origin, challenges of resettlement, comparative models of resettlement and how resettlement policy impacts practice, among others. Students had a chance to learn how to apply human-centered design to resettlement challenges through a innovative Design for America workshop.

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.