The challenges of being a migrant

This is a speaking and listening activity that involves students in thinking about the kinds of problems and challenges they might face as a migrant going to Belfast. They then listen to the true stories of 5 migrants talking about the challenges they have faced in moving to Belfast. The activity is based on themes and images from the OPENCities project.


Download a copy of the audio and script below for the activity. Make copies of the script for your students.


  • Ask the students to imagine they are moving to another country. Ask them to pick a country that they would like to emigrate to and put them in pairs or small groups to discuss the country and tell other why they would emigrate there.
  • Get some feedback and then tell the students that they are going to emigrate to Belfast in Ireland. Ask the students what they know about Ireland.
  • If you have access to computers you can ask your students to do some research and see what they can find out about Belfast. Here are some websites they could look at to find some information.

    They should try to find out about:
  • Once they know a little about the place they should think about what they could do before they go there to prepare and what they might do when they get there. Put the students in groups to think about and discuss this.
  • Ask them to think of eight possible problems they would have starting a new life in Belfast.
  • Now tell them they are going to listen to some people who moved to Belfast and they will hear about their problems and how they adjusted.
  • Tell them to listen and see if they hear any of the problems they thought of. Play the audio or read the script.
  • Ask the students which of the problems they heard then get them to listen again and make notes about any other problems they hear mentioned and also any positive points.
  • Get the students to compare their notes in pairs or small groups, then give them time to listen once more.
  • Once they have finished you could let them compare their notes against the tape script or just get some feedback from them.
  • Finish the activity by asking which of the people they think is most likely to succeed in Belfast. You could also ask them to think about which person they are most like and tell the group why.


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