Good beginnings, promising futures. Children with migration background in Polish schools

“Children are the future, and the future belongs to them.” In this project, wea sk: which futures do migrant children embody, and what kind of futures belong to them? Formal education is often understood as key to integration.  Integration, however, is a contested concept, and what counts as successful integration often depends on gender and socioeconomic class, and differs depending on the perspective from which it is defined (pupils’ or educators’).


Migrant children have legally guaranteed access to education in Poland, but many don't feel that they belong in Polish schools and the Polish society. Not all pupils are used to having foreign-born classmates. Addition of newcomers to established classrooms poses pedagogical and behavioral challenges. 


The main research question is: What are the key barriers and facilitators, successes, and challenges
facing migrant children in their integration in and through schools in local communities in Poland? 


The project includes research in western Poland where migration-induced multiculturalism is beginning to emerge. The project uses interdisciplinary research methodologies--participant observation and ethnographic interviews, focus groups, content analysis, and narrative inquiry--at the nexus of migration and education. Through analysis of multiple points of view of school children their families and teachers, and education administrators, the project goes beyond the current state of knowledge on migrant children’s integration in schools and the wider society. 

Hands Raised
What’s God Got to Do with It? Debating Religion and Forced Migration Entanglements
edited by 
Elżbieta M. Goździak and Izabella Main

Violent conflicts, social unrest, and other humanitarian crises around the world have led to growing numbers of people seeking refuge both in the North and in the South. Migrating and seeking refuge have always been part and parcel of spiritual development. However, the current 'refugee crisis' in Europe and elsewhere in the world has brought to the fore fervent discussions regarding the role of religion in defining difference, linking the ‘refugee crisis’ with Islam, and fear of the ‘Other.’ Many religious institutions, spiritual leaders, and politicians invoke religious values and call for strict border controls to resolve the ‘refugee crisis.’ However, equally many humanitarian organizations and refugee advocates use religious values to inform their call to action to welcome refugees and migrants, provide them with assistance, and facilitate integration processes. This volume brings into dialogue emerging and seasoned migration and religion scholars with spiritual leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations assisting refugees. 

The volume will include three distinct but inter-related parts focusing, respectively, on politics, values, and discourses mobilized by religious beliefs; lived experiences of religion, with a particular emphasis on identity and belonging among various refugee groups; and faith and faith actors and their responses to forced migration. An introduction and a concluding chapter will bookend the three parts. The introductory chapter will provide a theoretical and empirical framework and the concluding chapter will explore the way forward to think about religion and forced migration at the crossroads of policy and practice.

The geographic focus of the book is global. The chapters are informed by rigorous empirical research as well as practical and lived experiences of solidarity with refugees.


Palgrave will publish this volume in 2023.

Migration from Africa

to Thailand


This is a book project carried out in collaboration with with faculty and graduate students at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. 


There is a small but growing community of African migrants and asylum seekers in Thailand. In the book, we are exploring their migration trajectories, integration challenges, and issues related to race. Stay tuned for more information as the manuscript progresses.



In this large project, carried out by a consortium of eight universities, I have been involved in studying several issues:

  • The role of religion and religious tolerance in the European 'refugee crisis;' and

  • The involvement of civil society actors in in facilitating assistance and integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Poland and in Hungary.

More information about the project can be found at



In this project, I have studied the different pathways of Polish nurses into the Norwegian labor market and society, examining the impact of mobility regimes on migrants’ lives. My colleagues looked at Swedish and Filipino nurses.


Comparing Scandinavian, EU, and non-EU migrants, we explored how and when migration, gender, race and ethnicity matter, and bring together regimes of immigration and integration in a mutually informative way. The comparison offered the opportunity to examine the impact of these regimes on migrants’ integration into work and society in Norway.

You can learn more about this project on our website and by following our blog