Social integration of Nepalese immigrants into Norwegian society: Enabling and challenging factors
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- Institutt for geografi 
This research is about social integration of Nepalese immigrant in Norway. It aims to examine the enabling and challenging factor in the social integration of Nepalese immigrants in Norway. The research used qualitative methods to analyse the perspectives of Nepal immigrants based on their own life experiences and perceptions while integrating into Norwegian society. The empirical data were collected through life history interviews with sixteen immigrants and two focus group discussions. The first focus group consisted of three participants and another was composed of four new participants. To get a wider prospect, their integration was analysed within four dimensions of social integration as structural, cultural, interactive, and identification. These dimensions were examined with the help of the following indicators: employment, Norwegian language proficiency, social connection and sense of belongingness. This study found that the Nepalese immigrants face more challenges while there are few enabling factors in their path to social integration in Norway. Lack of Norwegian Language skills, educational background incompatible to the demands of Norwegian labour market, hidden discrimination at the workplace, weak social interaction with the host population are major hindrances for their integration. In contrast, when one overcomes these challenges, they become enabling factors of integration. Thus, Nepalese immigrants who wished to stay longer have enhanced their Norwegian language proficiency acquired education/skills according to the demands in the Norwegian market. However, in terms of social interaction, on the one hand, Nepalese immigrants are confined within their own community and social networks and on the other hand, their social interaction with Norwegians is very formal and nominal. Young immigrants, immigrants with a refugee background and the immigrants who have already stayed in Norway for at least a decade showed their attachment to the place and the Norwegian society. However, they pointed that the immense cultural differences exist between Nepalese and Norwegian society. Despite these challenges, these fractions of Nepalese immigrants wish to stay longer in the country, while the recent immigrants wish to return as soon as they accomplished their mission in Norway. In the perspectives of recent immigrants, Norway is one of the challenging countries to integrate for Nepalese immigrants.