The Survivors: Syrian Young Adult Refugee Experiences Navigating the Quebec Education System




Syrian young adult refugees, academic integration, systemic barriers, adult education, educational fairness and inclusion, social justice


Canada resettled over 74,000 Syrian refugees since 2015. However, education programs lack awareness needed to successfully promote refugee academic integration. Little research focuses on young adult refugees (YARs) aged out of traditional schools due to asylum displacement and disrupted education, left with adult education schools as their only alternative to complete high school. Drawing upon 29 semi-structured interviews with Syrian YARs in Montreal, findings suggest that this subgroup is unintentionally excluded by educational policy-makers. Although YARs are survivors, their drive was found to be insufficient when confronted with systemic barriers that prevent at-risk students from proceeding smoothly through school to reach their highest potential.


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Author Biographies

Arianne Maraj, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Arianne Maraj is a PhD graduate in Education and Society from McGill University. She can be reached at

Domenique Sherab

Domenique Sherab is an Independent Researcher. She can be reached at

Milagros Calderon-Moya, Immigration Initiative at Harvard, Harvard Graduate School Of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Milagros Calderon-Moya is a Visiting Scholar at the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She can be reached at

Ratna Ghosh, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Ratna Ghosh is a Distinguished James McGill Professor Emeritus at McGill University. She can be reached at


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How to Cite

Maraj, A., Sherab, D., Calderon-Moya, M., & Ghosh, R. (2024). The Survivors: Syrian Young Adult Refugee Experiences Navigating the Quebec Education System. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 40(1), 1–17.

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