Newsletter Subscription

Community Orientation Workshops

Community Orientation Workshop at the International Institute of Minnesota

Community Orientation Workshops, a partnership between the International Institute of Minnesota and Minnesota Council of Churches, provide English and life skills education across a variety of topics.  Individual workshops occur once weekly, covering themes including transportation and community resources, job readiness, financial literacy and  health literacy.  Classes are designed to assist adults in their transition to life in the U.S. while building literacy skills in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking English.

In addition to the weekly workshops, individual intensive sessions are starting soon. The most asked about topics will have their own 8 hour sessions to go into detail on the questions most often asked by new Americans.

Blog Article: New Americans Find Their Bearings With Community Orientation Workshops

Student Eligibility

Qualifying students are all adults with humanitarian protection immigrant status who have been living in the United States for five years or less. This includes individuals with refugee, asylee, certified victim of human trafficking, special immigrant visa, Amerasian or Cuban/Haitian entrant status.

Click to Register

Community Orientation Workshops

Students are welcome to begin classes at any point throughout the eight weeks and may remain in class as long as desired; however, workshops repeat after completion of eight weeks. During each session, there is a Level 1 class and a Level 2 class available; students can choose which class they would like to attend. Level 1 is for beginning-level English students who may need interpretation.

In-person classes: Level 1

Online classes: Level 1 & Level 2


  • Week 1: Transportation
  • Week 2: Housing
  • Week 3: Community resources & navigation
  • Week 4: Financial literacy
  • Week 5: Health literacy
  • Week 6: Education and family adjustment
  • Week 7: Job readiness
  • Week 8: Community bridges & progress toward citizenship

Register for Community Orientation Workshops

For more details on class content or if you are interested in volunteering, contact Matthew Bergquist, or Ilse Griffin

Special Workshops

Money and Finance

The workshops can be joined individually or taken as a whole class. Money and Finance focuses on how we use money in the United States from cash and shopping to understanding credit scores, bills, and mortgages.

In-person classes: Tuesdays, 1:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Online classes: Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Register for Special Workshops

For more details on class content or if you are interested in volunteering or hosting COW at your site, contact Matthew Bergquist, or Ilse Griffin,


Donate Today

You can provide New Americans with a strong start to a new life by making a donation to the Institute.

Give Now

Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch.

Back To Top Menu

Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.

Site Design by Saint Paul Media

Translate »