Limitations on membership and participation in host societies sharply constrain refugee young people’s civic development. Especially when refugees attend national schools, they find themselves submerged in civic learning that does not include them or represent their experiences and realities. To explore possibilities for civic learning among refugees, we examine the education created by a Syrian community inside the structures of a Lebanese private school in Beirut. We conceive of this school as a ‘borderlands’ and find that it supports civic membership and participation in three ways: through adaptations to the Lebanese structures, curricula, and languages of schooling; through pedagogies focused on pragmatism; and through opening limited spaces for students to practice civic skills. We argue that the borderlands space created by this school holds lessons for both refugee and national teachers and school systems seeking to foster civic learning among refugees.