Adapting to a new living environment can be an interesting but at the same time often complicated challenge. Acquiring the knowledge related to the living conditions, state and behavioural norms etc. and skills that help you settle in quickly and efficiently can take time.
In order to support foreign nationals who have migrated to Estonia to settle in and to acquire the primary knowledge and skills, Estonia offers all new arrivals the opportunity to participate in an introductory Welcoming programme.
The Welcoming programme is aimed at foreign nationals who have legally resided in Estonia for less than 5 years and are one of the following:
1) foreign nationals who have been granted temporary residence permit in Estonia on the basis of the Aliens Act or the Act on Granting International Protection to Aliens;
2) citizens of the European Union who have acquired the temporary right of residence in Estonia on the basis stipulated in the Citizen of the European Union Act;
3) family members of citizens of the European Union who have been granted the temporary right of residence in Estonia on the basis stipulated in the Citizen of the European Union Act.
Welcoming programme consists of various informative and interactive training modules:
- a basic module that gives an overview of the functioning principles of Estonian state, society, culture and people, rights and obligations of residents, public services etc.;
- additional thematic modules that give an overview of working and entrepreneurship, family life, studying and research;
- separate training modules for children and young people under the age of 15 and for beneficiaries of international protection.
All training modules include vital practical examples that help new arrivals to better understand the things they have learned in the trainings and use the acquired knowledge in their daily lives.
- guide you and support you in finding the information you need self-sufficiently
- value mutual communication, cooperation and establishment of contacts
- take place in a comfortable, open and diverse learning environment
View the content of the training modules here.
In addition to practical information, the ability to speak the local language is also of key importance in coping in a new environment. That is why Welcoming programme also contains beginner level Estonian language training (level A1).
Learning to speak Estonian makes it easier to deal with various day-to-day activities, and is definitely an advantage in, for example, socialising and when, for example, job seeking. The language training aims to give you first knowledge of Estonian. New arrivals who have successfully completed the language training will be able to:
- use everyday expressions and simpler phrases;
- introduce themselves and others;
- ask simpler questions and understand short texts and messages.
View the content of language training here.
Each module of the Welcoming programme lasts approximately 8 hours.
The duration of the language training is approximately 80 academic hours.
You can choose which module or language training you take part in and also which order you do this according to your needs and interests. There is no compulsory order and restrictions apply only to taking part in the module for children and young people, and the module for beneficiaries of international protection.
The training modules of the Welcoming programme and language training at the basic level are both offered in English and Russian in Tallinn, Tartu and also, when there is interest, in Narva.
All the trainings are offered free of charge.
View the timetable for upcoming training times on frontpage.
Please note: You can register for trainings after receiving a notification of enrolment into the Welcoming programme and your identity document from the Police and Border Guard Board.
If you have not received a notification of enrolment into the Welcoming programme, but you are eligible to participate (i.e. you have been legally residing in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence for less than five years), you can apply for a referral here.