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What is the Welcoming Programme?

Who can participate?

The Welcoming Programme is a free training programme offered by the Estonian state, which helps foreigners arriving in Estonia to settle and adapt to life here more easily. The programme consists of different training courses and provides an overview of the Estonian state and society, as well as day-to-day life. Additionally, the Estonian language is taught, and topics related to work, study and family are also introduced within the programme. The trainings are offered in English and Russian in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva.

Foreigners who have lived in Estonia for less than 5 years and are one of the following: foreign nationals who have been granted a temporary residence permit in Estonia (third-country national); citizens of the European Union who have registered their place of residence in Estonia and as a result have acquired the temporary right of residence in Estonia.

Why do I need an ID card?

Why attend the Welcoming Programme? The courses are comprehensive and practical and it is fun and safe to learn together. Experienced teachers help to solve practical problems as well as to study the language. All courses are free. Throughout the programme, you can have continuous discussions with the teachers and other participants. It gives you the opportunity to exchange experiences with other foreigners, hear about the situations they have encountered and how they have addressed them.

How can you participate? A citizen from a third country

A citizen of the European Union Register your place of residence in a local municipality, after which you receive a personal identification code

Apply for a document from the Police and Border Guard Board and receive an invitation to the Welcoming Programme

1. Go to and register for a course

Where can I learn Estonian?

Submit a residence permit application to the Police and Border Guard Board

With a positive decision, you receive both an invitation to the Welcoming Programme and a personal identification code

2. You receive the confirmation and more detailed information by e-mail

3. Come to the training with your Estonian ID

“The programme does not only provide useful and comprehensive information about life in Estonia, but also helps to expand the social network.“ - Viktoria from Russia

What about opening a bank account?

The free Welcoming Programme helps foreigners to settle in Estonia. Settle in Estonia

The Welcoming Programme consists of an elementary level Estonian language course and seven topical training courses Language training The language training prepares foreigners for primary level conversation in the Estonian-speaking environment. What will be learned?

Basic module

courtesy phrases numbers and time

The course introduces Estonian research and higher education organisations.

Which topics will be covered?

Which topics will be covered?

what are the Estonian traditions and communication culture like what are the ID-card usage opportunities and other e-services

café communication asking for and giving directions


The course introduces the people, state, society, culture and day-to-day life of Estonia.

what are the citizens' rights and obligations

introducing oneself and others

“The training courses are very well put together - they are suitable for those who have just arrived in Estonia but also for those who have been here for some time already.“ - Dashiell from America

what are the research institutions and their structure what are the academic networks and organisations

Children and young people The course introduces Estonia and life in Estonia for children and young people aged 3-15. The courses are playful and held in groups based on the age of the participants. Which topics will be covered? what is Estonian history, geography and nature like what are the traditions and customs

what are the residential rights and permits

what are the teaching practices and course structures that universities apply

what are childrens rights

how to go to the doctor’s

how is research funding organised

what are the leisure options

what is the transportation system and traffic like what are the leisure options

Work and entrepreneurship


The course introduces employment and entrepreneurship in Estonia.

The course introduces higher education and learning in a higher education institution in Estonia.

Which topics will be covered?

Which topics will be covered?

how to find or change a job (including more widely in the EU) what are the rights and obligations of the employee/employer

what are the rights and obligations of foreigners who have arrived for educational purposes

Family The course for newly arrived families introduces life in Estonia, support services for children and families, education and leisure options. Which topics will be covered? what are the kindergarten and school systems like

what is the learning culture like

what are the rights and obligations of children

what is the work culture like in Estonia

what are the internship and job opportunities

what kind of hobby groups are available

what is the tax and pension system like

what are higher education institutions, student and academic networks and organisations

important information on parental benefits and parental leave

how to start a business

International protection The course introduces the Estonian life and society for people who have received international protection in Estonia. It provides an overview of Estonian society and culture, and the rights and obligations of the recipient of international protection. In addition to English and Russian, the trainings are offered in Arabic. Which other topics will be covered? legal issues related to the type of migration community rules social welfare financial literacy work culture

Trainers: “I recommend the courses for everyone who comes to Estonia! I got new knowledge about culture and traditions here. - Teresa from Germany

access to education other support services

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Kohanemisprogramm voldik ENG  

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