Refugees from Ukraine are welcome to learn Estonian free of charge

The Settle in Estonia adaptation programme provides Estonian language courses for people of different language levels and legal status who have arrived in Estonia in the last five years. Until the end of 2024 there are in total around 4,000 student places available for refugees, who are divided into beneficiaries of temporary and international protection, to learn Estonian. 

Enrolment is open for A1 level courses for beneficiaries of temporary protection, with around 1,600 student places offered for the autumn courses. These are the last places at beginner level for this year. In addition, a total of 1,200 student places will be offered to beneficiaries of temporary protection until the beginning of next year in advanced A2 and B1 level courses.

For beneficiaries of international protection, new A1–B1 language courses will be opened for enrolment in the coming weeks. The courses will start in August, and in autumn. This year, a total of 580 beneficiaries of international protection are offered the opportunity to learn Estonian at levels A1, A2, and B1 through the Settle in Estonia national adaptation programme. 

According to Britta Saks, Head of Adaptation, both beginners and advanced learners of Estonian are welcome to attend the free language courses. Courses are offered both online and in person in Tallinn and in other places all over Estonia. On average, it takes four months for beginners to reach the A1 level, and slightly longer for advanced learners – six months to reach A2 and eight months to reach B1.  

‘We are currently offering courses for people who have arrived in Estonia as migrants, for example for people who have come here to work or study and their family members, as well as for war refugees, who are obliged by the Estonian state to acquire basic Estonian language skills. This applies in particular to war refugees from Ukraine who have been granted temporary protection status, but also to all beneficiaries of international protection,’ says Saks. She stresses that a course for one level can only be attended for free once. 

In order to sign up for courses, you need to create an account on the Settle in Estonia adaptation programme website www.settleinestonia.ee and register for the appropriate course. If you have any further questions or problems, the counsellors of the Integration Foundation will be happy to help via e-mail [email protected].

The Integration Foundation organises free Estonian language courses and other trainings for those who settle in Estonia as part of the Settle in Estonia adaptation programme. For detailed information on the services and trainings offered, please visit the website of the Integration Foundation www.integratsioon.ee/en/kohanemine. For up-to-date information on language learning, please visit the Settle in Estonia adaptation programme Facebook account www.facebook.com/settleinestonia.

CONSIDER:

> Answers to some practical questions are published here.

> The adaptation programme is co-funded by the European Union and the state budget.