We came to Estonia with the whole family – I work here, my wife works here, our two children go to an Estonian school, we are all trying to learn the Estonian language. Everything would be great, if not for the occasional homesickness that makes me wonder whether I am really in the right place. I feel the best when walking in the woods – that is when I truly feel the uniqueness of Estonia; what a marvel! We have been living here only for year, so I really hope that I will also eventually adapt to the local people and culture. Perhaps I will also find my community. Here is my family, my work and my… woods. Alan from Canada
- Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of collaboration between immigrants and the local population.
One indicator of succesful integration is the acquisition of citizenship. In 2016, EU Member States granted citizenship to almost one million people. The main recipients were Moroccans (who mainly became the new citizens Spain, Italy and France), and Albanians (who mainly became the new citizens of Italy and Greece).
Integration or adaptation to a new living environment is a major challenge for new immigrants and their success is largely dependent on the receiving state. In order to support the new immigrants on this path, Estonia set up a welcoming programme in 2015 for all the new immigrants who have lived in the country for less than five years. The welcoming programme consists of short training modules that introduce the life in Estonia (a basic module, working and enterpreneurship module, studying and research module, family migration module and module for the beneficiaries of international protection). Everyone interested can also participate in beginner level (A1) Estonian language training. The welcoming programme is open to all new immigrants, regardless of their reason for settling in Estonia.
Integration Monitoring of the Estonian Society 2017 shows that new immigrants in Estonia generally assess their integration positively – 81% of the respondents considered it good or very good.