Learning Croatian

General information about learning Croatian

As a foreigner, you can learn Croatian language in different language schools, regular schools and schools for education of adults. There are commercial programs which are private and state-run language courses that you have to pay for. 

Courses of Croatian language and culture for foreigners are organized in Croaticum – Center for Croatian as Second and Foreign Language at Zagreb University. They have semester courses, one-month courses and summer school. They also carry out examinations of Croatian language for non-native speakers.

If you are asylum seeker, you are not entitled to a state-funded Croatian language course. If you are resettled you will have a minimum of 80 hours of Croatian language course while you are in a reception center. All persons granted international protection have the right on 220 hours of Croatian language course, that they do not have to pay for. 

Children

There are no Croatian language courses specially for children. However, primary school in Croatia is mandatory and your children who attend it will learn Croatian language at school. Primary and secondary schools in Croatia are obligated to organised a minimum of 70 hours of preparatory Croatian language education for refugee children and children with insufficient knowledge of the Croatian language. However, practices vary and depend on each school. 

Adults

All persons granted international protection are entitled to 220 school hours of Croatian language (one school hour = 45 minutes), funded from the state budget. In practice, there are a lot of problems in organization of such language courses. The courses are organized by different language schools and schools for adult education. 

You will receive more information about the courses and your rights and obligations of attending it, once you get international protection from your Integration officer.

Many organizations, who work with and support refugees, organize Croatian language learning as well. These courses are often carried out by volunteers. Even when professional language teachers carry out these courses, you will not receive a certificate if you complete such a course. You can get more information about language learning support from any of those organizations (see list below). 

Further Information and Links

Organizations offering support in language learning:

Center for peace studies: http://www.cms.hr/en  

Rehabilitation centre for stress and trauma: http://rctzg.hr/-/en/kontakt/

Jesuit refugee service: http://www.jrs.hr/kontakt/