I will be moving to Madrid, Spain for the coming semester and my future blogs will be mostly focused on Spain.
Since this is one of my last blogs on Estonia, I have created a short survival guide that will give you some tips, tricks and advice on studying in Estonia. This guide is geared particularly to UNM students coming to Tallinn University of Technology, like me.
Estonia Survival Guide:
What to bring to Estonia
- Water-Resistant and Warm hiking shoes/boots– It is typically very wet, cold and snowy here so my waterproof hiking boots are super helpful.
- Some things that represent where you are from- Food, souvenirs, or just anything that represents your home. This will come in handy for international dinners, to share with friends, or just remind you of home.
- Your laptop- Before I came here I really debated if I would need my laptop. Turns out that a laptop is really important here since the library is only open for limited hours.
- Passport sized pictures of you– I needed this for just about everything (my Estonian Visa, my library card, my student ID, etc.)
- A journal– Definitely bring a journal and jot down some of the things you did every day. I regret not starting my journal until now.
What NOT to bring to Estonia
- Super Warm Winter Coat-Unless you already have one, I would recommend buying one here. They are very affordable and warm. I bought mine at Sport Direct for 39 euros.
- A Cell Phone Plan– Definitely bring your phone, just make sure that you have canceled or put your current cell phone plan on hold before coming here. It is only five euros a month for an efficient working cell phone plan and Estonian chip card. You can buy this from the Estonian provider Elisa.
- Your friend– Most people feel more comfortable going abroad with a friend, significant other etc. I previously wanted to go abroad with a friend also. However, I have noticed that people who have gone abroad with a friend or significant other have a harder time meeting new people, tend to stick together, and always depend on the other person with them. Even though it was scary for me to go on my own, now I am really glad I did it.
Tips about obtaining the Temporary Residence Permit to stay in Estonia
- Start looking at the process early- Unfortunately for Albuquerque residents, there are no closely-located Estonian Embassy’s. Because of this, it is probably easiest to apply for your visa after your arrival in Estonia making it important to know what documents you need to bring.
- Do not purchase new US insurance– To get the Estonian Visa you are required to purchase Estonian insurance from a company in Estonia.
How long should I stay abroad for?
As a UNM student you are given the options of staying in Estonia for one semester, one-year or even just for the summer. I highly recommend studying abroad for an entire year! I would always regret it if I only stayed in Europe for just one semester. Time flies by while your studying abroad and if you stay in Europe longer you will have more time to travel and visit all the friends you made!
How long should I study abroad in Estonia for?
In my personal opinion I think one semester in Estonia is enough. This is because almost every student here leaves after one semester and one semester is enough time to explore the Nordic/Baltic region of Europe. However, I still highly suggest that you choose another location in Europe to study for your second semester.
If I am going to study at Tallinn University of Technology where should I live?
You have the choice of finding your own shared flat with other students or living in one of the two international dormitories. The dormitory I stayed at was called “The Academic Hostel.” I suggest trying to get a place in the Academic Hostel (be quick spots fill up fast) because it is a great way of meeting tons and tons of other students compared to just your roommates in a shared flat.
General advice for any European study abroad location:
- Pick a city/university with ERASMUS Student Network- If you are going to Europe, I really recommend choosing a study abroad location with ERASMUS Student Network (ESN). ERASMUS is essentially an exchange program only within Europe that sends students from one European country to another. All ERASMUS universities like my university (Tallinn University of Technology) have an ESN branch which organizes multiple events every week. I met most of my friends through ERASMUS.
Overall, my experience in Estonia has been absolutely amazing. It has been the best semester of my life. If you have any questions about studying abroad in Estonia don’t hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.