First of all, it is important to know that the dorm is not going to be like your sweet home, at first glance, however, it might become one if you create that atmosphere. Living in a dorm is not a piece of cake and here are some tips I have to get you acquainted with before moving to a dorm in Tartu.

P.S. I was as honest as possible!

1.Come prepared

This is how most of the rooms look like, but you can decorate it better ! (Photo credits: Meline Avagyan)

Since most of the dorms in Tartu have nice rooms and kitchens with basic furniture, there is a need to have some basic stuff for the kitchen like a pot, a pan, plates, cups and so on. Of course, sometimes, if you are lucky, the former students might have left some things as a gift before they live. Also, be aware that you should either bring your own bed sheets, pillow, and a blanket or, the other option is to pay 50 euros and get all from the dorm administration. Moreover, do bring a kettle and stuff you can’t live without for in the kitchen, as most probably, you won’t find them in dorms.

2.Important rules

-If by any chance you see something already damaged when you arrive in the dorm, immediately inform the administration.

-Smoking is not allowed inside the rooms but there are special areas in the halls just for smoking and breathing some fresh air.

-Always turn on the air filtering system when cooking (though in case of not knowing to cook at all and burning the food this can’t  help you)

-There are smoke detectors everywhere and do not touch them, but do activate the manual fire alarm call point if there is a fire.

-When fire alarms ring in the halls, go out of the building, following the emergency plan. Very often the alarm rings because somebody just burnt their food or something not so important, but it is always a must to go out, as you never know which call can be a real emergency call. 

-Make sure to sort your waste and dispose of it in the relevant containers, depending on what type of waste it is: Paber ja papp – paper/cardboard,  Pakendid – packaging; Olmeprügi – household waste and for unsorted waste you should also use the household waste.


Let’s respect the rules

3.Leisure time

“Beer of Thrones” (Photo credits: Doruk Kara)
Depends on you how to use the shelf… (Photo credits: Doruk Kara)

Dormitories offer the students some activities not to get bored when one is tired of studying. Almost in all buildings, there are halls for playing ping-pong, sitting and chatting with friends or make with new friends. In any case, the students are free to organize their own parties and the way they want to send their spare time.

4.Crucial services

Each dorm has a laundromat, which is a self-service laundry with dryers. One usage costs 2 euros and the tokens should be bought from the administrator. With the help of this website you can see whether there is a vacant place in the laundry or not: http://www.campus.ee/en/laundromat/

There is also a bicycle storage room, which is fortunately for all bicycle lovers free of charge. In addition, there is car parking in every residence hall.

5. Be ready to deal with all kinds of neighbors

While you might be a quiet person (or vice versa) your neighbors can be noisy or at least not as quiet as you might have it back in your home. Don’t turn the music too high and if your neighbor does so, using earphones can be of great use to avoid it. The cleaning duty is on the shoulders of the tenants, so, try to make a plan of the cleaning for all the tenants to avoid conflicts over this issues.

6. A small tour of whats inside

Our nice and cozy kitchen! (Photo credits: Meline Avagyan)
Let’s be honest, this is quite good for a dorm bathroom! (Photo credits: Meline Avagyan)

7. What not to bring

-Room decoration- I know this sounds a bit funny, but there are many students who bring room decorations to make their rooms as fancy as possible but believe me, it’s more of a hassle at then when you will go back!

-Extra bedding- most of the time it’s gonna be like westing a space in your already tiny room.

-Too much clothing- as you the wardrobe above (go to point 6) then you will understand what I mean. Just bring the most necessary clothes you will need, otherwise, it will take more space both into your wardrobe and begs.

-An iron- you can find this in the laundry room.

-No table lamps needed, as you have one next to your bed, although not in all rooms.

8.What to bring

-Plastic hangers, as you can place your clothes in a tiny wardrobe more easily

-Laundry bag

-Power strip

-Some useful kitchen stuff, like plates and so on

-Moderate amount of bedding

-A small kettle


-Well, these were just primary crucial things, the rest is up to!

As an additional information, here is how our international student Doruk Kara, from Turkey, who lives in Raatuse, shares his own experience of dorm life :

Photo credits: Doruk Kara

“Living in Tartu, Raatuse was a really different experience. It brought so many positivity and negativity at the same time. I had a really good relationship with my room-flatmates but still, sharing a tiny area with 6 people is really demanding no matter what. Getting homesick, and feeling alone and isolated time to time(most prob. because of cultural differences of mine) Dorm, in general, is okay but way away from being okay. On the other hand, strength in numbers right? Parties and activities all around city and dorm, and meetings at special days(Halloween-Christmas). In general, even though it is hard, an experience which is deeply needed. Just be yourself, socialize, meet with as many people (Estonians are kinda cold btw) as possible(don’t be a jerk meanwhile) and I guarantee you that; it is going to leave beautiful memories which will stay with you forever!

For more detailed information about dormitories in Tartu, please visit the official webpage of Tartu Student Village: