27Apr2018

EIGHT MONTHS IN: RANDOM THINGS I LIKE ABOUT TARTU – Yulia (RUSSIA)

It has been eight months since I arrived in Tartu to pursue my MA degree. At the time, I was very much looking forward to moving here and seeing what Tartu is like. I was surprised at the amount of events taking place in this small town, and I was excited to explore all the places here. Indeed, I have learnt a lot of new things about Tartu. But. But I wish I had known some of those earlier.

During Master’s studies, there are times where you have several days off, but also times where you have four lectures in a row. So, what do you do in such a situation? You bring home-made food with you, and eat in the corridor whilst you wait for the next class to start. I have done this many times, that is, until I discovered the Student’s Corner in my faculty (Lossi 3). What’s so great about it? First of all, it houses a microwave to heat up your food. Second, it is a nice and cozy place where you can meet with your course-mates, discuss different things and rest between lectures. It is also quite bright there, and the natural light makes any day better. Third thing, there is a coffee machine and a kettle. Bring your food and you are good!

Another great place is the library in Lossi 3. As the main library was closed until earlier this week, the faculty’s library was the only option available to study in peace. I think we all know how difficult it is at times to sit at home and focus on your studies. This library is a quiet place and it is also very comfortable. There are bean bags that are almost as comfy as your bed, but still not 100% like it, so it is possible to study and not to distract yourself by watching tv series. As winters are cold, there are also blankets. Once again, like at home, but surrounded by books and study spirit.

As spring has finally come to Tartu, I really enjoy going to the Botanical Garden. In fact, it is the place where the first signs of spring could be found. As April is the month of deadlines for me and I cannot really escape them, I still manage to get away from them for an hour at least. It is not a secret nor a joke that being outdoors is good for our mental health, memory, and attention. The results of some case-studies have shown that, for students, visiting the botanical garden leads to stress relief and relaxation, and it improves the overall mood. It is no wonder that I like this place, because, who doesn’t like a little getaway from responsibilities.

And last but not least, the Spring Student Days are starting tomorrow! I have heard a lot about the Flying Machines Contest where people build weird constructions, wear funny costumes and try to fly, but basically end up falling into the river (which is still insanely cold!). I have already tried the pancakes on the main square, that was a nice breakfast before my morning lecture. There are plenty of events and things coming up during these days. Don’t miss the Walpurgis night with the walks on the banks of Emajõe and enjoying the fireworks. You can also take part in the Night Dance Festival, where everyone can learn how to dance Estonian folk dances as well as international ones. And make sure you participate in the most important event – the Student’s Night Song Festival – where everyone can and should sing loudly!

Don’t let the deadlines steal away your fun this week. Focus on your achievements, plan your time and enjoy the events 😉