13Nov2019

Enjoying the Student Life in Tartu: What to Do in your Free Time – Bing (China)

Whenever I move to a new place, the most important thing for me is looking for all the interesting things happening in the place. Tartu is known as student town where a lot of cool activities are going on: parties, meetups, speeches, trips and so on. How can you choose the one that fits you best and take the most out of your student life? Here are some information and tips:

1. International House Tartu

International House Tartu is an organization that provides helpful information and advice to people moving to Tartu from abroad. They provide free Estonian Culture courses, which show you the history, art, and nature of Tartu. They also host different outdoor activities for which you only need to register.


(Picture from internationalhouse.ee)

I joined the Culture Course with International House and it was one of the best decisions I have made. We had 5 sessions located in different museums in Tartu. The course is not just showing you around in the museum, but also involves different games related to the place that could help you remember more about the museum. In the Museum of Natural History, we had the chance to learn what kinds of animals are living in Estonia and the possibility to see the domestic wild life, which was so interesting for me, because in China it’s almost impossible to see any wild animals in the city, unless you go to the zoo. But in Tartu you might see foxes in the street in wintertime. How exciting that is! I also went on a hiking trip with International House. Summer and autumn are the most beautiful seasons in Estonia. There is nothing more fascinating than go to the forest to pick up some berries or mushrooms. Of course you could buy them in the supermarket, but it will be a different experience if you pick them up yourself.

And please be careful when you pick up the mushrooms, not every mushroom in the forest are eatable.

I had a wonderful time with those trips. I think I now appreciate it even more when I see the locals selling berries and mushrooms, for it is not an easy job, let me tell you!


(Poison mushroom Photo Credits: Binghua Liu)

(wild mushrooms Photo Credits: Brandon Autrey)

You might not know that you could fish in the Emajõgi river without a fishing license if you use line fishing (which is a simple stick with line). If you want more a advanced experience with fancier equipment, you are required a fishing license, which you can buy on https://www.pilet.ee.

The fishing event is also hosted by the International House, if you are interested in what they are doing and what kind of activities are going on, you can always send an email to them, to check it out.


(Photo Credits: Binghua Liu)

2. Tartu City

The Tartu City website has all sorts of information about Tartu. The most interesting to me is the Event part. There are all kinds of events happening in Tartu, including film, sports, music, food, parties and so on.


(Picture from tartu.ee)

3. ESN Tartu

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a non-profit international student organization. They are providing opportunities for students to experience different cultures and other entertainment activities. They also offer trips from Tartu to other places for reasonable prices, such as Lapland and St. Petersbourg.      


(Picture from esn.ee)

(St. Petersburg trip, photo credit: Carl Schumann)

4. Pileimaailm/Piletilevi

If you are interested in shows, opera, watching some sports or festivals, Pileimaailm and Piletilevi are the ticket websites where you can find out what is going on in town. Call up a couple friends to go to watch/listen to something together and make it a nice weekend hangout!


(Picture from Piletilevi)

(Picture from Pileimaailm)

5. Settle Estonia/Integratsiooni Sihtasutus

Maybe you want to learn a bit of the Estonian language, but you don’t want to worry about credits and grades? Settle Estonia and Integratsiooni Sihtasutus offer Estonian language programs at different levels. It will be a good opportunity for you to meet people and learn the language.

https://www.settleinestonia.ee/en/#moodulid (settle Estonia)


(Picture from settle Estonia)

https://integratsioon.ee/en(Integratsiooni Sihtasutus)


(Picture from Integratsiooni Sihtasutus)

6. ReisiDiilid(Travel Agency)

If you think a DIY trip plan is too much work, this travel website will be your choice. They offer all levels of travel packages, sometimes you can even go to Sweden from Tallinn for €20!


(Picture from ReisiDiilid)

7. In Your Pocket City Guide

In Your Pocket is one of Europe’s leading providers of urban information. Their Tartu page has some good recommendations for Tartu. If you want to find some more information about the city on a different site, you could can it out!


(Picture from inyourpocket.com)

Tartu is more than I expected before I came here. The nature, the architecture, the culture. It’s so easy to just fall in love with this little town. You will never be bored here. Feel the city, enjoy it! There are more things to do here than you think!