ESTONIAN ADVANTAGES: FOUR THINGS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DURING YOUR STUDIES – Anoosha (PAKISTAN)
Estonia must be one of the most underrated places in Europe. When talking about my Master’s program, the question I most commonly receive is “Why Estonia?”. Here I explain a little why Estonia has been an amazing place to study for me, and about all the benefits and opportunities I have received from studying at the University of Tartu.
The City of Tartu
The city is small and cozy, and most places of interest within it are reachable via a 10 to 15-minute walk. The city itself is beautiful with lots of greenery and the Estonian winters are breathtaking. If you’re lucky enough, you may even glimpse the northern lights, although you might want to go further north to Finland if you want to be sure! The small city atmosphere makes Tartu a great place to really focus on your studies. Additionally, there are many different events happening throughout the year. For example, the local Erasmus Student Network organizes several parties, and the International House Tartu also arranges many different multicultural events, such as Diwali and Eid.
My program, Masters in Quantitative Economics, is like several others at the University of including an internship as an integral part of the curriculum. This doesn’t mean that you’re on your own when it comes to finding one: the program manager is extremely helpful, and the process is very organized. Students receive advice on places to apply at and a list of organizations where alumni have interned in Estonia and the Baltic region. I was able to pursue my internship in the Research division at the Central Bank of Lithuania and received an Erasmus Traineeship grant to cover my living expenses for the duration. The entire experience was incredible and helped me grow, academically, professionally and personally.
For international students, an important question is always what scholarship opportunities they have access to. Most scholarships are open to all students, both Estonian and international alike, though eligibility may differ by program. The University of Tartu Foundation organizes scholarship competitions each year, and I was lucky enough to receive the Voldemaar Jaanberg scholarship. As you can imagine, it’s been hugely important to me and has helped ensure that I can continue my studies.
A significant advantage of studying at a university in Europe is having the ability to pursue an exchange semester abroad. Students are usually able to go anywhere in Europe, but the choice might be limited by your course of study. I am currently pursuing an exchange semester at the University of Konstanz in Germany. The opportunities afforded by experiencing a new culture, potentially learning a new language, and making new friends made applying a no-brainer for me. An added bonus is that courses you take while abroad are graded on a non-differentiated basis, so you don’t have to worry about destroying your GPA while on the exchange.
I hope reading about these advantages from studying in Estonia at the University of Tartu will inspire you to pursue them as well!