I am Rahul, and feel slightly strange as I near my last semester of masters studies at the University of Tartu at the same time as new applicants begin looking forward to their studies at the University. Therefore, it seems like an appropriate time to look back, at the present, and try to look at what will lie ahead for me and Tartu.

Why did I choose to study at the University of Tartu?This is one question which everyone who comes here should be prepared to answer. The small cute university town of just ~99,999 people, which has 1/5th of its total population composed of students. As a foreigner, I am always asked the same questions, “why Tartu? Why Estonia?” And my answer is always “why not?”

To be honest, I have no idea how I did end up here. My general idea was to pursue a masters degree of interdisciplinary nature anywhere in Europe. I applied at several places and was accepted in several places. But in the end, I couldn’t resist my program, an amalgam of Business and IT, and Estonia as the perfect little country to pursue it.

Other than that, my preference was to be in a cold country, courtesy of living all of life in India. I would do anything to skip Indian summers. But now living here, I would do anything to skip Estonian Winters. I imagine that a perfect life would be comprised of Estonian Summers and Indian Winters, and hopefully never the other way around. Returning to the present…

What’s going on in Tartu?At a personal level, I set some goals after my arrival. To study as much as I can. To experience as much as I can. And to network as much as I can. Due to my curiosity of learning, and openness of the university, I have been able to take courses from almost every faculty at the University.

My program is limited to the School of Business and Economics and Institute of Computer Science, but I have taken courses from School of Languages, Institute of Science and Technology, School of Philosophy, School of Political Science, Institute of Education, School of Entrepreneurship, and even School of Psychology. These sorts of opportunities are why I will love my University forever <3

Other than studies, I have been able to take part in student organizations, hackathons, and volunteering all the time. There are so many things to do, and as a student, you are able to do any of them.

Why will I live in Tartu after completing my studies?The city of Tartu supports so many activities for anybody to take part in. There’s always something going on, such as science festivals, literature festivals or song festivals.

The small size is also an advantage, as you can go anywhere just by walking. Also, mostly everyone knows everyone.

The student vibes of the city have attracted me to stay in place in the city. I lived in Tallinn during the Summer of 2018 and quickly found myself wanting to come back here.

My next stop is getting a job in the city, which can let me stay in this lovely town more, and remain a true Tartu’ian.