Can you tell me where Raatuse 22 is? This was my first question I asked from a little boy standing at Tartu bus station waiting for his mom. Fortunately he was able to speak so good English that he guided me through my way and then his mom appeared, so they dropped me at the dormitory. I wanted to share this story to show you the kindness of Estonian people.
If you ever had a chance to visit Pakistan you may find similar kindness. However apart from global news, Pakistan and Estonia have some common values. The love for their own culture and heritage can be seen by how these two nations are desperate towards promoting traditional values. Although it was not easy to identify similarities between a developed country and a developing one, but my intention was to make Estonian and Pakistani people closer.
A country that is keen to provide social integration to their people is a successful one. This is what you can see in all of the Baltic nations. Similarl social welfare state is the dream of every Pakistani, and many Pakistani leaders are working hard to change the current state of the country. Meanwhile in search of social justice system I found Estonia growing and competing with the top European nations, and I told myself “this is where I want to go”.
It was first time that I had left my country, with so many prejudices in mind and afraid of being lost. A friend who was already studying at the University of Tartu helped to ease my mind. Inam Soomro was really a great help in making my decision whether to come to Estonia. You might be thinking it would not be a difficult decision to leave my home country for studies, right? But people in Pakistan really don’t know Estonian nation exists. Still, people so far can share common values! That was an astonishing experience for me.
I arrived at Tallinn airport from a 12 hour long journey at around 5 in the evening, wondering whether my luggage is safe or not, where can I get on the bus, how do I reach to Tartu etc. I used to travel a lot in Pakistan, but I never had an experience visiting a foreign country. After taking my luggage, I took the bus from the airport and I found the bus driver to be very helpful telling me at which stop should I leave the bus. I took another bus from Tallinn to Tartu during which I was feeling very sleepy. Arriving at Tartu Raatuse 22 dormitory was another surprising experience for me. Receptionist asked me for my details and after depositing the advance, they gave me keys to my room. And I said to myself “that’s it?” After having a long journey across from the continent I slept well on that night.
I had previously heard a saying, “if you are not careful in Europe you may cross the destination country”. Nations so small you can even cross the international border, and put your feet in different countries at the same time. I haven’t experienced this yet, but hopefully I will try this soon.
If you want to experience international studies and are eager to know more about different cultures, I suggest you to study at the University of Tartu which could be a great opportunity for you. If you need more information about living in Estonia, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
Author: Wajid Ali Khilji, Pakistan, studies Software Engineering