Tere! It is me again, Leonardo – a Mexican in Estonia. Last time, I wrote about my (“not funny then, funny now”) experience with Estonian language, but now, I want to share another of the perks of being an international student at the University of Tartu – traveling!
Yes, as awkward as it might sound, one of the perks of being a student in the University of Tartu is that you not only get to be in Tartu…but also outside of Tartu! But let me explain this. Take Jevgēnijs (or Evgeny, Eugen or Billy Bob according to his recent post) as an example – a Latvian student of the University of Tartu that has studied in Poland and is now in the United States at the West Virginia University! And this is no exception, because when studying in Tartu, travelling can be an important and a great part of the studies!
Now, my experience. Arriving on a warm and sunny August day to the small and beautiful Estonia, I started to realize that travelling is a part of every student’s daily life. How is this? Well, for starters, it is quite a hard journey to go from the sixth floor of Raatuse dormitory to the laundromat with a huge bag of dirty clothes…just to find out that somebody else has taken the last free machine before you. It is a journey to go from one university building to another when the city’s sidewalks are frozen and you have no winter boots. And I cannot even start telling what a journey Rüütli street can be for students on a weekend…but these small journeys are just a start.
But seriously, if you really want to have an international experience, Tartu University is the best place for it! I take lessons at Tallinn University, expanding my network of friends and colleagues. After a month, I was selected to go to an Autumn School in Berlin, Germany, where I got to practice one of the two words I know in German “autobahn” and…ok…my only word I know. After that, I was able to visit the neighboring country Latvia, and its beautiful capital Riga on a short study trip…three times! Then I did an internship in the sunny country of Moldova, in its capital Chisinau, where I was lucky enough to cooperate with the think-tank IDIS Viitorul through the Traderun program. Next month, under the DoRa 8 Mobility Scholarship, I will attend a conference related to my research…in France!
Like Billy Bob and me, there are many other students who choose to, while being in Tartu, spend some time abroad and have a true international experience. Different programs, scholarships and more are at reach, if you have the motivation and interest for your studies. Whichever city or country, in Europe or beyond, you would like to visit, the journey starts here, in Tartu!
I hope you are enjoying the ISA blogs, what I consider to be an amazing international patchwork. See you in Tartu!