Hello, this is Risa from Japan! To be honest I am not familiar with the custom of the Easter and still do not understand what it is exactly (to be ashamed), but HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE I see lots of Easter related products in stores now…the cutest one for me is the Mesi-käpp from Kalev! (See below.. how adorable!) Anyhow, how do you celebrate the Easter in your country? I asked my Estonian friend this question, and his answer was: ‘I don’t know… they have eggs and paint them… I don’t know what else. ’ (I thought it was really really an Estonian answer! 😀 ) If you know how Estonian people actually celebrate the Easter, let me know !!



Anyhow, the ‘proper’ spring has come to Tartu. This morning, I found tiny flowers blooming near the tähetorn. This reminded me how the arrival of the spring was like last year. The previous winter was much harsher and, when I saw the signs of the spring, I was so happy that I immediately went to drink a can of cider at the Pirogov Park where you can legally drink alcohol outside. Oh my goodness, it’s been two years since I started to live in Tartu! I can’t believe that! (The picture below shows how it was in the spring/summer in Tartu in the last year. Totally amazing.)



So, today I will quickly review my two years in the beautiful student city of Tartu, which have passed by in a speed of light!! I still remember how I felt when I saw the city of Tartu for the first time. I had heard that Tartu was the second biggest city in Estonia, and yeah, it was really a huge and massive city (…Joking!) Anyway, after two years in here, now I know that what makes Tartu so special and big is not the size of city, but beautiful and precious memories that people bring back from the city.

The first year was really difficult time for me. So much studying, assignments, plus psychological shocks from different culture, climate etc. (well, basically everything) compared to my home country. But, I was simply lucky that I got wonderful course mates. They are smart, hard working and truly inspiring. Without them, my student life in Tartu wouldn’t be the same. Thank you so much

Then, the second year has been all about a thesis writing so far. But, as a part of my research, I had a chance to do an internship at one of the Japanese public organizations in Serbia. It was great that my study in Tartu expanded my interests in a direction that I had never expected and led to such a beautiful country nearby. Concerning the nearby countries, I am planning to visit some other states, such as Lithuania, Finland and Sweden, later on. (Any suggestions for more destinations? ) I visited Riga in the last winter and it was really beautiful city. It is simply awesome that we can just hop on bus or ferry and go to other countries to experience another cultures. (The picture below is my favourite outer wall painting that I found in Riga. Just three hours from Tartu by bus- come and find it! )



This is it from me for now. Have a beautiful spring everyone! (For those who are struggling with your essays/ exams/ assignments, good luck!)


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