Studying Abroad in Tallinn, Estonia

Duncan Cooper
Friday 30 June 2023

Morgan is studying Russian and was abroad in Tallinn, Estonia during Semester One, 2022-23. Here’s what they had to say about her time abroad so far:

A photo showing the landscape of the Old town of Tallinn from the Patkuli viewing platform.
A view from the Patkuli viewing platform, overlooking the Old town of Tallinn, Estonia. Photo credit: Ivar Leidus (Iifar)

I must admit, in the lead up to my first semester abroad, I felt very little other than worry. I’d never gone abroad alone before and even then, this was the furthest I’d ever have travelled, period. I arrived in Estonia much earlier than the other students I would be studying with, which made everything incredibly daunting. With a week to go before lessons at our language school began, I spent a lot of time wandering around the city of Tallinn; feeling completely lost and like I didn’t really belong.

However, once lessons began and I got to know the other people in my class, I became much more comfortable. Every teacher was incredibly friendly, and the lessons were so packed and so frequent that I would say my level of Russian had made a noticeable improvement in just about three weeks. Before going, I could barely manage a sentence off the top of my head; now, I was able to give an account of my weekend with much less hesitation between each word. Speaking practice was my favorite part of the course, as the open-ended nature of the questions allowed me to talk about what I wanted to and pick up vocabulary related to what interested me.

During the reading week, I took the opportunity to visit Helsinki and Riga. Riga in particular stood out, hosting much older architecture, including some from the days of the Soviet Union. Whilst I only visited once, it left enough of an impression for me to try and learn a small amount of Latvian, in order to be more engaged whenever I manage to go again.

Overall, I would recommend travelling to Tallinn for a semester, even if just for the practice given by the language school. I would say that you should be aware that there is not necessarily a large amount available regarding social activities and travel within the country, though there are plenty of good and cheap transport links to travel to neighboring countries. Tallinn is very pretty and, for a capital city, incredibly quiet in the months when there are very few tourists.


Thanks to Morgan for sharing their experience while studying abroad.

If you would like to talk to Morgan about their experience in more depth, or would like to find out more about studying abroad in general, please reach out to [email protected]

Photo credit: Ivar Leidus (Iifar)

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