Living at the dormitories is probably the most convenient and cheapest way to live while studying at Tallinn University of Technology. In this post, I will show you what is it like to live at one of the dorms.
TUT has 6 dormitory buildings and all, except for the one called Siidisaba, are located next to the university, so if you like to sleep a lot like me, you can basically jump out of bed, get dressed, grab your stuff and be at the university in 5 minutes :). If you are an Erasmus student, you can also live at the Academic Hostel; yes, it is a hostel where tourists can stay but it is usually used by Erasmus students, so it is in reality almost like another dorm. There is another dorm used for students with families, but it is in pretty bad conditions and it is now about to undergo renovation, so if you are coming with your family, you will need to find a flat somewhere else. Sorry about that!
The following pics are from my dorm at Akadeemia tee 7/2, which looks exactly the same as Akadeemia tee 7/1. All the other dormitories are almost the same as well from the inside.
It is a dorm for 4 people, so this is our little common area. The webpage from the campus mentions that you must bring your own pans, plates, glasses and cuttlery, but most of the times previous tenants leave a lot of stuff behind. In our case we only had to buy a couple of plates and glasses, everything we needed to cook was already there. In case you’re wondering if I cleaned the place thoroughly before taking these pics, the answer is yes, I did :). But not that much, actually. The place is small already so we try to keep it as clean and as de-cluttered as possible.
From left to right, the doors you can see are from: the entrance, bathroom, shower and one of the rooms. This is a girls’ place, so of course we need to use a stool for our makeup and have some hearts hanging from the ceiling :). My flatmate sometimes likes to paint so we have a couple of paintings there. We all know (and she knows as well) that she is not the next Van Gogh, but hey, those grey doors can be depressing so we don’t mind them :).
And this is my cozy room. Most of the dorms have two rooms for two people each. The campus website also mentions that you must buy bed linen but the previous girls who lived here left blankets, pillows and a lamp on one of the tables, so I only had to buy a pillow for myself.
Living in a dorm is strange because you know this is just a temporary space and that you have to share it with 3 other people, but at the same time this is really your home and where you spend a lot of time, especially during the Winter. That’s why I have filled my side of the room with things that I like. Everytime I go somewhere new, I buy a postcard that I then paste with tape to the wall. I even bought a couple of colourful sheets to use as a “board” for my to-do reminders. This is a cheap way to decorate the room and easy to remove once it’s time to leave without damaging the wall (because we really want to get the whole deposit back!).
I also bought several bottles of beer to use them as decoration. Yes, I did drink them (not at the same time, of course), but the reason I bought those particular beers was that the bottles were very pretty. When it’s time to leave, I will only have to throw them to the trash. Disposable decoration is the new black :).
Is this sounding too much like an interior design blog? Sorry, I’ll change the subject now to: Pööning! What is Pööning, you ask? Well, the neighourhood in which the university is located is not particularly known for its nightlife, but fortunately we have a very popular bar among students: Pööning. It is literally located across the street from the dorms, so whenever we don’t feel like making the trip all the way to the Old Town (which is approx. 20 minutes away by trolley), we head to good old Pööning. It’s got some decent and fairly priced food, cheap drinks, they host events often and the atmosphere is really nice, usually full of students.
There is also a nice forest next to the dorms where there are a couple of basketball and volleyball courts, or you can just take a walk or go running there.
Of course, the dorms are not perfect. They are small, there isn’t much privacy and it can be really uncomfortable if you don’t get along with your flatmates. But if you decide afterwards that you don’t like to live in the dormitories, then you are at least already in the city and you know it, so you can choose better where you would like to live and even visit the flats beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises. So dorms are still a very good choice, even if you stay here for only a few months.