The frantic few months before my arrival to Estonia are still vivid in my head, so here are some things that you should know, and hopefully will make you feel better, before you turn a new, exciting chapter in your life.
1.Food is relatively cheap in Estonia
I remember one of my biggest fears about moving away from home was not being able to cook at all. If you are embodied with same fears, here’s good news for you: TUT has tons of cafeterias with relatively low prices and numerous options for both meat-lovers and vegetarians. So I can assure you that your nightmare of being left alone on the streets with no food will not come true. 😉
2.Public transport is super convenient
Once you register yourself as a resident of Tallinn, you get a green transport card that guarantees you free transport for the rest of your stay. Only thing you have to do it carry it around and tap it on this monitor each time you get inside the vehicle, whichever it is. However, there is one minus when it comes to public transport in Estonia — nothing works after 12 A.M. So, like Fabiola suggested in her blog post, make sure to download Taxify for all your late night-outs, it will come in extremely handy!
3.Most of the Estonians speak English
If you can not find something in a grocery store or are looking for a particular place/street, don’t hesitate and ask. There are tons of stereotypes about Estonians not being the most social beings to walk this planet, but they are actually really nice and helpful. Most of the younger generation speak perfect English, and although the older ones may not be fluent, they will understand what you are trying to say. You will be surprised how much they may socialize with you.
4.Tallinn is even tinier than you expect
I am a person with 0 orientation skills, I get lost absolutely anywhere I go. But I can guarantee you that Tallinn is so tiny and public transport is so well-assembled that the chances of getting lost are 0.00001%.
5.It is full of fresh air.
50% of Estonia is covered by forests, so you can imagine how much fresh air you will be breathing as soon as you land foot here. Good health for the rest of your stay is basically guaranteed to you.
6.Weather is harsh, but it comes with its benefits
Although we have to endure months and months of rain and darkness, summer comes with its beautiful white nights – sun basically never sets. Also, aurora lights can be seen during winter time (which I still haven’t had the chance to see and am super upset over). But let’s hope to witness them together this winter 😉 It’s something you definitely don’t want to miss!
7.International students are slowly taking over!
I have students from over 15 countries in my class, and because Tallinn is so small, their presence is easily noticeable in the city. Numerous events are held by different organizations like ESN Tallinn for you to get a chance to meet and socialize. Sooo, you are not alone and lots and lots of fun is awaiting!