Estonia is located in the Baltic region in Northern Europe and made up of the mainland plus over 2,000 islands and islets.
Explore its history with medieval-era castles dating back to 1380, or get outdoors to experience Estonia's coastline, national parks, and thousands of lakes and rivers. More interested in cultural immersion? You're in luck: Estonian culture is a unique mix, having both Russian and Swedish influences.
Additionally, Estonia is relatively inexpensive and very is safe, making it a great location for high school students looking to expand their knowledge and worldly experiences.
Estonia is great for students who are interested in human development, education, economics, and business.
High school students will most likely spend their time in Estonia on a study abroad program -- whether through a high school exchange or through a shorter term summer program. Options are limited and, as such, are more targeted towards students specifically interested in Estonian culture.
Alternatively, there are a couple of volunteer programs in Estonia. Though most volunteer projects in the country require participants to be 18+, some will allow high school aged students to participate with either the permission of or accompaniment of a parent. Some areas in which volunteers can participate include:
- Environmental protection
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Estonia. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many school and volunteer programs take place in Tallinn, which is considered to be the educational and financial zone of Estonia.
Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia, and is known for its architecture and sloping hills. Pärnu is a relaxing seaside town offering spectacular views of the water.
Kuressaare is a quiet city on the largest island in the Baltic Sea, Saaremaa Island. This small city is home to a castle and museum.
Students may choose to live in dorms, shared flats, or do a homestay with a local family. Dorms will typically be shared accommodation. Flats are normally shared but you will most likely have your own room.
If you do a homestay, this is a wonderful way to experience the life of a local family and become more in tune with the culture and customs in Estonia.
Estonia uses the euro. The cost of living in Estonia is low when compared to other European countries. Students can budget themselves comfortably on $15-30 a day while living in Estonia.
Dorms typically start around $100 USD a month for basic accommodation. If you want private accommodation, prices may be as high as $500 USD a month.
Meals will typically be between $3-6 a meal. Students can easily budget themselves on $200-300 a month for food. Keep in mind that extra expenses, like supplies, toiletries, medical expenses, and anything else will add to your daily budget.
A visa is not required to travel to Estonia if you're visiting for less than 90 days. If you plan on studying in Estonia, you'll need a visa. Non EU Students must apply for a temporary residence permit in order to study in Estonia. Students will need a valid passport and to fill out an application form. Learn more about visas to Estonia.
Estonia has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. July is the warmest month, and temperatures range from 16 degrees C on the Baltic Islands to 18 degrees C inland. The coldest month is February, with temperatures as low as -3.5 degrees C on the Baltic Islands to -7.6 degrees C inland.
When visiting during the warm summer months, pack loose-fitting clothes, shorts, t-shirts, and light jackets. During the winter months, pack boots, long pants, and insulated jackets. Clothing that can be layered will help you prepare for any type of weather or if you’re staying for more than one season.
Make sure to pack comfortable sneakers for any type of weather that offer appropriate support, especially if you plan on walking around any major cities.
Estonian’s are typically reserved, and don’t like drawing attention to themselves. Estonian’s respect those who are rational, calm, and polite. Be punctual and respectful when dining, and it is mostly expected that you finish everything on your plate. Estonians are generally polite and keep their word!
There are no required vaccinations for Estonia; however, students must still be up to date on any routine vaccinations like typhoid, tetanus, and Hep A and Hep B. Talk to your health care provider to determine what’s best for you.
Estonia is considered to be a very safe country. However, travelers must still be wary when walking around alone and try to avoid walking around alone at night. Never carry around your possessions and keep an eye on your valuables, especially on public transportation.