9. October 2023 | Von Robin Csodó 

Our first month in Tallinn

On 25th of August we arrived in Tallinn and started the semester at the Baltic Film, Media and Arts School at Tallinn University. I was very excited because I did not know anything about this small country in Northern Europe. Tallinn has sneaked into our heart since the first day of arrival.

Our first month in Tallinn

The first days

As an international student at Macromedia University in Berlin I have already had the experience what it is like to move abroad, but this is the first time moving to a country where I do not speak the local language and I do not know the country’s culture. However, over the past month, the university and the locals have played an important role in getting to know the culture and thus making integration very easy.

The first impression we had was extremely positive. Tallinn is a small, well organized, clean, and safe city with the mixture of old and modern buildings, and they use the latest technologies. Estonia is a very digitalized country. In a couple of days, we received our Estonian ID card and with that we can now digitally sign any type of documents.

The Tallinn University

The Tallinn University and the Baltic Film Media and Arts School has one of the highest reputations in the area. It is a huge university consisting of six departments and five university buildings. The semester started with the welcome week where the most important information about university life has been shared with us. The Tallinn University offers a wide variety of social activities, sports and a photo club. ESN, the network of Erasmus students, provides us with numerous good opportunities to socialize. From the very first days there were many gatherings organized by the ESN which really helped our integration and getting to know people from all around the world.

The university provides us high quality of education. In the first two months we are going to have a lot of lectures and after that we will have the shooting period. Most of our classes are really practice oriented. The technical equipment is of high quality. In order to be able to use them the school organizes special workshops where we can learn how to use these filming equipment.

The main difference in the teaching method between here compared to Macromedia is that in Macromedia we are studying in our own classes, whereas here we have common lectures with students from other faculties. There are three classes held specifically for the Macromedia students that are attended by the four of us from Berlin and two students from the Munich campus.

The culture

For Estonians their history and culture are really important. During our orientation week we had guided tours in the city and several cultural evenings where amongst other things we could taste the Estonian food, and we also had a folk-dance evening. It is mandatory to study the Estonian language and on Thursday evenings we have an Estonian culture class where we watch Estonian movies, go to the old town or museums. The country and the capital, Tallinn, have a long history, the old town is unique, where most buildings date back to the Medieval times. Estonian cuisine retains the characteristics of the Middle Ages, using a lot of meat, fish and potatoes. We really love the Estonian black bread which has a combination of sweet and salty taste.

The Estonian language is ranked as the 16th hardest language in the world. As a Hungarian I think it is easier for me, because our languages have several similarities in the grammars, but the words are completely different. Learning the language helps us to be better accepted, even if we realize that it is difficult to get closer to Estonians, because they are a bit distant. They are kind, but have a slightly different temperament, yet they are always happy if you try to talk to them in their own language.

Sustainability is really important here; people care a lot about the environment. I love that even though Tallinn is a capital city, it is directly connected to the nature, there are trees and parks everywhere. We live 20 minutes far from the sea as well.
We are studying with other Erasmus students who are from all over the world. Thanks to the ESN events and the events organized by the university we could build up a very intercultural and diverse community which helps us to get to know many different cultures. This experience offers us new opportunities.

So far, we are extremely satisfied with our choice, because it helps us to improve our skills in our field of study and enriches our experience, broadening our horizons that we would otherwise be more difficult to acquire.

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