International Summer University brings over 200 participants from around the world to Tartu


The first academic week of the University of Tartu’s International Summer University has begun and for the first time in the summer university’s history, the developments of e–Estonia, cyber security and e–democracy are among the topics introduced. The summer university brings 215 learners from 30 countries to Tartu, making the town a centre of multicultural education for the week.

There are students from Peru, China, Argentina and Singapore taking part in the seven Lifelong Learning Centre’s International Summer University programmes and the Estonian language and culture summer programme by the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures. South-Korea, the United States of America, Finland, Georgia, Japan and Ukraine are the countries with the most participants.

Senior Specialist for the UT International Summer University Margot Must said that the summer university programme becomes more and more popular every year and extends its global reach.

“The summer school offers a chance to enjoy beautiful Estonia and learn from the internationally renowned lecturers at the UT. We cover many innovative topics which are not yet common in the students’ state or educational system and where the UT lecturers have the most competence in Estonia,” said Must who was pleased that there are always a great number of people interested in learning the Estonian language and culture because in the global context, speaking this language is a privilege.

Estonian language courses based on Finnish will begin soon for groups of three different levels, 50 students will study the Estonian language and culture at the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures and students from Pittsburg will study Russian at the Narva College.  

For the first time, the students can participate in a programme which introduces the developments of e–Estonia, giving them an opportunity to learn about e–state and its structure and analyse cyber security and e–democracy. The programme includes several experts of the field and the study work is carried out by lecturer at the Centre for Baltic Studies Heiko Pääbo, professor of Media Studies Pille Pruulman-Vengerfeldt and visiting lecturer of IT Law Eneken Tikk-Ringas. 

The International Summer University programmes join several study fields and two of them are done in cooperation with international partner universities. The course “European integration” in cooperation with Utrecht Summer School takes place for two weeks in Utrecht and for two weeks in Estonia: in Tartu and Pärnu. The programme “After the Empire”, in cooperation with the University of Latvia, takes place in Riga, Tallinn and Tartu and focuses on the Baltic region and political and economic relations between the European Union, NATO and Russia. The head lecturer in Tartu is visiting professor Andrey Makarychev and in Pärnu professor Andres Kasekamp.

In addition to academic lectures, the students will visit relevant enterprises and institutions, receive an overview of the university and its international degree studies and participate in a cultural programme.

From 10 to 21 August, the programme “Semiotic (un-)predictability” will take place in cooperation with the semiotics department and from 24 August to 15 September, students from Hokkaido University will be studying English language and culture in Tallinn and Tartu.

Participation in the International Summer University is funded by several scholarships. Thanks to the 18 development cooperation scholarships by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, students from Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova were able to participate in four different programmes. The German Academic Exchange Centre DAAD’s “Go–East” programme enabled four students to participate in the e–Estonia programme and three to study Estonian language and culture. Learning Estonian is also supported by the Estonian Institute’s scholarships for 21 people. The Archimedes Foundation supports one student’s studies of Estonian language and culture and another student on the semiotics course.

There are also several other International Summer University programmes at the University of Tartu this summer which are organised by faculties and colleges.

Additional information: Margot Must, Senior Specialist for the UT International Summer University, tel. 737 5561, 506 3686, e-mail: