Photo: Bhavesh Kumar
Bhavesh Kumar, originally from India, is a second-year Master's student at the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS) with a focus on entrepreneurship studies. At the same time, coming from a technical field, he works as a software developer at Hansab IT solutions. This article is part of the Alumni Success Stories series, created in collaboration with the Estonian tech news platform Geenius.ee.
— What do you study in Estonia? What's your background in India?
— At the moment, I am studying a Master’s program in business at the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS) and working as a software engineer at Hansab IT solutions. Originally, I came from a technical field: back in India, I have done a Master's degree in Engineering in Electronics and Communication. Since then, I was looking for a good place to start my business studies abroad, until I came across Estonia. That's how I made the best decision of my life, so far. Here in Estonia, an IT and entrepreneurial hub of Europe, I can work as a developer and think of starting my own business at any time, having learned the tactics on the spot. That’s why I chose Estonia.
— Did you have any fears or prejudices about Estonia?
— Not at all. I have got such a good impression on the Internet that I came here with a very positive attitude. Nor have I been able to find any particular negative aspects of living, studying or working here. I'm happy with everything.
— How would you compare Indian and Estonian student life?
— If I compare Estonian student life to the one in India, it is much better here. I would definitely recommend EUAS for anyone seriously considering higher education. In India, there’s no such way of learning, as here: we have mostly focused on acquiring theoretical knowledge and passing the exams, rather than practicing technical skills used in a real life workplace. The lectures here are very meaningful and relevant. In addition to providing scholarships and assisting with the integration, higher education institutions are also strongly motivated by employers' attitudes. Getting a job as an international student isn’t easy, but everything depends on your skills.
— Are there great cultural differences between India and Estonia? Do you miss India?
— Do I miss my home country? Of course, I had lived there for so many years. I miss my family, in pacticular. Yet in spite of this, I love Estonia a lot. It’s been two years now. It’s a very safe country: you can come back home at 2AM without being worried for your safety. The way of living here, generally, seems to be "smarter" and very practical, the "gears" working the right way in every aspect. On top of that, there are so many events going on, especially in Tallinn! There's always an opportunity to meet new people. The main difference, however, is that people in India are much more open and sociable. Estonians don’t like to talk much, so it takes a bit of time to break the ice and become friends. There are some Indian people living here, but I don’t get involved with them much. My goal is to get connected with the local people and become part of the Estonian community. The climate is also very different: in India, we would normally have 35-40 degrees Celsius, such a heat if we think of the Estonian realities! In the beginning, it was a little difficult to become adjusted, but I am used to it by now.
— What do you think of Estonia as an e-country?
— Estonian e-services save you a huge amount of time, money, and patience towards the bureaucracy and paperwork. You may, for example, file your taxes or apply for a residence permit within minutes.
— Do you have some special memories here?
— I remember vividly the first time I visited the Seaplane Harbor Museum in Tallinn and the feeling of curiosity and excitement my family and I had when we saw an old submarine on display. It was a very precious and memorable moment for me.
Text: Karl-Erik Idasaar, Anastasiia Starchenko