New international students at TalTech with their Welcome Bags.
Around 3500 new international degree and Erasmus+ exchange students started their studies in Estonia this September. As part of a traditional welcome, Study in Estonia provided all international students with welcome bags which, in addition to useful information, also included essential items for dealing with the characteristically cold and dark climate of Estonia.
This year’s welcome bag contained a reflector, pen, webcam cover, winter hat, smart phone gloves and a raincoat. The bag also included the very popular brochure “Survival Guide for International Students”, as well as useful information on the possibilities of working or doing research in Estonia, by Work in Estonia and Research in Estonia respectively.
The welcoming materials were provided to all Estonian universities that teach full degree programmes in English (Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonian Business School, Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology and University of Tartu).
“The goal of the welcome bag is just that – to welcome the international students to Estonia and provide them with necessary tools for making the most out of their experience. Be it an Indian student’s shock at the cold weather or a Ukrainian student’s wish to get a part-time job – the welcome bag has all the needed information and items” said Study in Estonia international marketing specialist Triinu Lillepalu.
International student at Estonian Business School. Picture by: EBS
“In our experience, and based on information from Estonian universities, providing a welcome bag to international students is a very effective means of promotion because our goal is not only to attract them here but also to make a deeper connection so the talented students would want to stay in Estonia after graduation” added Lillepalu.
In support of this, Study in Estonia has also initiated a student ambassador programme, which looks at connecting with more active international students and providing them with a platform to share their stories. In the initial stage of the project the student ambassadors will provide content for blog posts as well as contribute to Study in Estonia social media channels.
“As a result of this programme we hope to have a network of international students whose interest in Estonia is deeper and who have a sincere wish of helping others by sharing their stories” said international marketing specialist Kristina Piliste. “In the future we see this network also including international alumni – whether they stayed in Estonia after graduation or returned to their home country. The main thing is to keep that connection, because Estonia values each international friend” added Piliste.
The national statistics for international students who started studies in 2019 will be available in spring 2020. The top 5 sending countries for the study year 2018/2019 included Finland, Russia, Nigeria, Ukraine and Turkey.
Triinu Lillepalu, international marketing specialist
Study in Estonia