Greetings from Tartu, the second biggest city in Estonia with approximately 100 000 inhabitants! A little bit over a month has passed since I arrived here to conduct my practical training. At first three months sounded like a long time, but time has really flown and I feel like every weekend is already booked with some activity.
During weekdays I am doing my practical training in Tartu Laste Turvakodu, which is a local Children’s Shelter. The workers have made me feel very welcome and the kids are really sweet. My workdays consist of drawing, playing games and spending time outside, so definitely not complaining! This is probably the most efficient (and craziest) way to learn a new language, since English or Finnish don’t have any effect on the smaller kids. Luckily, they are also very excited teachers, and no mistakes go unnoticed!
Outside the training, I have been studying my surroundings and also visited Riga and Tallinn. I had been to Estonia several times before the training, but it has been great to get to know the country also outside the Tallinn harbour. I have gone to the movies and the theatre and even seen an Estonian ballet show. Also, the Estonian food culture has been a pleasant surprise. I have always thought I am not a soup person, but apparently I was only missing sour cream (or hapukoor like the locals say). I believe it makes every food taste fantastic! And don’t even get me started on these different coffee shops, where an average price for a piece of cake is one or two euros…
If you are a student, there is a lot to do in Tartu. I started acting classes and have also been visiting other events meant for exchange students, for example a board game night. It is great that thanks to these events and my training place, I get to know both Estonian people and other exchange students. I am already looking forward to the student week starting on Monday!
Vilma (or Milva like everyone accidentally keeps calling me :D)