A small and prosperous North European country with a population of 1.3 million, Estonia is described as a Baltic Tiger owing to its rapid economic growth. It is the 4th freest economy in the world and boasts of a very high GDP (PPP) per capita income of $28,781. It is one of the countries with lowest debt in the world.
Estonia’s unemployment rate of 6.4% is lower than the European Union average. It became an OECD (Association of high income countries in the world) member in 2010. It has very close ties with the Nordic countries (the most socially advanced countries in the world) and is increasingly being considered a Nordic than a Baltic country. Estonia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2018. It is part of Schengen Area.
Estonia is considered as the most internet-focused country in the world. Skype software, created by Estonian developers, was mainly developed in Estonia. The percentage of GDP spent on Research and Development is higher than the European Union average. It is said to have the most start ups per person in the world.
The number of tourists who visit Estonia annually is four to five times larger than the total population of the country!
With a vibrant start-up company Estonia is widely known as the new Silicon Valley of Europe giving plenty of opportunities for innovations and creative thinking. It has more successful start up companies per head than in any other country in Europe. Lot of discounts are available for students. The low tuition fee, living cost and various scholarship schemes attract plenty of international students to Estonia.
There are many organizations which conduct different activities to help foreign students integrate with this friendly and liberal society. All universities have excellent student support system to make the international students feel at home. The night life is very active in the towns. Holidays can be utilized by exploring the pristine beaches, monuments or wild life of Estonia. Public transportation is free of cost for international students in the capital city, Tallinn.
The qualifications are internationally accepted. The courses are done in English and the class rooms have small size groups. According to Erasmus Network Survey 2010, Estonia is ranked 1st for satisfaction with the stay in the host country institution and according to International Student Barometer TM 2014, 89% of international students are satisfied with their overall living and studying standard in Estonia.
Students from non-EU countries need to apply for Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) since Estonia does not issue ‘student visa’. The student can apply for visa and TRP after getting admission in a university and they have forwarded required documents.
More information about application process and all the required documents (including legal income proving certifications) can be found from Estonian Police and Border Guard Board website.
A temporary residence permit is valid for maximum of one year and should be renewed at least 2 months before the date of expiration at the Police and Border Guard Board.
Students from countries outside European Union have to register their place of residence in the Local Government authority within 1 month from the arrival to Estonia on the basis of residence permit for study.
Spouse or children of the candidates can also apply for TRP if the course is Master’s or Doctorate level.