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It can be confusing which country to choose for your studies abroad. You will need to learn a lot about each of the possible countries and the educational systems before making a decision.That’s why PingmeStudyAbroad, the leading Europe study visa consultants has set up a useful guide about the top study abroad destinations


Study in Estonia

Located in Eastern Europe, between Latvia and Russia, lies Estonia. Accounting for only 1.3 million inhabitants, Estonia has been reporting a negative population growth over the last decade. Its fertility rate shows a corresponding slight decrease as well. The largest city is its capital, Tallinn, with about 410,000 inhabitants, almost one third of all Estonians.
 Estonia was part of the Soviet Union bloc until 1991, when it regained its freedom with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The official language is Estonian, spoken by more than two-thirds of the country. Due to Estonia being under Russian authority until the early 90s, almost one third of the population speaks Russian. It is a parliamentary republic and is divided into 15 counties. In addition, Estonia has been a NATO and EU member since 2004, and has officially adopted the euro as its national currency in January 2011.  

Estonia’s GDP growth rate has been all over the place in the last few years. The main reason for this is an economic collapse in 2013, mainly due to the European Union recession happening at that time. Around 2016, GDP growth slumped, but estimates see it stabilizing at about 3 percent in the near future. The country's unemployment rate was through the roof in 2010, but had declined again by 2015 - however, it is expected to rise again significantly, almost reaching 10 percent by 2020.

  1. Official name: Republic of Estonia
  2. Official language: Estonian
  3. Ethnic groups: Estonians, Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Finns and others
  4. Population: 1.3 million (2017)
  5. Capital city: Tallinn
  6. Government: Parliamentary democracy
  7. President: Kersti Kaljulaid
  8. Prime minister: Jüri Ratas
  9. Currency: the euro
  10. GDP PPP: $38.658 billion (2016)
  11. GDP PPP per capita: $29,378 (2016)
  12. Member of the European Union, NATO, OECD, WTO, and Schengen zone
  13. Time zone: GMT/UTC +2 in winter; GMT/UTC +3 in summer
  14. Calling code: +372
  15. Internet TLD: .ee
  16. Units of measure: Metric system
  17. Electricity: 220 V
  18. Right-hand traffic
  19. Total area: 45,339 sq. km (17,505 sq. mi.)


Less is more

Forests cover more than half of Estonia, which is quite rare in Europe and in the world (2016 Environmental Performance Index, ranks 180 countries). The country also features isolated islets, beautiful lonely beaches, and deep untouched forest areas. Wherever you are, you can get to the wilderness in less than 30 minutes.

Having a low population density and more room for every person does not mean being lonely as a human being. On the contrary, it allows Estonian universities to use a more personal approach to engage each student in the study process. Thanks to its small population, Estonia also has less bureaucracy in universities and in government in general.

Digital and start-up-prone

Living and studying in Estonia is more comfortable for students because Estonia is a highly digitised community. It is very common to declare your taxes online (in 2 minutes), make bank transfers via mobile phone, or do your weekly grocery shopping without ever leaving home. Children as young as 7 years are taught the principles and basics of coding; computer usage is generally widespread in all fields of life.

The Republic of Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency — a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online. This technology enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust on the Internet. Estonia already has thousands of e-residents, including Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany.

Estonia is also famous for its start-ups – it takes just five minutes to register a company and, according to The Economist, the country held the world record for the number of start-ups per person in 2013 (many Estonian start-ups are now successful companies that you may recognise, such as Skype, Transferwise, GrabCAD, and others).

Based on success stories, Estonian universities have developed new unique programmes that focus on high-tech education (e.g. cyber security, e-governance technologies and services, digital learning games).

Affordable and sensible student destination

Estonia has very affordable living costs – The Business Insider has listed Estonia as home to two of the most affordable European cities to live in (Tartu and Tallinn). The same can be said about studying in Estonia – there are many scholarships and tuition-free programmes available, especially at the Master’s level.

In addition to being affordable, Estonia also has reasonable conditions for students to look for a job. International students are allowed to work full-time during their studies, as long as it does not interfere with their education. Taking up a job does not require a separate permit – if an international is allowed to study, it automatically ensures the right to work.

Students are also allowed to stay in the country for six months after graduation to look for employment. It is not always easy to find a job if you do not speak the local language; however, most Estonians do speak English and the field for English-speaking positions is growing. There is an annual work fair organised specifically for foreign students, which also helps bring together companies and students.

A recent discovery in the world of international higher education

Among international students, Estonia is still a rather recent discovery and the number of international students is growing by nearly 20% every year. The student body is quite diverse – there are students from neighbouring countries, such as Finland, Russia, and Latvia, from other European countries, such as Germany, Italy, UK etc., and from other countries all over the world, such as the USA, Georgia, India, China, and so on – all together from 90 different countries. All of them can choose between 140 degree programmes taught entirely in English.


An internship is an integral part of the curriculum. This doesn’t mean that you’re on your own when it comes to finding one: the program manager is extremely helpful, and the process is very organized. Students receive advice on places to apply at and a list of organizations where alumni have interned in Estonia and the Baltic region. Some students are also able to pursue their internship in the Research division at the Central Bank of Lithuania and receive an Erasmus Traineeship grant to cover their living expenses for the duration. The entire experience would be incredible and help to grow, academically, professionally and personally.

  1. Public transport is entirely free for residents of the Estonian capital, Tallinn.
  2. Estonia was the first country in the world to adopt online voting – way back in 2005.
  3. According to a Gallup Poll, Estonia is the world’s least religious country. Just 16 per cent of respondents said religion was an important part of their life, compared to 27 per cent of Britons, 65 per cent of Americans and 100 per cent of Bangladeshis and Indonesians.
  4. 52 per cent of the country is forest, making it one of Europe’s greenest countries – and that figure is rising.
  5. Around 1.5 million people visit Tallinn each year, including more than half a million cruise passengers.
  6. Estonia is the homeland of Skype, Hotmail and KaZaA.
  7. All Estonian schools are connected to the Internet.
  8. Estonia produces quality vodka and boasts Viru Valge and Saaremaa as its most popular brands.

In Estonia, the higher education system has two branches: study is carried out in the academic and the professional higher education branch. Since the academic year 2002/03, the general structure of academic study has three levels or cycles. The first level is Bachelor’s study and the second level is Master’s study. The third and the highest level is Doctoral study.

Professional higher education is, similarly to Bachelor’s study, the first level of higher education, which ensures access to Master’s study. Completion of respective studies at each level of higher education is considered the graduation from an educational institution.

In case of medical training, veterinary training, pharmacist training, dentistry training, architectural studies, civil engineering studies and teachers’ training for general teachers, study is based on integrated curricula of Bachelor’s and Master’s study and gives the qualification of the second level of academic higher education.

An academic year is divided into two terms – the autumn and the spring term. An academic year begins in September and ends in June. Both the autumn and the spring term generally last for five months, the volume of which in credit points makes one half of the study load of an academic year. The autumn term usually lasts, based on the decision of the educational institution, from September to December; and the examination session is in January. The spring term lasts from the end of January or the beginning of February to the end of May, but examinations often take place until the end of June. Students shall have at least eight weeks of holiday each year.

Two types of institutions operate: universities and institutions of professional higher education. At a university, higher education is acquired at three levels:

professional higher education and Bachelor’s study, Master’s study and Doctoral study. A professional higher education institution and some other vocational educational institutions provide professional higher education. A professional higher education institution can also provide vocational training to students who have acquired secondary education and, upon complying with certain requirements on the basis of the decision by the Government of the Republic, also Master’s study. In terms of the form of ownership, educational institutions can be state-owned, public and private.

A university is a research, development, educational and cultural institution where instruction is provided at the three levels of higher education according to professional higher education, Bachelor’s study, Master’s study and Doctoral study curricula in several fields of study.

An institution of professional higher education is an educational institution which provides professional higher education and which may provide Master’s study and vocational training and where at least two thirds of the students study on the basis of professional higher education curricula. Vocational schools may, in exceptional cases, also offer professional higher education.

  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Social science
  • Education
  • Sport Science
  • Biological Science
  • Arts and Humanities

For admission to a university, there are some general and some institution-specific requirements. The general requirements are binding on all higher education institutions. There are no enrolment requirements for exchange students besides an agreement between partner universities.

All applicants to Estonian universities’ degree programmes are required to have a qualification giving access to university studies in their home country. Applicants also need to present a certificate of English skills. All internationally recognised language proficiency tests (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL) are accepted, though some institutions may run individual language tests. Usually, the required minimum test result for BA and MA is 6 in IELTS and 72 in TOEFL (IBT). Please check specific English language requirements on the university’s admission website, as requirements might be a bit different for each university. Depending on the institution and programme, there might be additional entrance tests such as an interview, written essay, portfolio etc.


The entry qualification documents are accepted in English

  • Notarized (and apostilled) copies of the following documents must be presented :
  • Higher Secondary School Certificate issued by Examination Board / Corresponding 10+2 certificate awarded upon completion of higher or intermediate secondary education
  • Academic transcript / Statement of marks / Mark sheet



  • IELTS (Academic)- a minimum overall grade of 5.5, with 5.5 or above in each element.
  • TOEFL (iBT)- a minimum total score 72, with listening 17 or above, reading 18 or above, speaking 20 or above, writing 17 or above.
  • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE)- grade A or B.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)- grade A, B or C.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)- grade A, B or C.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A)- total score 51 or above.


  • A motivation letter must be added to your application.
  • Online interview


  • The entry qualification documents are accepted in English
  • Notarized (and apostilled) copies of the following documents must be presented :
  • Bachelor’s degree diploma
  • Bachelor’s degree academic transcript

Please Note :

In Estonia a course grade less than 50% is considered a negative result and does not grant access to higher education. Therefore high school transcripts with more than 10% negative results (under 50%) are not accepted

Only documents which are certified with an apostille and notarization are accepted.



  • IELTS (Academic)- a minimum overall grade of 5.5, with 5.5 or above in each element.
  • TOEFL (iBT)- a minimum total score 72, with listening 17 or above, reading 18 or above, speaking 20 or above, writing 17 or above.
  • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE)- Grade A or B.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)- grade A, B or C.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)- grade A, B or C.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)- grade A, B or C.


  • A motivation letter must be added to your application.
  • Online interviews – will be conducted only to candidates who have passed the preliminary evaluation.

  • A copy of passport or ID card
  • A passport picture
  • A personal statement in English (should contain around 500-800 words answering questions such as: Why and what would you like to study at the university? What are your plans after graduation?)
  • Copies of obtained secondary school diplomas, certificates and/or grade lists (uploaded diplomas and/or grade lists which are not in English need to be accompanied by an official English translation)
  • Transcript of records
  • Proof of English language proficiency


Some universities may require additional documents, such as:

  • CV or resume (including two referees)
  • Motivation letter
  • Sample of academic written work


Universities in Estonia charge extremely low tuition fees for all students including international students. For both Bachelors and Masters programs, the average tuition fees are 1660 Euros per academic year while medicine students pay higher than other programs.Tuition fees at Estonian institutions vary depending on whether you choose a public or private institution. It will also depend on what level you are studying at, as doctoral degrees in Estonia are free of charge to all students. On average, you should expect a bachelor’s or master’s degree to cost between €1,000 and €8,000 per year. If you choose to take a specialised degree, such as a medical degree, you should expect it to cost around €11,000 per year. Scholarships are available for international students, but they are mainly at postgraduate level. For information about scholarships, contact your chosen institution.


The cost of living in Estonia usually depends upon the student’s accommodation choices, lifestyle, and spending patterns.Monthly living costs: €300–€500, depending on the student’s choices.Student accommodation prices in Estonia start from €100 per month in student dormitories. Some student dormitories are either single, double and triple rooms in some universities.Housing costs largely depend on the place it is located and flat size. These prices range from about €100 for a place in a double room in the residence hall to €180–€450 or more for a private flat.

An Applicant from India needs a D type Visa to Stay in Estonia for a period of 3 to 1 month for the purpose of Study and If it is more than 12 Months the Applicant need to apply for a Resident Permit in Estonia.

In cases such as study it is possible to apply at the Embassy for a D-visa even if the intended stay is longer than one year. Then the applicant would travel to Estonia on a D-visa, and then apply for a Temporary Residence Permit at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.  You may also apply for a D-visa and a TRP at the same time.



Make sure your travel document fulfils these criteria:

  • issued within the last 10 years
  • contains at least two blank pages for visas
  • is valid at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa;
    • STATE FEE – 80 euros


  • COLOR PHOTO (35mm x 40mm)
  • must be taken within last 6 months
  • must have a light background
  • no software corrections allowed


Valid in Schengen countries with a coverage of at least 30,000 EUR for the entire duration of stay in the Schengen area.


  • Confirmation letter from the host or cover letter/document(s) indicating the purpose of journey.
  • Documents proving that the applicant is going to study in Estonia.
  • Documents proving family ties or marital status if the purpose of journey is to visit a private person.
  • Documents confirming accommodation and provision for expenses during the stay in Estonia.
  • Documents confirming sufficient means of subsistence during the stay in Estonia
  • ITR (student/Parent/Sponsor).

Applicants can Schedule an appointment to submit their Application through the website of Embassy of Estonia.

A long-stay visa can be applied for only in person at the Estonian Embassy in New Delhi. Therefore Applicants need to Attend the Biometric appointment in Estonian Embassy New Delhi to Provide Biometrics and Submit Visa Application.

If Visa is Approved, the national type visa allows you to stay in the nation of Estonia for a duration of 91 days to 180 days in a six-month duration.It is advisable to apply for the TRP prior to the student’s arrival to Estonia, as the process will take up to two months or even longer, depending on the season.

Starting from 1 September 2013, all international graduates who have obtained a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree in Estonia can apply for a temporary residence permit for work under special conditions. This means that their employers do not have to follow strict payment/fee requirement (obligatory for other international temporary residence for work applicants) and these employers are not obligated to have the permission of Eesti Töötukassa (Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund) for employing Estonian university graduates of a foreign nationality.

All non-EU students can stay in Estonia for an additional 9 months after their graduation to look for a job in Estonia and apply for a temporary residence permit for work. In order to apply for the required permit, it is first necessary to find a suitable job. Processing the work permit application takes about a month. Additional information concerning work permits (that are obligatory after graduating your studies and finding a job in Estonia) can be obtained from the Police and Border Guard Board.

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