Tallinn, Estonia: My new home (by Svenja)

The arrival and the first week

I never expected that I could feel so homely during my semester abroad. But untill I felt this way a lot of things happened.

I arrived at Tallinn airport in the end of August, it was my first flight alone. There, I took the cheapest taxi I have ever driven with. I arrived at Imaginary Hostel very late in the evening and had an interesting start there. There were no other people in my 6-bed-girls-room because the last group vendalized the apartment by breaking the ceiling. Unfortunately, the managers did not manage to fix this, nor the strange blinking light, nor the sticky floor, nor the broke door… But I was happy that I arrived.

At the second day people from all over the country taught me how to search for accomodation in Tallinn properly:

  • Ask other people for Facebook groups: Erasmus-Accomodation-Groups, Tallinn-Landlord-Groups
  • Personalize your requests on Facebook a little bit
  • Estonian websites have cheaper prizes than english one
  • Websites recommended at Tallinn University-Webpage are not necessary good pages (Do not use home24, take the estonian pages recommended and try to translate by google)
  • Do not book hostel for a long time. Once you will miss living in a real home and it is far too expensive to stay for a long time

I met many interesting people during my search for accomodation. A millionaire invited me by facebook to meet him at his little castle. Next one was an old messi, as you could know them from TV. She told me I can live in her apartment for 200 euros a month, if I help her cleaning up. Few days later I met a nice estonian student who helped me navigating through the strange underground bus-station and now we are good friends.

I already met editors from Sweden, artists who have their galleries in Old Town and people who study different fascinating subjects at the universities of Tallinn.

The most important person I met was Martina.

Do not worry if there is the first introduction day at university and you still do not have a real place to live. For sure you will meet somebody searching for roommates there. And in my case this „somebody“ was Martina, a woman from Slowakia, who wanted to have a flat-sharing community. I met her by accident in a school café. One hour later there was the first visit of the flat with the landlord where I decided to join her. We went into a café and talked for about 3 hours and already felt as very close friends. The day after, we signed the contract and found our third member: Lene – a young artist from Slovenia.

We are living now in a very good area close to Teliskivi market in a renovated house. We are already very good friends and most of the time I feel more at home than in Germany.

Part of Teliskivi Market

The start of the semester

Tallinn University cares very good for their students and organizes a lot of events for us.

It was a good idea to go to the first Erasmus-get-together because we came in contact with people from all over the world. We talked to people from China, India, Iraqu, Russia, the Netherlands and Spain. And the after-party at the evening was very good to learn more about the others and to make new friends.

Every weekend I meet someone from another country. We already went to the Filmmuseum together, visited prisons and old russian monuments. We discovered four different beaches and got to know Tallinn, Old Town and its history more closely. A good tip is to visit the swamps and the old russian tunnels and empty houses in the east of Tallinn. It is pretty amazing!

The first courses at BFM

The lessons at the university are challenging but very interesting. The different excercises brought us more together because in every subject we had to form groups.

In the course „Directing Fiction“ we already pitched our ideas for the main project. There we got to know the Macromedia students from Cologne better. The professors are very interested in their students and their development. One encouraged me to present my ideas during the pitch as well although I am not a director. It was a great experience and I would not have done that, if he had not talked to me about it.

The great university has a big impact on me. I am doing a lot of effort in my homework, although I do not have to do that. I took an additional course in Editing and the professors helped me with arranging it.

The additional Editing course has a big workload but the teacher is very good and I think this semester I will progress quickly. At Tallinn University (BFM), I have great opportunities to develop my abillities.

In „Introduction to Estonian Culture“ we will visit museums, get an overview over estonian filmmaking and learn a bit Estonian so that we can communicate at a basic level. But actually it is not necessary. The younger generation is very good in English and older people sometimes speak a bit English, German and an additionl language. Most of the time, it is possible to communicate basic things.

I am very happy to be in Tallinn and I am excited while thinking at the great experience I will have here.