Estonia is a small country located in Northern Europe, neighboring Finland and Russia. Estonia belonged to the Soviet Union, and it is now known as one of the three countries of the Baltic. However, a visitor will enjoy the views of its well-preserved Medieval castles, centuries-old houses and buildings, and narrow streets that resemble an outdoor museum.
The medieval appeal is especially true of the downtown of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, which houses 430,000 people. Estonia is one of Europe’s least populous countries, with a population of 1,2 million. However, many international students are not immune to its charm, abundance of greenery, and the Baltic Sea, which are only added benefits to Estonia’s well-established university system. Here, we will be looking at some of the top scholarships in Estonia for international students.
Living Costs in Estonia for International Students
Living costs in Estonia are lower than most other EU/EAA countries, while the living conditions are similar to those in Western Europe. An international student in Estonia can live comfortably with a monthly budget of approximately EUR 300-500. The monthly rent for private flats ranges from 200-510 euros, whereas student dormitories cost only from EUR 80 to EUR 150.
A monthly budget of 300 euros for food can cover basic groceries, reasonably priced meals at university cafeterias, and an occasional dinner. In addition, transportation is not a huge expense, especially in Tallinn, where public transport is free of charge for all students. In other cities, monthly bus tickets cost around eight euros. Bike share systems and electric scooter rentals are also available in Tartu and Tallinn, where most universities are located.
Can international students work in Estonia?
Expat students who want to earn additional money or jumpstart their career by working while studying in Estonia do not need to deal with the bureaucratic paperwork. Estonia does not require international students to secure an additional work permit to work while studying full-time. However, to have more work options, knowledge of the Estonian language is required.
Top Universities in Country:
The University of Tartu ranked 285th in the QS World University Rankings 2024. As Estonia’s national university, it spearheads research and higher education in the country. The university offers 55 undergraduate courses and more than 100 graduate courses, some of which are provided in English.
The second top university in Estonia is the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). A popular choice for international students, TalTech specializes in engineering and technology education and research.
The third biggest public university in Estonia is Tallinn University. In the 2024 QS World University Rankings, Tallinn University was included in the top 5% universities globally. Tallinn offers six undergraduate programs and 17 master’s programs in English.
The fourth best-rated university, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, is the greenest in the country, and it is renowned for its research in sustainable development.
Nord University is the fifth top university in the county. Its best-rated field, according to Shanghai Academic Rankings, is nursing.
Best Scholarships in Estonia
The Dora Plus Scholarship is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian government to attract international postgraduate students to study in Estonia. This Estonia scholarship awards master’s students EUR 350 per month and doctoral students EUR 1100 per month. The awarded students will receive stipend checks for one academic year or ten calendar months.
The scholarship may be accessed through participating higher education institutions: Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, Estonian Business School, University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn University, and Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences.
The Education and Youth Board of Estonia provides some of the best scholarships in Estonia to international students from Estonian Development Cooperation target countries. The scholarship supports all fields of study at the postgraduate level but only covers Estonian language and culture programs at the undergraduate level.
The monthly stipend for undergraduate and master’s degree students is 350 euros, while the monthly allowance for doctorate students is 660 euros.
Eligible candidates fall into nine Group A countries, including China, the Baltic countries, France, and Germany, and the Group B states, with 32 countries, including the USA, Russia, and other European, Asian, and other countries.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through TalTech, offers scholarships for citizens from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. The funds for future international students come from humanitarian aid and development budgets.
The TalTech scholarship distributes 18 scholarships in six different departments, available for the following master’s programs:
- Environmental Engineering and Management;
- The technology of Wood, Plastics, and Textiles;
- Materials and Processes for Sustainable Energetics;
- Technology Governance and Digital Transformation;
- Communicative Electronics; and
The TalTech Master’s Degree Scholarship provides a monthly allowance of 400 euros for the duration of the two-year program.
The ESB is a privately-owned business school with branches in Tallinn and Helsinki. Their scholarship for international students aims to increase the number of highly skilled workforce that will benefit Estonia’s future industries.
The school has three master programs: One-Year Masters in Business Administration, Two-Year Masters in Business Administration, and International Business Administration. The program of instruction is Estonian, and the curriculum follows the national curriculum.
The duration of this Estonia scholarship is one academic year, equal to a total of 10 months. ESB’s master’s degree scholarship for international students grants a 350 euro monthly allowance until the nominal duration of their studies.
The Erasmus + Scholarships are offered for the EU/EAA and the other participating states in the Erasmus circle. Undergrads, grads, and postgrads can apply for this scholarship available for Estonia if their universities are a part of the network of the partner universities. The nominated candidates apply officially through the channels of their home university.
Incoming applicants can attend courses offered in English. However, a B2 level on the CEFR English proficiency scale is required. Moreover, a minimum of 61 on the iBT TOEFL test and 5.0 on the IELTS exam should be sufficient for the scholarship.