Exchange in Estonia

Estonia is SCOPE and SCORE active. Clinical exchanges are mainly conducted in the Clinic of Tartu University. The research exchange can be conduced depending on the projects we have the possibility to offer, but still they too are mostly in Tartu University.

As all IFMSA SCOPE and SCORE active countries should, we put effort into maintaining the academic quality of our exchanges. This doesn’t mean that our social programm is lacking. You will have the possibility to see around Estonia and discover our culture through sightseeing, meeting Estonians and taking part of our everyday life.

One of the things that we proud ourselves in is our international social program. We collaborate with FiMSIC and LaMSA in two different weekend-based social programs to guarantee a wonderful chance to visit our neighbouring countries.

All the questions you might have, can be answered by our NEO/LEO team.

 

Overview

Estonian Medical Students’ Association is a NGO that connects medical students in Estonia and as Tartu is the only place in Estonia where it is possible to study medicine, the organisation is located right there. EstMSA is a member of IFMSA since 1993.

Our vision is that one day the happiest and the healthiest people will live in Estonia and we are working hard to achieve that. Our NMO is actively participating in different projects in order to ensure better life quality of Estonian people. We provide medical students possibility to develop themselves extra curricular acitivities to build the capacity of our medical students. We organise a variety of different events which help medical students to become more concious regarding different problems in our society and help them acquire medical skills, which are not so well addressed during our medical studies.

Every standing committee has it’s own projects which are aimed at the general population of Estonia. We have been actively providing sexual education for secondary school children, organising mental health awareness and first-aid seminars in schools or teddy-bear hospitals for smaller children, in which they get to know about basic medical aid, and help children not be afraid of medical personnel. We have been dealing with the elderly as well by educating them on how to stay healthy and mobile in their age. EstMSA is working with prenatal courses, where our members provide young parents information about vaccination and try to break misconseptions related to vaccines in general.

We have always taken an active role in our society when it comes to discrimination and come to the defence of different social classes of which our society are made up from. EstMSA has been one of the leading voices in when it comes to gender equality, marriage equality and LGBT rights, and actively participates in other societal debates.

EstMSA consists of 9 standing committees – SCOME, SCOPE, SCORE, SCOPH, SCORA, SCORP, Sport, Sustainability and we also have a standing committee for our own journal called Curare. The NGO is led by an executive board consisting of 5 members together with the heads of our standing committees.

 

Health Care System

https://www.haigekassa.ee/en/individual/health-services/estonian-health-care-system

Medical Education

Students can study medicine in a university right after graduating high school, but some study something else first. Since Estonia is a small country, we only have one medical school – University of Tartu. We study for 6 years – first 2,5 are preclinical, the next 2,5 years are clinical and our students have an intern year before the final examination. After graduating we can enroll in different residency programs at home or abroad.

For more information see http://www.meditsiiniteadused.ut.ee/en

Transportation

How to get to Tartu? One option is to fly to Tallinn. You can easily get from airport to Tartu either by bus – you can buy a ticket at tpilet.ee. Another possibility is by train – for train tickets see elron.ee. If you want to travel around in Estonia, then the mentioned links also help out.

If you want to look around Tallinn, you can find the transportation options here: https://soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/

If you are travelling to Estonia through Riga, then there is a good bus connection between Riga – Tartu. There are two pages to use for buying tickets: https://ecolines.net/international/en and https://luxexpress.eu/en

Regarding the transportation and getting around in Tartu – since the hospital is far from the student acommodation, we recommend buying registrating as an user here and linking your ISIC card with the bus system of Tartu, then you can buy yourself an monthly bus ticket for under 10€. Bring your ISIC to get student discounts! And the bus schedules are on the following page: http://tartu.peatus.ee/#route_search

For more information about Tartu: http://www.tartu.ee/index.php?lang_id=2&menu_id=9&page_id=1649

Social Program

Be prepared for a welcome party, national food and drink party, different excursions to different places around Estonia and occasional bigger trips. There is a great variety of activities to entertain yourself while being on an exhange in Estonia.

As a small country, we proud ourselves in our international social program. It consists of a Helsinki-Tallinn weekend, in collaboration with FiMSIC and starting this year, a Tartu-Riga weekend in collaboration with LaMSA.

Some of the social programs will be free (welcome party), but selected ones will have a fee, which you will have to cover for yourself (but most of them cost around 70 euros, only the Tallinn-Helsinki and Tartu-Riga weekends, when organised, will cost a bit more).

Must See

One good link is better than a 1000 words: http://www.visitestonia.com/en/things-to-see-do

Cultural Differences

Estonians, generally, are very nice although may seem a bit distant. But you should keep in mind to always be on time (we hate waiting for people and think that it is very impolite!), and we like our personal space a lot more than our friends in Southern Europe.

Estonian mindset about time is that “if you arrive on time, you are already 5 minutes late”. This applies to your arrival to clinic as well as social program!

We can seem a bit cold at the beginning, but if you can make an Estonian smile or really laugh, then you have won our trust.

 

Interesting Links

Some more funny and educational videos about Estonia and Estonians, mainly made by foreigners:

Is ESTONIA the European SILICON VALLEY? – VisualPolitik EN
This explains our e-country very well.

Geography Now! Estonia
Some actual geography and facts.

Pronouncing ESTONIAN – Language lesson with Boris
Why our language is a bit ridiculous.

Estonia Built the Society of the Future from Scratch by Beme News
Another good video about Estonia’s e-government and some information about our health care system.

Aana-Liisa Kaste
National Exchange Officer
+372 5905 1058