Estonia is a Baltic country in Northeastern Europe known as one of the greenest countries on the continent. It has two UNESCO Heritage Sites, over 2200 islands and islets, and is 50% covered by forests. Estonia is also one of the few countries that receive more tourists than its total population every year. But besides frequent vacationers, Estonia is a welcoming country to international students as well. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Estonia for international students.

Is Estonia good for international students to study in?

In addition to its natural beauty, Estonia is one of the most intelligent communities globally and advanced in terms of connectivity and digital technology. They have electronic IDs, e-government, e-health, e-parking, and many other services accessible online. The country also implements free transportation for its residents 24/7.

Estonian universities provide internationally recognized degrees in many disciplines, with several programs fully taught in English. Tuition fees will depend on a student’s specialization, but they generally range from 1600 EUR to 7500 EUR annually for Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. Doctoral studies, on the other hand, are free in Estonia.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Can international students work in Estonia while studying?

International students in Estonia are allowed to work while completing their degrees. In fact, it is very common for both foreign and local students to work and study at the same time. There are no limits on the number of working hours as long as it does not interfere with their classes. Moreover, students do not have to apply for any special working permit regardless of their nationality.

Can international students stay in Estonia after graduation?

After graduation, international students can stay in Estonia with a few conditions depending on their nationalities. EU/EEA citizens have the right to stay in Estonia without a visa, but they should register with their place of residence with the migration office.

Citizens of third countries, or non-EU nationals, can stay in the country for another 9 months after graduation. During this period, they can look for a job and subsequently apply for a temporary residence permit that is valid for five years. They also have a short-stay option where the permit is valid from 90 days up to 12 months.

Best Universities in Estonia for International Students

1. University of Tartu (UT)

The University of Tartu is the best university in Estonia for teaching and research located in Estonia’s second-largest city. The university consists of four faculties: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Medicine, and Science and Technology. While most of the courses are taught in Estonian, some programs are in English and they’re continuously increasing as well. Over a quarter of Estonian university students study at the UT, especially in medicine, where it is the only university licensed to teach the subject. Furthermore, the UT accounts for more than half of Estonia’s research output, primarily in science fields.

The UT is home to 14000 students, including over 1300 international learners from more than 70 countries. It is also an active member of the Utrecht Network and the Coimbra Group, two notable organizations for internationalization and quality teaching and research of European universities.

2. Tallinn University (TU)

Tallinn University is one of the largest public research universities found in the center of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city. This top university in Estonia was established in 1919 as a Teachers’ Seminar, merged with several universities and research centers over the years, and underwent a structural reform in 2015 that made it what it is today. The university now comprises six schools: Natural Sciences and Health, Governance, Law and Society, Educational Sciences, Humanities, Digital Technologies, and Film, Media, Arts & Communication. It also manages nine research units and the Haapsalu College.

Internationalization is one of the TU’s primary goals, and most of the university’s development is centered on it. Besides several English-language courses, the TU ranks 15th in Europe and Central Asia with the most number of international faculty. The TU currently

3. Tallinn University of Technology (TUT / TalTech)

Tallinn University of Technology, one of the best universities in Estonia for international students, is the only technical university in the country. It is located in the capital city of Tallinn where it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in information technologies, business and governance, science, and engineering, and also manages a maritime academy. Most courses are taught in Estonian, but TalTech offers over 30 degree programs in the English language. In terms of research, TalTech currently focuses on near-zero energy buildings, solar cell materials, biotechnology, bio-robotics, and more.

TalTech sits in a 55-hectare campus in the Mustamäe region of Tallinn, the only campus university in the Baltic States. The campus houses state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, a science park, many high-tech companies, residences and amenities, and the 19th-century Glehn Castle.

4. Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU)

Estonian University of Life Sciences is the leading academic and research institution when it comes to the sustainable development of natural resources. It ranked among the top 100 universities globally for agriculture and forestry programs, as both are the pioneering disciplines when the university started back in 1951. Furthermore, EMU offers effective and quality teaching in food science, animal science, veterinary medicine, rural life and economy, and environmentally friendly technologies. EMU specializes in heritage and habitat preservation as well.

Estonian University of Life Sciences belongs to the top 1% most cited research universities globally, while its plant physiology professor Ülo Niinemets is the most cited Estonian researcher. International students who are big advocates of the environment will have a rich academic experience at EMU.

5. Estonia Academy of Arts (EKA)

Estonia Academy of Arts is a public university in Tallinn offering higher education in art, art history, media, design, architecture, and conservation & restoration. This top university in Estonia promotes creativity and innovation in visual culture, as well as technical and practical skills. Programs at the Estonia Academy of the Arts are cross-disciplinary, allowing artists and designers to experiment boldly and take their courses outside their specializations. Students can expect personal mentorship and a one-on-one approach to instruction from internationally recognized artists, designers, and architects.

The Estonian Academy of Arts participates in over 80 bilateral agreements through the ERASMUS program and supports student mobility for full-time degree-seeking international students as well.


I hope that this article on the best universities in Estonia for international students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

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