JORDAN GUSTKE – STUDYING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TARTU, ESTONIA

“Tere!” once again from Estonia!

It’s been about a month since my last post, and I’m just about to hit the two-month mark in my stay here at the University of Tartu. Although there weren’t too many major events in this past month, I still feel as though it was thoroughly enjoyable. Since I’ve gotten past the initial “settling in” stage, I’ve really been able to get to know the city as well as some of the people that live here with me. With the help of some friends, I’ve started to make my way around the city’s restaurants to try all of the different cuisines. Since Estonians don’t really have a unique cuisine (theirs is a mixture other countries’ such as German and Russian), there are a lot of different types of food options around the city that I’ve been looking to try. So far German, Georgian, authentic Italian, Thali, Irish pub, and (of course) American have all been crossed off the list and were all definitively delicious.

I also got to experience other aspects of different cultures as well. My friend from Iran invited me to attend an event called Nowruz; It translates to “new day”, and is the Iranian new year celebration. I had such a wonderful time partaking in the different aspects of the evening, as well as getting introduced to so many wonderful people. As part of the celebration, everyone attending takes turns reading from a book of collected Persian poems. Each person takes the book, opens to a random page, and reads the poem that they find there. This process acts as a sort of fortune teller to determine how the reader’s year is going to go, and it is up to the individual to decipher the passage and decide what to take away from it. For those of us attending the festivities that unfortunately don’t speak Persian, however, we got to do the same thing on an app that was translated into English. The entire night was extremely enjoyable, and I am so happy that I got the chance to experience it.

There was one major event this month, though; a weekend in Tallinn. Although when writing this I am not finished with the entirety of the trip, I am sure when I say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable time. I went with three of my roommates to the nation’s capital this Easter weekend, and we stayed in a hostel in Tallinn’s Old Town. I can honestly say that I would really recommend this form of lodging when you travel in Europe because I got the chance to meet people from all around the world including countries like Austria, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Germany (just to name a few). We did some organized events through the hostel as well that got us a little more acquainted with not only the city itself, but the other residents too. I go to see so many beautiful sights around Tallinn, and I’m definitely glad that I decided to come along.

The first two months of my study abroad have already provided me with so many lasting memories, so I can only look forward to what the next ones bring as well.

 

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