Skype visit (2nd group) and closing the exchange program

The blog post on 14 th of October on the Seiklajate Vennaskonnast

The last days on our adventure are a go! It has been a blast and an amazing time together with our group. Today, the second group had a chance to go and visit the Skype office in Tallinn. We had three guides leading us though different parts of the Skype office. Lots of questions about the functions and operations were asked during the visit.

Afterwards we had a presentation from Archimedes who gave us information about scholarships and studying in Estonia. Again our lively group shot questions towards their representative, Reetta. We found out that 89 % of students actually satisfy the requirements to study in Estonia. One of the major positive sides of studying in Estonia, for example, is that the student-teacher ratio is fantastic. There are less students per teacher than any other country in the world. Tallinn is focusing on IT as it has lots of corporations in the immediate and surrounding areas. Scholarships and free tuition programmes are also available there in abundance for Estonians. Positions are also easy to apply for as interviews are held via Skype. An important fact to note was that the students studying in Tallinn have a six month grace period after graduation in which they can find work place however most students find work and internships during their studies.

Today we also had the closing ceremony which meant we had an Estonian language tests. The beginners had a chance to show off learned skills and the advanced students had a test including some more difficult language ‘twists’ taken from the Estonian institute web site. To conclude, we had a final task where everyone handed around pieces of paper, writing kind messages to each other upon them to read on our trip home. The task a very special way to say goodbye. Sometimes it is easier to write things to each other than to say them aloud.
After the Archimedes presentation and closing ceremony we had a lunch in the usual place: St. Patrick restaurant in the heart of Tallinn’s old town after which we had precious free time and everybody used it as they wanted. I (Kaisa) personally visited the Kalev chocolate shop in Rotermann and had a very cheap 10 euros hair cut in Lasnamägi suburb I (Samuel) spent those few hours wandering about Old Town one last time with my new friends collecting souvineers and trinkets to bring home to our families. I purchased myself a pair of Bongo drums; It’s easier if you don’t quesion it.

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In the evening the whole group gathered for the last time together and had a dinner at Kohalik Kohvik. The night was sweet thanks to the delicious desserts and the company of group members. Last pictures, videos and moments were shared together with the group as a whole. Night continued in our cousy appartments and later on in evening streets of Old Town. The last night was full of flavours of nostalgia and emotion. We had experienced something amazing.

 

The overall experience in this programme has been eye opening towards different cultures and ways of life. We will continue practising our Estonian and stay in contact with our new found friends.

Special thanks to our Rahvuskaaslased programme organizer, Heleri Alles, who has such a warm heart and lots of understanding towards our multicultural group.

Best Regards Kaisa Liekovuori & Samuel Pleass

 

Sam here with just a little slice of something extra.

I wanted to quickly comment on something that that happened over the course of the exchange. Something that grew and blossomed so very startlingly fast that, even as I type this, it still seems like an impossibility. That something was the close knit friendships and almost family like relationships which formed between all of us over the past 11 or so days. This outcome was one that neither I nor any one or any of us were expecting or even knew was a possibility. In less than two weeks I have become as close with a group of apparent strangers as I am with people whom I have known my entire life. What we share between us is something rare and special. You all have a special place in my heart that I will cherish and cradle, warmly and lovingly for years to come. Stay in touch, don’t be a stranger, you’re always welcome down under and I love you all.

Your friend,

Sam x

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