Estonia is a small and mysterious country in the Baltic area of Europe. Estonia has a mixture of modern and traditional culture. You may see many forests and rivers, as well as castle ruins and other medieval architecture.
There is no language requirement to apply for an exchange to Estonia. Placement with Russian speaking families in Estonia is possible, on request.
The school year in Estonia always starts on the 1st of September and lasts until the beginning of June. The school day starts in most schools at 8:00 am. You will have 6 to 8 lessons of approximately 45 minutes per day with breaks of 10 to 20 minutes between classes. A hot meal is served during the longer lunch break.
You will generally be placed in the 10th or 11th grade in school and you will be expected to participate in class. Learning the language is important to help you participate in classes just like your Estonian classmates.
Your host family might be living in a bigger town such as Tallinn or Tartu. But it is also possible that they live in the countryside or on the islands. They will be the ones that introduce you to the Estonian culture.
Estonian teenagers are mostly quite independent and are used to doing things on their own. Children also tend to show much more independence at a younger age than in Australia or New Zealand. Still, families enjoy spending time together. Mostly on the weekends and during school holidays they find the time to do things together, such as taking trips and going to the sauna.
Estonians are honest, hardworking and sensible but can be regarded as shy and withdrawn. They do not communicate with other people easily. However, among friends and family, they are quite friendly and hospitable. The Estonians tend to speak their minds (Estonian’s say that their favourite dish is another Estonian – a little joke Estonians have about themselves), but they are some of the nicest and most generous people on Earth.
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