Tartu Love Romance

Martin studied at the University of Tartu’s Eurocollege in autumn semester. Now he is finishing his Master’s degree in Prague in the field of Security Studies and is looking for a job (“you can add that desperately and if anybody knows about something, they can contact me”). Martin wrote this story for the UT Student Journalist Contest.

The Kissing Students statue

The Kissing Students statue in Tartu. Photo: Tiit Mõtus

I would like to present you a story, even though it is not mine. The reason I would like to tell you this story is because Tartu plays the main role in it. You can certainly say that for the people involved, Tartu became the city of their good thoughts. The story I will tell you is a story of love – a love that would not have happened without Tartu.

Let’s call them Sebastian, a 21-year-old student from Belgium and a big fan of fantasy games, and Ania, 22-year-old student from Poland who loves to travel. Four years ago, they both decided to study in the Estonian city of Tartu. Was it because of the sense of adventure in this not-so-well-known Baltic country? Was it because of the promising Tartu student life? Was it even because of the study? This I do not know. What I know is that they both lived in the dormitory beloved by every international student, Raatuse, where their lives crossed. What happened in that moment is a sweet mystery of love: eye contact, chemistry, the beating of the heart, and then suddenly, life has meaning.

Love, short and passionate, is nothing rare amongst exchange students. It usually ends at the end of their studies. Some of them try to keep it even after leaving Tartu. The overwhelming majority of them fail. Sebastian and Ania tried to preserve their love as well. They succeeded. Their love survived long periods of separation and blossomed into a really deep and true emotion.

Two years ago, the day came when Sebastian received a job offer abroad – in Tartu. It was clear what to do. They both moved to Tartu, the city of their good thoughts, and began their lives as a couple here. Sebastian began work as an IT specialist in an international company, and Ania as a kindergarten teacher. They have not abandoned their hobbies; instead, they do them together now. I met them on one of these occasions. They were happy. They were happy because of their decision to move to Tartu, a decision they have never regretted.

I often walk around the city center, lost in my own thoughts. I usually end up in the main square, near the Kissing Students statue. When I see it, I always remember Sebastian and Ania. I realize that Tartu is truly a city of a good thoughts: mine, yours, and theirs.

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