One Estonia, 98 Nationalities

In celebration of Estonia’s upcoming 98th anniversary as an independent state, news portal Delfi is running a series of short video interviews with people of 98 different nationalities who live in Estonia. The interviewees reveal what they think about the country and what they like here.

Carlos came to Estonia from Guatemala five years ago to study Computer Science at the University of Tartu. Now he runs his own IT company in Tartu. “I think Estonia is a great country in many ways. It’s hard to get to know people, but afterwards they become great friends. I think Estonia has a lot of IT-talent, so it’s easy to work here,” says Carlos.

Kerwin is from the Philippines and came to Estonia in August last year to join a master’s programme in Software Engineering at the University of Tartu. “What I like most about Estonia is the focus on information technology. Estonia was able to build top companies like Skype and TransferWise.”

German Mikko is in Tartu for his master’s degree. He likes Estonian language most, particularly the short words like “tubli” (in Eng. “well done”) or “kohuke” (in Eng. “sweet curd snack”). Mikko also likes Estonian nature, he travels a lot here and has many good friends in Estonia.

Ani from Armenia studies International Relations at the University of Tartu. “One of the amazing things about Tartu is the international atmosphere in the city. It really helps to concentrate on your studies, but at the same time, when you are tired of it, you can find some amazing events to attend and hang out with interesting people,” thinks Ani.

Iranian Arash has studied at the University of Tartu for seven months and gives his interview in Estonian. He likes Tartu, the Estonian language, and enjoys Estonia’s not-so-hot weather.

Entrepreneur Xiaotian Zhang is originally from China and has lived in Estonia for more than five years. He has defended his PhD at the University of Tartu. “What I love about Estonia most is the e-services and e-solutions we have here. It makes our lives much easier, especially for business and entrepreneurial activities. It helps us increase efficiency and keep everything transparent and flexible.”

Singaporean Ken is a graduate of the University of Tartu where he studied Business Administration. When asked about what he likes in Estonia, Ken praises the drivers: Estonian drivers always stop to let you over the zebra crossing and quickly make room for the ambulances to pass. “Cheers to the Estonian drivers!”

Mexican Leonardo is also a graduate of the University of Tartu and, similarly to Ken, works at Playtech. He has lived in Estonia for three and a half years now and his Estonian is remarkably fluent. Leonardo likes how Estonians are always very surprised about his Estonian skills.

Inga Külmoja is an author and the editor of the UT Blog.

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