Tatiana from Moldova: How my dream came true

Tatiana Surdu

This story is about dreams and how becoming a student at the University of Tartu, Geoinformatics for Urbanised Society (MSc) showed me that all dreams come true if you have time and self-reliance.

Let’s start from October 2017. I had a dream TO STUDY ABROAD, and found out the University of Tartu’s interesting master’s programmes (trust me, these programmes are really interesting because I spent a lot of time on analysing and choosing the programme).

Basically, I met some of the requirements: bachelor’s degree, prerequisite courses, motivation; and the only issue was with English language proficiency. But wait, application deadline was 15 March, so I have enough time to prepare myself (I was thinking like that).

With my Upper Intermediate English, I started to search for TOEFL preparation courses near me.

At the first language center, TOEFL teacher was on maternity leave, but she helped me by recommending another TOEFL tutor.

Afterwards, I went to the second recommended center and took one test to assess my overall English. The feedback was that I need to take one more English course and only after that, start to think about TOEFL preparation and, if I want it so much, take the test in May 2018. But wait, what will I do with TOEFL in May if the application period will be closed?

And basically I didn’t need 120 points, I needed just the required minimum (TOEFL iBT – 75). After a little of crying, I decided to search for the next Language Center. The recommendation was the same, to take Advanced English and after that, TOEFL preparation course. I decided that I cannot wait and the only thing I can do is to go with TOEFL self-study.

I found one organization which provided to me all needed materials for free, registered for the TOEFL Test (January 19, 2018) and started to study every evening and listen to English books every morning while heading for work.

On that inspiring winter morning of 19 January, I was waiting for TOEFL exam to begin and dreaming about Estonia. And what happened in two weeks?

I also was crying, but now with happy tears, because I got 82 points for the test and that means I can pursue the next step: application.

Another day with happy tears was 27 April when I had received a conditionally accepted offer from the University of Tartu, regarding (MSc) Geoinformatics for Urbanised Society.

I also was crying (I’m just too emotional and this is a way which helps me to solve my problems), when I had to pay a refundable deposit for place in a dormitory via SWIFT Transfer (few banks refused to me to make this payment just based on accommodation offer) but luckily I met a kindhearted coworker who asked the reason of my tears and helped me to find a proper bank, so I made the payment.

It is also important to mention one great person (my boss at that time) who actually gave me job and I was able to work, to assure my living costs and have money to pay for the application fee (EUR 50). He also proposed to me financial support for TOEFL preparation course, but as you understood my problem was time not money, so I refused.

And here I am, Tartu – city of good thoughts, January 2019, working on my next “unachievable” dream.

Why Estonia?

If you are a part of that group of people who likes temperate climate and are inspired by winter, this is the right place for you.

If you are a part of that group who doesn’t like winter so much, then definitely you have to choose Estonia and see how warm and majestic could a winter be if you are surrounded by wonderful people (Estonians).

Why University of Tartu?

This is a place where lots of people work for you, for qualitative and joyful studies, and the most important – they will listen and support you to grow as a personality, and help you to overcome obstacles you may face on this journey.

Tatiana at an info session in computer lab

Why Geoinformatics for Urbanised Society?

For me – I just read description of the programme and felt that I want it.

Now, after the first semester, I realize that by having skills in analysing and handling spatial data, you get a better understanding of how different processes work and affect each other. By applying all your GIS skills in solving a variety of problems, you can have a big contribution in making this world a better place. In addition to that, you will feel so comfortable surrounded by enthusiastic master students who also want to make this world a better place and fantastic lecturers ready to help whenever you need and share with you their best knowledge.

At Agali Forest Station in 2018

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