EU citizens don’t need a residence permit for living in Estonia, but they are obliged to register their place of living in Tallinn if staying longer than 3 months. As an exchange student of EKA, the condition is met by you and therefore you are kindly asked to visit one the city’s Administration Offices (listed HERE on the right side) upon your arrival in Tallinn.
In addition, each exchange student has to apply for an Estonian ID-card within one month from obtaining the temporary right of residence. It can be done at one of the Police and Border Guard Board service offices (more HERE).
PS As a resident of Tallinn, who has an Estonian ID-card, you are eligible to use public transportation for free in Tallinn.
Exchange students, who come to study in EKA for 1-2 semesters, need to apply for a long-stay (D) visa.
Please wait for the official acceptance letter before submitting your application at the nearest foreign representation of the Republic of Estonia. The list of Estonian representations can be found from HERE and it can take up to 10-30 days to process the visa application.
PS The acceptance letter from EKA is one of the requirements for applying for the long-stay (D) visa.
After your arrival in Estonia, you can start your studies right away. No other registration for a legal stay is requested, which means the students with D-visa can not apply for an ID card.
In Estonia there is only one emergency phone number – 112 – in use for calling the ambulance, police and rescue workers. The number is accessible 24/7 and free of charge.Exchange students are kindly advised to buy proper (travel) health insurance for the time of their stay in Estonia. Even if you are an EU/EEA citizen and hold a valid European health insurance card, not all medical services are free of charge (covers only emergency cases) and additional health insurance is still recommended.
In case you are in need of medical care while staying in Tallinn, the following private clinics are welcoming visitors in English:
Please be noted that visits to private clinics cost and must be covered by students themselves. If you have valid health insurance, the costs are covered to you retrospectively. Unfortunately the European Health Insurance Card does not cover the costs in private clinics..
In case of accidents and emergencies, the emergency rooms are the one to seek. The units are open 24/7 and you may seek help even during weekends and at night time, when other doctors are off duty. There are 3 emergency rooms in Tallinn:
Daily medical counselling number: +372 6346 630 (in English from 15-17)
Living costs in Estonia are affordable and are considered to be lower than in most other European countries. General feedback from foreigners who have spent some time here is that living conditions are similar to those in Western Europe. Cost of living in Estonia is usually dependent upon the student’s accommodation choices, lifestyle and spending habits.
The currency in Estonia is the Euro (€). The monthly average living cost for students is usually around 300-500 euros.
Housing costs depend on the location, quality of the accommodation and on the season but the prices per month usually range from €100–200 in the dormitories to €250–550 in private flats.
Most universities in Estonia have their own dormitories and all of them are ready to help international students settle into their life in Estonia.
Seek more information regarding housing opportunities in Tallinn in the Accommodation section.
Students can usually enjoy a comfortable life with around €300 per month for food. Each student can determine food expenses individually, depending on their needs. Daily specials in pubs and cafes are around €3–€5. EKA also has its own cafeteria “Daily”, which offers nice meals with reasonable prices (vegan options available).
Main grocery stores in Tallinn: Rimi, Selver, Prisma, Maxima, Coop
Restaurants and cafes near EKA: Burger Box, Rohekohvik (vegan), Balti Jaama Turg (food court with different options), Boheem, Yui, Humalakoda, Margot, Literaat etc.
Also, there are microwaves and kettles in EKA for students to use, so you are welcome to bring your own food to the university building.
Public transport in Tallinn includes buses, trollies, trains and trams. The use of it is free of charge if holding a temporary right of residency in Tallinn, however besides the Estonian ID card the user needs to have a validated Public Transport Card aka Green Card as well to obtain the right of free ride. The card costs 2€ and can be bought from different places, incl. R-Kiosk.
PS the card needs to be validated every time you enter public transport (can be done inside transport).
Public transport that brings you to EKA:
Main taxi companies in Estonia are Bolt, Tallink, Tulika, but there are plenty of other, smaller companies as well. The cost for taxi service depends on the company, but the average starting fee is 2.50€, each km passed is 0.65€.
As EKA is conveniently located on the border of Old Town and Kalamaja (in North Tallinn district), it means a higher number of students use bikes for travelling around the city. However, during the months of November-March, it generally snows in Estonia, which makes it difficult or impossible to cycle at that time and therefore public transport or taxi comes in handy.
Tallinn, being the capital of Estonia, offers its citizens and visitors a wide variety of options on how to spend their free time. The main ones are brought out as follows:
Some of the information taken from the Study in Estonia website
Photo: Kaido Kruusamets
There are four seasons in Estonia, although most of the time it is just chilly and wet. “Kehv suusailm” as Estonians like to describe it the best, which can be translated as “Bad weather for skiing” in English. However, if we are treated properly, according to the season weather conditions, it is a beautiful and truly enjoyable experience as the nature in Estonia can be a true treat for the eye. Snowy winters make everything look like a fairytale, sunny days and blooming nature gives a shot of energy after a dark and cold winter, hot and white summer days make you never want to go to sleep and colorful leaves with frosty air tear you out of the city for a walk in one of the many bogs in Estonia.
Most shops, banks, and restaurants are open on public holidays – the 25th of December and 1st of January are the only days when most businesses are closed.
Information taken from the Visit Estonia website