Studying in Estonia

Updated 2017-11-27 09:01

With its wholly digitalised processes and lean infrastructure, Estonia is one of the best countries to expatriate to for work. But what happens when it comes to picking a place for your studies? Well, the prevailing horizontal work culture applies to studying as well, with small group sizes in classrooms ensuring you’ll have all the opportunities you need to absorb information and participate. Over 100 high-quality degree programmes in English, an affordable cost of living, and the possibility to stay in the country for six months after graduation, make Estonia a hotspot for international students.

Do you need a visa or permit?

As is the case with the work permit, Estonia doesn't issue a special study visa. You just need to obtain a temporary right of residence. If you're coming from an EU country, you will have to register your place of residence in the Local Government authority (within three months from your entry to the country) and apply for an Estonian ID-card within one month after you get your temporary right of residence.

If you're coming from a non-EU country, you'll have to apply for a temporary residence permit for study (TRP), at your nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Consult our section about Visas for more information.

Educational system and institutions

Estonia has 26 institutions offering higher education, out of which seven universities of applied sciences currently offer degree programmes in English. The country's higher education system is following the two cycles of the Anglo-Saxon bachelor'master model; bachelor's level studies being the first cycle and master's the second one. The length of studies for some specialities, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical, veterinarian, architectural and civil engineering can last up to six years and can give you 300'360 ECTS credits.

Good to know:
In Estonia, academic progress is measured in credit points (ainepunkt) that are calculated based on your studies' workload. For instance, 40 hours of studying (about a week) correspond to 1.5 credit and a full academic year is 60 credit points. When selecting a study programme, you can see how long it will take to finish, the number of credits it will give you, as well as whether there are any majors available within this programme, and what are the requirements for graduating.

Tuition fees in Estonia

Tuition fees vary based on the level of studies, the speciality you've chosen, and the particular university, but it can be anything from 1,660 to 7,500 euros yearly for Bachelor's and Master's, and it can go up to 11,000 euros if you study Medicine. Fees can also vary in some cases based on whether you're coming from an EU country or not, so better check with the university you're interested in to figure out what applies in your particular case. After all, there are also some free programs and fee waivers that may apply to you. If you wish to continue on a doctorate level, you'll be happy to know that all doctoral studies in Estonia are tuition-free.

How to apply and enrol

First, find a degree programme you're interested in, by browsing the online admission platform. Then, get your admission documents ready (make sure to check country-specific requirements).

Good to know:
You can apply to several Estonian universities with a single application. The system will guide you through the process and email you if there's any feedback from the universities you have applied to. To make sure you don't miss your window of opportunity, check the Admission Deadlines Calendar below.

Useful links
Estonia Higher Education Quality Agency
Study in Estonia
Online Admission Platform
Admission Deadlines Calendar

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.