This blog post was written by Atanu, a Software Development And Entrepreneurship student at Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences.
Embarking on a journey to study or work in a new country is an exciting yet daunting experience.
The initial challenges of finding affordable accommodation, securing part-time jobs, obtaining residence permits, and navigating countless other aspects of settling in a foreign land can seem insurmountable.
Those who have undergone this transformative journey can attest to the whirlwind of emotions and the steep learning curve encountered during the first few months.
Amidst the anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty, it becomes essential to find a guiding light to help navigate the complexities of a new environment. Fortuitously, there is an organization dedicated to supporting and assisting individuals in this very situation – the International House of Estonia.
As you embark on this new adventure, it's natural to make mistakes and encounter obstacles. However, with the right support and guidance, these challenges can be overcome more efficiently, allowing you to enjoy your new surroundings and truly immerse yourself in the experience. The International House of Estonia stands as a beacon of hope and assistance, ensuring that the process of settling in is as seamless and enriching as possible.
In a survey conducted by the International House of Estonia, they discovered that over 60% of respondents were unaware of the organization and its services.
This begs the question, "Who are they, and what do they do?".
According to them, “International House of Estonia provides a wide range of essential information, consultations and state services for international newcomers and local employers”
Their dedicated staff offer guidance and assistance for various issues, all free of charge.
The International House also collaborates with consultants from different departments, such as the Police and Border Guard Board, to provide specific guidance and services.
And that’s just tip of the iceberg. The International House goes above and beyond to help international newcomers with any inquiries and problems they encounter, offering valuable information to make the settling-in process as smooth as possible.
Therefore, Mr. Leonardo (The Head of the International House) likes to call it a "one-stop shop for all foreigners."
He emphasizes that many foreigners are unfortunately forced to navigate the system on their own, often making avoidable mistakes, which ultimately cause frustration and anxiety. They later realize that the International House of Estonia could have helped them avoid these issues.
This is why Mr. Leonardo advises everyone to visit the International House of Estonia, either in person or virtually, after arriving in the country.
And I can personally attest that it is completely worth it.
So, How Can They Help Me?
The International House of Estonia is located in Ülemiste City. They provide their services in person at their office, through online meetings, or by phone (+372 627 9701) and email (email@example.com).
As a result, anyone can access their services from anywhere in Estonia. If you have any urgent questions that require immediate guidance, you can just walk into their office without an appointment.
There are also dedicated consultancy sessions for individuals seeking assistance in solving specific problems. Representatives from various departments are available during these sessions to provide guidance. These sessions are highly adaptable, and you can ask any other questions you may have during the session.
At the time of writing, the International House of Estonia offers a total of 23 such consultancy services. These services take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and can last from 30 to 45 minutes. But there are no limitations on how many times a person can book the sessions. As a result, you can book as many times as you like to solve your enquiries.
I think that’s really amazing. Because often, language barriers prevent foreigners from seeking help and addressing their concerns. However, with consultants who are fluent in English, it becomes much easier and more comfortable for foreigners to discuss their problems in great detail during these dedicated consultancy sessions. This approach results in enhanced communication and understanding, leading to more effective problem-solving and positive outcomes for everyone involved.
The International House of Estonia also hosts various events and activities to help foreigners adapt to Estonian life. Additionally, they will soon launch an internship program for students to gain practical experience, which will undoubtedly be beneficial in kickstarting their careers in Estonia.
My Personal experience with International House of Estonia
Discovering the International House of Estonia and visiting them was one of the best decisions I made after arriving in Estonia. At that time, I was urgently searching for a part-time job but faced a hurdle, as I did not have my personal code. Despite asking around my dorm, nobody could offer any solution except waiting for my residence permit, which could take up to three months.
Fortunately, someone suggested that I should visit the International House for advice. As I was living in Ülemiste City, their office was within walking distance of my hostel, so I decided to visit them without any expectations.
To my surprise, the International House of Estonia greeted me warmly and welcomed me with great enthusiasm. Not only did they help me with my problem, but they also introduced me to their diverse range of services.
Over the past two years, I have visited the International House of Estonia more than five times to address various questions and concerns. Their guidance has been incredibly helpful, especially the recommendations from the career counseling sessions.
Therefore, I highly recommend the International House of Estonia to anyone seeking support or advice on various aspects of living in Estonia.
And before I sign off, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Leonardo Daniel Ortega Prudencio, Head of the International House of Estonia, for sharing his valuable insights, which greatly contributed to this blog!
I would also like to thank the International House of Estonia team for their hard work and dedication. You guys are truly amazing!
Find out which international degree programmes are available for you in Estonia.
Read more blog posts:
- Studying in Estonia: Frequently Asked Questions