Education Blog

Life-changing Experience from Studying at Educational Innovation and Leadership Master's Program

How is it to study at Tallinn University and what can you learn from this life-changing experience? Read an interview with Aizhana Khasanova, a student from Russia, who graduated from the Educational Innovation and Leadership Master's program at Tallinn University with cum laude, and learn from her experience.

TLU students
What did studying at the Educational Innovation and Leadership master's program at Tallinn University gave you? 

Studying at the Eucational Innovation and Leadership (EDUINNO) programme gave me a lot. I think I have changed very much in these 2 years. I realize now that I have a much broader view of education and understanding of it. I can't say I have become an expert in education, as the programme had a lot to offer, but also nothing very much in detail, but yea, the goals of the programme, I think, are achieved: to inspire and encourage young enthusiasts to bring a change to education even if on a small scale. During the 2 years, I not only studied but also attended international seminars, benefitted from the Erasmus+ programme having done both an internship and a semester abroad, all of which were connected to my interests in education. Those experiences, along with the theoretical support from TLU, gave me a lot and broadened my mind. It's rather hard to explain, as I can't say that I have acquired specific skills or honours. Rather, I can feel a change in myself, in my ambitions, in my way of thinking. 

What did you study in your master's thesis? What were the results of your research? 

In my master's thesis, I researched the concept of self-regulation and implemented a short intervention on self-regulation in adult learning. The idea was to teach adult language learners some components of self-regulation, e.g. learning strategies, goal-setting, and planning, and see, whether it would have affected their self-regulated learning behaviour. The results were not very satisfactory, as the intervention was short and was done online; however, they were also promising. I think, if to fix the limitations of my study, the results could have been different. I anyway liked the experience of conducting the research, going deep into theory and trying to make sense out of it. 

How did you get used to living here at Tallinn? How is life in Estonia compared to your home country?

Moving somewhere is always big stress because it means total removal of one's social capital. I had to find new friends and adapt to new rules. So, of course, the first couple of months weren't easy, but I was very happy to find similar souls and, I have to say, I met really great people. The ones who make you think about your own life and want to become better. So yes, Tallinn has a special place in my heart now.

I liked Tallinn for other reasons too. I think it is very convenient, very clean, and quite beautiful. I am a water person, so I enjoyed living close to the Finnish gulf very much. 

There were, of course, many things to get used to. The new and unfamiliar language, the different ways people do things. But I didn't find it very difficult to accept. In fact, I was eager for change, so I embraced it. 

What career plans do you have for the future and how you think your studies will help you to achieve these goals?  

I am now looking for opportunities to continue my career either in academia or in instructional design. Either of these tracks is equally attractive to me. I very much hope that my degree will help me achieve these dreams.

Read more about Educational Innovation and Leadership Master's program and apply now