Student blog

Working as a Student in Estonia

Studying abroad is one of the most memorable experiences a young person can have. This experience however, comes with many fears, uncertainty and self-doubt. Perhaps the most prominent among them is the financial stress. "How will I be able to fund my studies and living abroad?", a question that comes crawling in our minds before anything else.

student and sky

I had the same fear when I started my studies at Tallinn University. Tallinn, Estonia is a beautiful place to live. What makes Tallinn great is the opportunities it offers you as a student. Except the first week here, I haven’t felt any problems concerning my finances or living here. The opportunities that come with being a student in Estonia are limitless. Let me break it down for you.

No need for an additional working permit

Your temporary residence permit for study is valid for working as well! Yes, you heard it right. International students (EU and non-EU) do not need an additional work permit to work while studying full time. As long as work does not interfere with your studies, you can legally work as much as you can. I have worked on more than one job since I have arrived here. Despite being a Master’s degree student, my schedule is flexible enough, allowing me to plan my day as I like. In addition, all non-EU students can stay in Estonia for an additional 270 days (9 months) after graduation to look for a job in Estonia. Once the job is found, they can apply for a temporary residence permit based on working.

Is it easy to find a job in Tallinn?

Let’s be realistic here. No one is going to come to you and hand you a job. However, if you try a bit, you can find good jobs. I was offered a job by a start up company even before I arrived to Estonia. I applied online, went through the hiring process, appeared in a Skype interview and was selected. I couldn’t continue it because it was a full-time job and I had many other commitments. After coming here, I worked with Wolt, which is an online food delivery system. It didn’t take much time for me to find this job. Many of my international friends were already working with Wolt and they recommend me this. I made an online profile, grabbed a bike and off I went. I worked with Wolt for about 3 months before starting to work online. I can still go to work with Wolt any day I want. You can read more details about my work at Wolt from here.

Moreover, you can guess the job market from the fact that all of my friends are working somewhere. Some in tech companies, some in restaurants and some have bought their own cars to work part-time with Uber or Bolt (former Taxify). I’ll recommend bringing your national driving license, it would be extremely beneficial.

The work environment is pleasant

No matter what you do, you’re treated with respect and laws are favourable. If, by chance, you have entrepreneurial germs in you, your probability of succeeding in Tallinn job market doubles. Tallinn is ranked as a city with one of the highest numbers of startups per capita. If you happen to have any software or IT skill on top of that, your chances increase by 10-fold. Tallinn is known as the silicon valley of Europe.

It will be unjust if I cherry-pick all the good examples of job finding. I must mention that you might struggle to find a job, particularly at the beginning. You need TRP before you start your work and TRP sometimes can take more than 2 months. If you’re looking for a job based on your technical qualification, you might have a hard time finding a part-time job. You would have to make some sacrifice in terms of time and effort in the beginning, but once you find one job, you’ll know how the job market works and managing your finances won’t be a problem. Use the following website to search for jobs. If any position of your choice is available, you can also apply even before coming here.
https://studyinestonia.ee/en/working

As a student ambassador, I am looking forward to welcoming you at Tallinn University. If you have any questions  about my work experience, you can reach me at umairali@tlu.ee