Finding suitable accommodation can be sometimes challenging when you are coming to a new country. Employees are themselves responsible for making sure they have the necessary accommodation when entering Estonia for work. The university can help by indicating the direction as to where to look for a place.
Tallinn University’s dormitory offers long-term accommodation to the employees of the university in one-bedroom and/or two-bedroom apartments (if there are apartments available at the moment). More information on the dormitory can be obtained here.
In order to apply for accommodation in the dormitory, please contact your immediate superior or a contact person from Tallinn University who, in turn, asks for possibilities from the accommodation manager of the dormitory. The prerequisite for accommodation is an employment relationship in force.
Another possibility is to rent a room or an apartment. For finding suitable accommodation, you may use the help of real estate portals or a broker. Please note that it may take several months to find a suitable room or apartment.
Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa for entering Estonia. More detailed information has been provided in clause 2.1.
Non-EU family member* can come to Estonia on the condition that the person living in Estonia stays here on the basis of a residence permit. A family member may always come to Estonia for the purposes of employment or studies. Please read about the process of applying for a visa in clause 2.2.
* The family member of a citizen of the European Union is a person who is neither the citizen of the EU nor Estonia, and who is:
- the spouse of the citizen of the EU (hereinafter the spouse);
- the child of the citizen of the EU or the spouse, who is below the age of 21 years, or a dependent child who has reached the age of majority;
- the dependent parent of the citizen of the EU or the spouse;
- a person not mentioned in the list above who is a dependant or a household member of a citizen of the EU in the country from which they are arriving, or who is not able to cope independently on a permanent basis because of their state of health or disability, and requires personal care by the EU citizen.
Upon arriving in Estonia, the family member may apply for a residence permit for settling with a family member. The residence permit is granted for up to 5 years and may be extended for up to ten years at a time, but not for longer than for the period of validity of the residence permit of the sponsor.
A citizen of a Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area or Swiss Confederation (EU citizen) may reside and work in Estonia without registration of his/her right of temporary residence for up to 3 months. An alien family member of a EU citizen is entitled to work in Estonia only in the case the right of temporary/permanent residence has been granted to him/her.
Short-time employment in Estonia is permitted to an alien, who stays legally in Estonia on a temporary basis (for example, on the basis of a visa, or visa-free) and whose employment has been registered with the Police and Border Guard Board before the employment commences.
The employer registers the alien’s short-term employment and a personal identification code will be issued to the alien. Please read more about short-term employment from here.
If one plans to stay in Estonia for a long time, it is reasonable to apply for a residence permit. Residence permit may be applied, for example, for settling with a spouse, a close relative or for employment.
Read more: Applying for the temporary residence permit
EU citizens and aliens who reside in Estonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit or a long-term residence permit may register as unemployed in the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. In order to be registered as unemployed, a relevant application must be submitted in the e-töötukassa (e-service of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund) (ID card, Smart-ID or mobile ID may be used for entering). Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund helps to find job offers and suitable employment, obtain information on the situation of the labour market and employment opportunities, prepare application documents, learn new professional skills and knowledge. You can also register for career counselling.
Work in Estonia offers in cooperation with the Public Employment Office an International Spouse Career Counselling service. This service is aimed to help the spouses and partners of newly arrived international specialists to Estonia. A group of six career counsellors focus on the most relevant topics and needs for those accompanying their wives or husbands to Estonia.
Two largest job search engines in Estonia are:
GoWorkAbit offers short-term employment opportunities in different enterprises.
Children attend nurseries and preschools when they’re 1.5-7 years old. There are nurseries that accept children from the age of one, but in general, children stay at home until the age of 1.5. As one of the parents receives parental benefit, it is possible to stay at home with the child.
Nurseries and preschools have groups for children of different ages: from 1.5 to 7, or from 3-7. Additional information can be found from the homepages of kindergartens.
A municipal childcare institution in Tallinn must be contacted personally via phone or e-mail. Municipal kindergartens can have long waiting lists, thus, a need may arise to find a suitable childcare. There are also many international kindergartens/preschools in Tallinn.
You should definitely examine the price lists of kindergartens. The monthly fee depends on the number of the days spent in the kindergarten and may fall within the range of 250-600 euros. For the residents of Tallinn (address registration in the city), the city covers the fee in part.
General education is divided to pre-school, basic and upper-secondary education.
Basic education serves as the mandatory minimum of the general education requirement, which can be acquired either partially in primary schools (grades 1 to 6), basic schools (grades 1 to 9) or upper secondary schools that also teach basic school curricula. Basic education is made available through two national curricula: national basic school curriculum and simplified basic school curriculum. Following graduation from the basic school, there are a number of possibilities for the continuation of the educational path. There is a possibility to acquire general secondary education at an upper secondary school, vocational secondary education at some vocational education institution or simply an occupation.
General secondary education is acquired at the upper secondary school level. Attaining general secondary education entitles students to continue their studies at a higher educational institution or to obtain vocational education.
According to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the school’s running costs will be covered by the school manager. In most cases, this means local governments. In private schools, the tuition fee must be paid by the parents themselves.
Read more: Tallinn Education Department
According to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, teaching in Estonia may be carried out pursuant to the curriculum of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) or the curriculum developed on the basis of the Convention defining the Statute of the European Schools (European Baccalaureate).
Tertiary education is provided by vocational educational institutions, universities and universities of applied sciences. Admission is based on an application procedure.
Many options for non-degree studies are also available. The providers of such studies include open universities or open universities of applied sciences, summer universities and adult education centres. Studies are usually subject to a fee.
All foreign employees of Tallinn University can learn Estonian at the university, if they so wish.
Estonian language can also be learnt online. Keeleklikk.ee and Keeletee.ee even offer an option to learn Estonian online for free. Using the code VisitinEstonia, you can learn Estonian for free through the Speakly.me application. A wonderful opportunity to learn the language through practice is by using the Multikey.app service. Language schools provide more extensive trainings.
Find out about the opportunities of learning Estonian also through the Integration Foundation.
All foreigners with a residence permit who have arrived in Estonia during the last five years are welcome to participate in the Settle in Estonia programme.
The Settle in Estonia Programme is a free educational programme provided by the Estonian state, which is intended to help the foreigners who have arrived in Estonia to adapt and become accustomed to local life more easily. The programme which comprises various training courses, gives an overview of how the state of Estonia and its society function and how the daily life is organised. It will be found suitable by all foreigners who would like to settle in Estonia for a relatively long period and feel more at home here.
As you begin your employment in Tallinn University, you can find plenty of information concerning work from the university’s intranet. In addition, a succinct information material has been prepared for new employees to help them get started.
Have you decided to come to Estonia and work in Tallinn University? Here is a check-list:
1. Apply for a vacant post and win the competition!
2. Apply for a visa, if necessary.
3. Obtain a temporary health insurance.
4. Book/buy travel tickets.
5. Find accommodation (dormitory or a rental room/apartment).
6. Familiarise yourself with all kinds of guidelines and information materials to learn about the (working) culture and life in Estonia.
7. Ask for a mentor who will help you to integrate into the university.
Please visit the following websites on the (working) culture and life in Estonia:
Thing to know about living in Estonia!
Work in Estonia
Tallinn. Official website
Visit Tallinn Official City Guide
Location (Google Maps)