Student blog

My ELU-experience

Tallinn University stands out from other universities with its special interdisciplinary course called “ELU”. Elu is Estonian and means life. The course is mandatory for every student in Tallinn University, but the specific semester when one wants to attend the course is up to the student itself.

happy youngsters

I chose to attend “Inclusion in Peace Processes” –course, which was supervised by Prof. Tiina Pajuste. I found the course interesting because of its possibilities to combine politics and international relations, which are my fields of study and passion. When the course started, we were divided into three groups of eight people. All of the groups had pretty much free hands to decide what they wanted to make under the topic. At first, I joined a group that was heavily addressing the legal aspects of peace processes, which I found not that interesting, so I joined another group. The other group was doing the project on the actual negotiation phase, and the plan was to make guidelines for future conflict negotiations by looking at different conflicts in the past. We also juggled with the idea of trying to apply the guidelines to some ongoing conflict, but we simply didn’t have time for that.

 

At times, it was difficult to find proper amount of time to focus on ELU because I had other courses going on as well. Altogether I had 40 ects, which is a lot. When you take the ELU course, you will soon realize that it takes time management skills in order to make it through the semester. ELU can be also considered to be a project management course of sorts, because of the organizational skills you will learn during the course. So basically, whatever your actual ELU-project will be about, you will still need to learn the management part.

ELU can be demanding but it is also rewarding. After I saw how our group made progress and especially when we finished our project, the feeling was amazing. It felt good to be proud of the work that I had done during the long semester. For me it needed lots of hours of studying different academic materials, books, websites and so on, but the end result was great.

 

Read about the ELU project here.