Andrea Rotenberg

2 weeks of personal growth surrounded by the best people

Hello! I’m Janina, a final-year master’s student in General Linguistics in Hamburg, Germany, with a love for sociolinguistics. During this time last year, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write my master’s thesis about and how to spend my summer. I checked the website of the University of Tartu for summer schools because I fell in love with Tartu in April 2022 while I was there for winter school. 


When I saw that they had a summer school for linguistics with a focus on multilingualism, I immediately organised everything I needed for the application. As soon as I had everything I needed, I applied for summer school as well as the DAAD scholarship. A couple of weeks later, I got the confirmation that I had been accepted for summer school and that I would also receive the DAAD scholarship, so by the end of July, I was flying to Estonia to spend two amazing weeks in Tartu. 


Our time spent there was filled with insightful lectures and seminars, and hands-on projects that were to be presented during the two weeks. The course was well-structured, with amazing and inspiring course leaders. Everyone in the course was motivated to learn and to talk about multilingualism in Estonia and other European countries, not just focusing on the prepared course material but also speaking about experiences in our respective home countries. 


Each day after classes, the team organising the summer schools prepared a social activity which allowed us to get to know the people from the other courses, the city and the country. It ranged from a city tour and a scavenger hunt in the city to a boat tour on the river, a trip to the beautiful South Estonian countryside, and a swim in a bog sea. While I didn’t plan on attending most of the events at first, as I am an introverted person who usually needs quite a lot of downtime, I ended up attending almost every social activity. Through that, I met a bunch of amazing people, some of whom I still have regular contact with. 


My love for Tartu and Estonia grew in those two weeks - and not only that: because of the support from the course leaders of “Multilingualism and Beyond in the European Context” during the course, my plan to pursue a PhD solidified so that as of this week I am preparing PhD proposals for universities in Germany and other European countries. 


Finally, if you are looking for an enlightening and sometimes challenging summer activity that is highly motivating and fun, the UniTartu Summer School is the right match for you.


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