About Summer University

Summer University is a great way to spend your summer productively while making new international friends. University of Tartu is one of the best universities in the world – the summer courses are the perfect way to experience it yourself. Conclusions of the last years and the ongoing tradition of University of Tartu summer school can be found down below. Find out why it is worth a try! 

University of Tartu International Summer University 2022 Aftermovie


University of Tartu

The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading centre of research and training. It preserves the culture of the Estonian people and spearheads the country's reputation in research and provision of higher education. The university belongs to the top 1.2% of the world's best universities. In addition to Bachelor's, Master's and PhD programs, University of Tartu offers short-term summer courses. Recently renovated buildings and technological advances in the classrooms make the studying in Tartu as convenient as it can get. 


Summer University in 2022

The University of Tartu Summer School has been an ongoing tradition since the end of 1990s. The courses started with just Estonian language classes in 1997 with small amount of participants. Over the years, the program has grown and every year more people from all around the world take part in different courses. In 2022, to celebrate the 25th year of the University of Tartu Summer School, the concept of the program was changed quite a bit. For the first time, the study work was combined with evening activities, allowing the students to meet people from other courses and spend time together. 

The study fields covered in the summer courses of 2022 were philosophy, semiotics, bioinformatics, computer science, linguistics, education, and politics along with a separate Tartu Summer School on International Law by University of Tartu Pärnu College, Craft Camp by Viljandi Culture Academy and Estonian Language Courses by the Tartu College of Foreign Languages and Cultures.  Altogether, over 90 participants from 29 different countries took part in 10 courses both online and on-site in Tartu.


Experience in Tartu

Every year the courses vary a bit, giving the students the opportunity to participate few years in a row in different programs. The intention of the program is to make affordable summer courses to bring together people with same interests from around the world.

The summer courses are designed to be in connection to curriculums at the University of Tartu. Many former students have found out during their stay that Tartu is the perfect place to study and live in and have decided to continue their life in this lovely city. Tartu is not only called the University city of Estonia, but also the City of Good Thoughts and Digitalisation. During the summer courses the participants can experience the Estonian summer within the smart city and get the taste of what academic year looks like in Estonia. 

Come and see for yourself!


What have the students said about their experience in Estonia?


The Politics of Popular Culture by Michael Cole
Heqi from China:


"I am pleased to have been awarded the Estonian National Scholarship and spent a wonderful week in Tartu. The International Summer University was one of the best experiences I have had in my life! Who knew that in just one week, you could learn so much knowledge, have so many new experiences and form so many new friendships? The Summer University program far exceeded my expectations in every aspect. The topic of politics in popular culture that I attended, supervised by Michael Cole, allowed me to learn and master new research methods, which provided a new avenue of research for my PhD research. In addition, I was impressed by the exciting cultural programme offered by the Summer University"


Multilingualism and Beyond in European Context by Anna Branets
Varvara from Ukraine:


"Our course was just perfect! Lots of new friends, experience, ideas. I am very grateful to our lecturers who turned our course into inspiring trip to the concepts of multilingualism, culture, identity. Real life examples, creativity, lots of visualization, interaction, support, friendly atmosphere, varied cultural programme which allowed us to get closely acquainted and learn more about life and people in Tartu and Estonia itself. It was a breath of fresh air for me, thank you all!" 



Building Digital Governments by Robert Krimmer and Elis Vollmer
Tayma from Palestine:


"This course was an eye opener because it’s my first time in Estonia, the country I’ve heard so much about! I used the smart bike system from my fully digital hotel to the classes, and learned about public service from the implementer of the tiger leap himself. It was an extremely surreal experience!"



Introduction to Near Real-Time Data Analytics by Kristo Raun
Giulia from Italy:


"When I signed myself up for the course Introduction to Near-Real Time Data Analytics I was so curious. I expected one week full of work and in the end it was like this, but thanks to Kristo I was able to manage it all and get knowledge from the lessons. The organisation of free time activities was the icing on the cake; I met people from other courses and other countries during those experiences in Tartu. Thanks to University of Tartu I had the best Summer School experience."


Metabarcoding: from Lab to Bioinformatics by Niloufar Hagh Doust
Nathan from Belgium:


"This summer course was a very useful introduction into the field of metabarcoding. The course covered the complete process from sampling to data analysis, highlighting important pitfalls, best-practices, and tips and tricks based on the instructors’ experiences. In general, the course offered a good balance between theoretical classes and practical lab- and computer sessions. The bioinformatic analyses were taught in PipeCraft, a widely-used program for metabarcoding analyses, and which has been developed by one of the instructors.  The instructors of all different sessions were very helpful and approachable, took extensive time for answering all questions, and also valued our comments and suggestions. What I especially enjoyed was the diverse and international group of participants, all sharing a common interest in metabarcoding (and often fungi); which offered great discussions. I also very much appreciated the cultural program during which we discovered different aspects of Tartu and Estonian culture, and where we met many different new people!" 


Juri Lotman and the Semiotics of Culture by Katre Pärn
Jerry from Taiwan:

"It was such an amazing experience attending semiotic workshop in Tartu University, not only the academic tradition but also wonderful atmosphere of Tartu. Graffiti, nature, metropolis, seeing everything in the world from a completely different perspective after intensive courses. I also love the student life in Tartu, calm and fun vibe. In each corner you will see an interesting cafe, each weekend you will meet unexpected events in the city."

Secessionist and Statehood Bids in Times of Crises


The application period for the summer course in Clinical Medicine is extended


English Language and Culture Programme in Estonia 2023