Andero Kalju

Estonian learning opportunities for international students (incl. doctoral students)

International students of the University of Tartu are encouraged to take language courses. In addition, there are numerous other opportunities at the university to practice and improve Estonian.  


Knowing Estonian gives you the opportunity to 

  • make coping with your studies easier and studying more varied; 
  • create a nice social network and find Estonian-speaking friends; 
  • get more first-hand experience of the unique people and culture and the student life; 
  • get used to Estonia and Estonians more quickly and comfortably; 
  • participate more actively in the activities of the University of Tartu; 
  • link your future career with Estonia. 

 International students admitted in the academic year 2023/2024 to foreign-language curricula of the first and second levels are required to learn Estonian, thus to take 6 ECTS of Estonian language courses during their studies.  


Estonian language courses offered 

General language courses aim to teach the basics of Estonian grammar and basic Estonian vocabulary. The Institute of Foreign Languages and Cultures offers general language courses for different levels, from basic (A) to proficient users (C), both as e-learning and face-to-face classes. 

Find a suitable course for levels 0 to C1.1

Find a suitable course for levels B2.2 to C2

The Estonian language summer courses take place at the end of July and the beginning of August every year.  

The course is open to anyone interested in learning Estonian and aged 16 or over. Participants can choose between five language levels, from beginner to advanced. The lessons build vocabulary and grammar and develop reading, writing, listening and conversation skills. The cultural programme, which is part of the course, introduces Tartu through engaging activities that provide a great opportunity to interact with other participants. 

Further information and registration

See other opportunities for learning Estonian

KeeleKohting (LanguageDate) offers an opportunity to make new friends, exchange ideas and find inspiration, share and discover the Estonian language and culture. 

At KeeleKohting, anything of interest is discussed in pairs, in Estonian. After a while, the partners change. We try to make sure that there is one native Estonian speaker and one learner of the Estonian language in each pair. The one-on-one free-form conversation will expand your vocabulary and your circle of friends. Many who have once been to KeeleKohting have returned for more. 

KeeleKohting takes place twice a month from 18:00 to 19:30 in the lobby of Lossi 3.

Read more on the website of the Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics

In tandem learning, learners with different native languages form language learning tandems where each member teaches the other their native language and learns the native language of their partner. One of the languages learned in the tandem must be Estonian, the other can be any other foreign language. 

The tandem language learning course welcomes both students and staff who want to learn Estonian or another language. 

Register to the course


With practical and active learning methods, all sub-skills of the foreign student's Estonian language are developed, the course topics and activities focus on communication language and dialogues.

Register to the course

The language advisor welcomes students of all curricula of the University of Tartu whose mother tongue is other than Estonian and who need help and advice in writing academic texts in Estonian. Language counselling is provided individually or in groups. 

Contact the language advisor if you wish to 

  • get clarification on a language issue (e.g. vocabulary, grammar, syntax); 
  • be more aware of your typical and recurring language errors and get advice on how to improve your language skills; 
  • get help in understanding instructions for written assignments, tasks, etc; 
  • learn about the different stages of writing, the structure of texts and style; 
  • get feedback on a draft; 
  • better understand the types of written academic texts (e.g. essay, summary, thesis); 
  • get advice on the specificities of academic communication (e.g. writing emails); 
  • get information about online reference materials and language resources to use when writing in Estonian. 

The counselling is free of charge. 

Consultations take place both on-site and online (in Teams). For an individual or group meeting with the language advisor, book an appointment on Microsoft Bookings or by email to You can also request language advice by email.  

Book an appointment