Safety and migration issues for international students

Orientation Course for the new international degree seeking and exchange students is designed to make the start in the university life as smooth as possible. You will find a different sessions and events to help you to settle to the university and city better and find the answers to your questions. 


Residence permits and visas

Information hour with the Migration Adviser: presentation


Precautions and rules

Safety issues presentation

For emergency situations of any nature, dial 112!

Tartu, and Estonia in general, are very safe, and there are few Tartu-specific precautions or safety considerations that need to be taken into account.

However, please do bear the following things in mind to ensure that your stay in Tartu is as worry-free as possible:

  • Wearing a pedestrian reflector during the darker months is compulsory! The reflector must be visible from all sides and should ideally be worn 50-80 cm from the ground.
  • Pedestrians should only cross the street where there are marked crosswalks. Not doing so can result in a fine of up to 40 euros.
  • Public drinking in Estonia is illegal. Alcohol and tobacco products can only be purchased by and for those 18 years of age and older.
  • Avoid large crowds of drunk people in public places (for example, Pirogov Park on warm nights).
  • Violations of public order in public spaces as well as in your car or apartment are punishable by a fine or by jail time, in extreme cases.
  • Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is prohibited except for when riding on the road is difficult or impossible or when there are special signs/markers on the sidewalk permitting bicycles.
  • If you are older than 16, you may buy defence devices for civilian use (alarm signals and tear or pepper-gas). These do not need to be registered. However, nerve gases and electric shock devices are prohibited in Estonia.
  • If you have internet-related safety concerns, you can contact the Web Constables.
  • In addition to the above, apply common sense to all situations:
    • Always lock your bike;
    • Never leave your apartment/dorm room unlocked when no one is at home;
    • Keep an eye on your belongings (bags, wallets) in public areas;
    • Drink responsibly.

Preventing accidents

If you have any sort of emergency, dial 112.

The Estonian Rescue Board (“Päästeamet“) is responsible for preventing accidents, saving lives and property, and protecting the environment. The Rescue Board provides assistance to people living in Estonia in the case of fires, natural disasters, gas and chemical emergencies, etc. The Rescue Board can be reached at 1524 for general information about keeping yourself safe. Some general guidelines:

  • Never tamper with fire extinguishers or smoke detectors in your apartment or dorm room and ensure that you know where they are and how they work. Each student dormitory has occasional fire drills to ensure that residents could safely escape in the event of a fire, and these drills should be taken seriously!
  • If you live in an apartment with gas heating, you must by law have a carbon monoxide detector. It is also recommended that you have a detector if you have wood heating or a fireplace. More information can be found here.
  • Natural disasters are not a large concern in Estonia. Even during the winter, the weather rarely becomes dangerous enough to cause immediate safety threats. The snow and ice are unlikely to ever be serious enough to prevent you from going to school or work and the University will operate as usual unless you are otherwise notified. However, you should exercise caution by wearing season-appropriate clothing and footwear, by using the appropriate tires (if you drive a car or bike), etc.
  • The emergency medical service ward is located at Puusepa St. 8.





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Erasmus+ traineeship grant