Experiences from former Erasmus students

Tour around Academy!

From Zurich to Tartu: 2017 fall semester at EAVA

Moritz Schlatter, a Student from Zurich Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts - School of Engineering says that he liked his exchange semester very much because of the beauty of our country and a great nature. About Tartu he appreciated its coziness and friendly people. Moritz added that comparing to his home country, the biggest difference was the language, "I love to listen to the Estonian language, although I had almost no chance to understand anything". This is the fact that former exchange students have brought out as well.
Moritz Schlatter and Patric Fol making a presentation about Swiss aviation education. Photo: Henri Sutting

Moritz said that Estonian Aviation Academy is a great school and especially he loved its familiar atmosphere and the modernity of equipment. During the exchange studies several interesting classes with great guest lecturers were visited by him and Patric, a fellow Student from Zurich. However he had to admit that compared to Switzerland, the school level was rather low, so it was not very difficult to pass all the courses.

Moritz's favorite subject was MRO Management, where he learned new things about Aircraft Maintenance and furthermore had a chance to visit an operating company (Magnetic MRO AS). To sum up "The most difficult subject was GNSS for Civil Aviation" he thinks.

Moritz Schlatter
ZHAW School of Engineering

Three questions to Simona and Ján

Photo: from Jan Cernan collection
Simona Bolčeková and Ján Čerňan are exchange students from Technical University of Košice. We have asked three questions from them and of course it is always nice to get positive feedback :)

How did you like Tartu, Estonia and what has been surprising?

Simona: Before coming to Estonia, I only knew that it is one of three Baltic states, that the capital is Tallin and winters are pretty cold. Yes, I was a little bit scared, but my desire for adventure won and so far it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! Tartu became my new home for almost five months and living here was amazing. Even though Tartu is a well-known student city, the amount of events really surprised me. Tartu gave me a lot of unforgettable days, evenings and nights. It gave me friendships that will last longer than these few months, an opportunity to deal with a new country, new cultures and a chance to meet people from all over the world.

Ján: Estonia and especially Tartu is full of beautiful places you can discover. In my opinion the most surprising thing was the weather. In May it looked like summer but in reality the ground was still frozen.

How did you like your semester at Estonian Aviation Academy?

Simona: I loved the new, modern building next to Tartu Airport with own sauna, gym, canteen, table tennis, table footbal, etc. No wonder that everyone envied the EAVA students. But it was not just about the facilities. The lectures were given at the highest level, focused not only on knowledge, but also development of logical thinking and professional performance. Professors were very friendly and helpful as well. All in all, I really enjoyed the time spent at EAVA.

Ján: Semester at EAVA was amazing. Teachers were super nice, especially John Kunka! I also like the building of the Academy. It makes students feel relaxed so they could focus on studying.

Which subjects were the most interesting and the most difficult for you?

Simona: I can say that most of the subjects were interesting and well-prepared. But as I am student of Air Transport Managements, the most interesting subject for me was Air Transport Economics because of my interests. At the same time it was the most difficult one. Wait..No...The most difficult one was for sure Estonian for beginers. That pronunciation of ö, õ, ä and ü cost me a lot of effort!

Ján: Most interesting subject was Air transport economy, because I learnt a lot of useful things and I also enjoyed when we had guests from Nordica, old Estonian Air or a specialist from Turkey. They explained us how all those things work in real life.
Most difficult courses were e-courses. We had to be aware of deadlines, and it wasn’t always possible (haha). But in general I really enjoyed this semester. Tartu was a good choice!

Simona Bolčeková & Ján Čerňan,
Technical University of Košice

Some thoughts from Petr Helia, an exchange student from Brno University of Technology

Estonia is a perfect starting point to explore Nordic. You can easy travel to Finland, St. Petersburg or Latvia. Of course there are a lot of interesting places in Estonia as well. For example I can recommend yellow window hunting, Lahemaa national park and many more…

Photo: from Petr Helia collection

During the exchange studies I have discovered that Tartu ESN is really active. They organize many events every week and it’s almost impossible to attend everything. Estonians are able to biking in winter, during rain at 3am. Btw, bring your bike here because here are nice biking conditions, but it’s almost impossible to buy used bike (even really old) for less than 70 Euros here.

EAVA is really far from city center and bus connection is very bad. It’s possible to walk to Ülenurme bus station. It takes ca 20 minutes by fast walk and buses go there more often than from Lennujaam bus station. For 2 Euros you can also get “Tartu Bussikaart” where you can deposit money and don’t care about small coins. You have also 5% discount with the cart :))

While comparing Tartu with Czech Republic the main difference is weather. Here in Tartu the weather is absolutely unpredictable. Although the sun is shining at the moment, it doesn’t mean there won’t come snow blizzard in next ten minutes... and it works also in opposite way. On the other hand nobody expected we will see warm weather here, but since begin of May we have enjoyed real Estonian summer.

I think that EAVA has been best choice I have ever done. Everyone on EAVA is really helpful and with positive attitude. Especially when you meet Karine, it makes your day – I have never seen her with bad mood. My favorite course is definitely Aviation English. Ere Saar is amazing teacher, and it’s really visible she was delivering education. She is that kind of teacher who wants to teach you something. Her lessons were always interesting and with adequate intensity. EAVA has also a gym and sauna…just use all opportunities that EAVA offers.

Petr Helia
Brno University of Technology
Czech Republic

First impressions about Estonia, Tartu and Academy

Tere! Minu nimi on Alex! 

When I decided to go to Erasmus, the first thing that everybody asked me was: why did you choose Estonia? And I never knew what to answer. However, now that I am here, I am discovering many new things that I did not expect. Living in the student city is awesome, you meet people from all over the world and from other fields and in Tartu there are a lot of activities and parties, which are very useful for meeting new people.

Photo: from Alex March Vidal collection

About EAVA, it is a very new building and is full of equipment for giving different points of view of the theoretical stuff. Teachers are so friendly and try to help you anytime. They are always proposing to do some visits, like hangar, etc. The leisure installations of the academy are perfect, since you have gym, sauna, table tennis...

The syllabuses in the academy are very interesting, and I believe that I would learn a lot. The RPAS subject is the one that I found more interesting.

The student life in Tartu is awesome; there is always some event you can join. I did not expect that, as in Barcelona we do not have all this amount of events every day. The main difference between BCN and Tartu is the time of eating and partying as in Barcelona we eat at 2pm and 9pm and we go party about midnight. Another big difference is the weather, it is so cooooooold! The other things are more or less the same, so it is easy to get used to Tartu. I am completely happy about my decision.

Alex March Vidal
Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya-Castelldefels School of Telecommunications and Aerospace Engineering

Three questions to Silvestras Jarmalavicius, an Erasmus
student from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Photo: from Silvestras Jarmalavicius collection

How did you like Tartu, Estonia, what was surprising?

It was definitely one of the most amazing places I have had opportunity to live at. Beautiful nature and architectural heritage took my heart at the very beginning. Friendly Estonian people made Tartu even better place to live. The whole composition made my days in Estonia unforgettable experience.

How did you like your semester at Estonian Aviation Academy?

Estonian Aviation Academy is a professional higher education institution. After one semester of studies there I could confirm that the first sentence of my answer is totally true. The education was given at the highest level. Lectures were interesting and well prepared. I can not remember even one boring lecture, it’s probably because teachers were specialists of their field. All in all, I could say that I made a great decision to challenge myself in Erasmus program at Estonian Aviation Academy. No regrets!

Which subjects were the most interesting and the most difficult for you?

It’s really hard to emphasis the most interesting subjects because all of them have had something engrossing. Anyway, one of the most interesting subjects was management of airline commercial activity. At the same point it was also the most difficult object but I truly believe that information which I received during that course will be useful for me in the near future.

Silvestras Jarmalavicius
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Blog by Edvardas and Edgaras

Two Lithuanian Students – Edvards and Edgaras from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University were writing and filming a blog during the 2013 fall semester. The most important events, places and people have been recorded.

If you are interested in seeing all that information, please find the „Misija Erasmus“ in Facebook!

Public Ceremony for celebrating a New Academic year (taken by: Maris Arulepp) From left to right: Nicolas Turcot (France), Edgaras Parasockis (Lithuania), Karine Mandel (Erasmus coordinator at EAVA), Jaan Tamm (Rector at EAVA), Claire Ballester (France), Edvardas Ubis (Lithuania), Grzegorz Molas (Poland).

Also please have a look at Student Newspaper "Propeller" and see, what have been organized!

Phto: Trip to Tallinn Airport (taken by G. Molas)

Some thoughts from Atanas Milev and Pavlin Hristov, our first Erasmus students from Bulgaria!

Tartu was just, amazing! It is surprising to see how many activities you have here! We have seen a lot and I am sure we have not seen all. There are stadiums, parks, adventure parks, swimming pools paintball courts and more! Also the river passing through the city is used for a lot of sports like canoeing, swimming and sometimes skiing when it’s frozen. I can’t even describe the beautiful views you can get around the city. You can never get tired of Tartu :)

The spring semester in the academy was awesome! We had some fun in robotics, we got to learn about Estonia and its traditions as well as air transport economics, navigation and many more. The teachers in the academy are very positive, open minded set of very well educated people and will help you with whatever they can to make sure that you are well prepared. I was amazed by the building and equipment in the academy everything is new and well maintained. The gym and sauna inside helps you stay in good shape!

Most of the classes were interesting we learned a lot from the effective speaking, specialty practice was really fun, where you can see how some parts of the plane are made and actually do some yourself. We also got to make a robot and also program it in robotics, which is really cool. Most of the other classes were interesting simply because the teachers made them interesting. I think the most difficult class was the Human factors, due to the fact that there are a lot of facts you need to learn.

Pavlin Hristov and Atanas Milev
"Vassil Levski" National Military University

In an EAVA's hangar (taken by Laura Vetik)

From left to right: Atanas Milev (Bulgaria), Pavlin Hristov (Bulgaria), Michal Czyz (Poland), Maciej Babelek (Poland), Michal Sulinski (Poland), Luuk van der Kolk (The Netherlands), Grzegorz Molas (Poland), Zuzana Sekerakova (Slovakia), Nick Soonius (The Netherlands), Jakub Zouhar (Czech Republic)

Thoughts from ESN Diary

Photo: from Jakub Zouhar collection


Why had I chosen Estonia – Tartu? Because I wanted to study at one of the best aviation academy in Europe! Nice and kind but mainly very experienced and professional teachers and friendly students are ready to help me with all of my problems.

There are a lot of activities to do during free time as well…to stay in Tartu with my new international friends or to discover beauty of Estonian nature and culture... I love it :-)

Jakub Zouhar
Brno University of Technology
Czech Republic


Photo: from Luuk van der Kolk collection

Our time in Tartu has been very pleasant! We have learned a lot at the Estonian aviation academy but had enough time besides studying for other activities. Because of this we have seen a lot of Estonia and the surrounding countries.

Together with other Erasmus exchange students, we have had many good times in Tartu. Special thanks to ESN Tartu, the Estonian aviation academy and club Atlantis for making this the best semester ever!!

Nick Soonius and Luuk van der Kolk
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
The Netherlands

Thoughts from ESN Diary

Presentation about Košice and Slovakia

First of all, I would like to underline the invaluable, professional and very harmonious attitude of both lecturers and people working at the international office. The sufficient volume of knowledge linked to joyful atmosphere, that was the key driver bringing me back again and again to the doors of EAVA.  I am grateful to a superior number of people students and teachers all together, that are connected by the passion called Aviation. The new and modern complex of the Estonian Aviation Academy provides a sky-high education level. EAVA shows up as a felicitous choice to one´s liking that industry. I had an agreeably unforgettable time spent out here in Estonia.

Miroslav Špák
Technical University of Košice

Presentation about Turkey and Turkish aviation education


Minu nimi on Ömer Faruk ja minu perenimi on KESKİN.

Last year I qualified for Erasmus in Estonia but I couldn’t match lecture my home university. Firstly I didn’t have any idea about Estonia. I knew only that here is the Estonian Aviation Academy. When I saw academy and compared it with my home university, I was shocked, because it is unbelievable.

Academy has a lot of oppurtunities, for example library, simulation room for air traffic control and flight by plane, gym, sauna and table tennis. Most interesting thing for me is the shape of the building. It looks like a spacecraft. About Tartu. I have already tried to walk on the bridge and swim in the fountain. In addition Tartu is a student city, where all young people know English.

It is a first time for me to be in another country. I have already visited some places in Estonia, while the car was rented. I like that cold, small and beautiful country and if I turn back my home, I will miss everything about Estonia. Thanks to Estonia for your all opportunities. Thank you / Tänan teid!

Ömer Faruk Keskin
Erciyes University

Erasmus group in 2012/13 spring semester. Photo: Eelika Tootsi

Some thoughts from Magdalena Grabowska, an Erasmus student from Poland

For me the Estonian Aviation Academy is a very modern and professional higher education institution. I found here a lot of useful information about  the civil aviation's world. The classrooms are adequately equipped, I have access to everything.

The most important point here are people! I think that I met here the most experienced and smiling all time teachers! I can ALWAYS ask if I don't understand something or I want to know more. I'm surprised that for Estonian Aviation Academy very important is learning specialized aviation english. It is useful for students in their future. I've never been so impressed.

I am spending here the best time of my life. I'm so pround that I can be here,  to meet Estonian teachers and every day to know more and more and more about aviation's world!

Magdalena Grabowska
National Defence University

Three questions to Laura Gudeleviciute

How did you like Tartu, Estonia, what was surprising?

I came from Lithuania, these countries are very similar to each other, so I didn‘t found anything extremely surprising for me. But there is one thing what I miss a lot. I am talking about sky. It is strange that only 500km between countries can make such big difference. Strange shapes of the clouds during day, beautiful colours during evening and dark just for few hours during the night in June made the biggest impression for me. Talking about Tartu I can mention, that I didn‘t expected that it is so modern city. I had great time there and I found a lot of nice people. Talking about Erasmus exchange program I can say that it is worth to choose Estonia.

How did you like your semester at Estonian Aviation Academy?

Estonian Aviation Academy is a good place for studies. Nice design building with cosy class room and beautiful environment makes you feel comfortable even you have lectures for all day. Dining room provides delicious and cheep food. I think that study quality is very good. But in EAVA I like the most lecturers. Kind and young specialists make this academy good place for studies.

Which subjects were the most interesting and the most difficult for you?

The most interesting subject for me was Introduction to Robotics. Lecturer knows how to make students interested in his subject. We constructed Lego robots. All lectures were like a game and at the last day we had a competition between each other. The most difficult was the GNSS e-course. We had to read the topics and answer to the lecturer questions. Sometimes it was really hard to found the answer. It was hard, but and an interesting, because we got a lot of knowledge.

Laura Gudeleviciute
General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania

The Dutch guys in Tartu

We decided to go to the Estonian Aviation Academy with a total of five Dutch guys; Dax Biesbrouck, Marthijn over de Linden, Robbert van Niekerk, Roger Smit and Stephan Diek. We chose for the second semester because this was more suitable considering our internships in The Netherlands and of course the weather in Estonia is better during the second semester! During the planning of our study in Tartu we decided that having a car would be desirable, so together we bought a big car which could carry all our stuff to Estonia and provide transportation while we were in Tartu. In the end of January 2012 Dax Biesbrouck and Marthijn over de Linden got in the car, fully loaded with all sorts of stuff and took off towards Estonia. It was a 2300km trip, so Dax and Marthijn made two overnight stops; one in Warsaw and one in Riga. These stops were very interesting and already there they made some new friends in the local clubs and bars. Robbert, Roger and Stephan went to Estonia by airplane.

Photo: Eelika Tootsi

During our first days we got a tour through the Estonian Aviation Academy by Erasmus Coordinator Paul Lääne and he showed us a very new, beautiful and modern school. The school has everything you could possible imagine for an Aviation school; flight simulator, ATC simulator, robotics room, computer facilities, extended library, a complete gym and not to forget an excellent canteen with cheap and satisfying food! So we got a great impression from the start!

In the first two weeks we were offered to choose our program; with a minimum of 30 ECTS. Because there were a lot of interesting subjects to choose from, we eventually choose a program of 35 ECTS and we all passed! The subjects were very diverse; one day we would work in the hangar building a wing from aluminium from scratch, the next day we got the basics of navigation while sitting in the classroom with people from the military and the next day we had lessons in improving our presentation and public speaking skills and so on! A very diverse course, which makes it extremely fun and interesting!

During our time at the Academy we experienced a very good time, lessons were great and sometimes even customized to our needs; if we already learned about a certain subject in The Netherlands we could get other learning material etc. All the teachers were very friendly and guided us very well! Halfway into our study we got a new Erasmus Coordinator; Karine Mandel. She helped us with everything we asked for, even when one of us became ill she assisted him to the hospital. She kept us up to date with everything what happened, schedules, marks, test etc. Excellent!

The living conditions in Estonia are good, we lived in a dormitory called Raatuse 22 (has a very good location). This is a dormitory with a lot of (ESN) foreign students from all over the world; Turkey, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Belgium, France, Germany etc.! Here you can rent an apartment with three rooms, with in each room place for two people. It is also possible to rent one room for yourself, this is highly recommended by us.

Estonia is a very modern country, the malls, schools, nightlife and roads are great. You can find Wi-Fi everywhere (every shopping mall, restaurant, pub and club), which makes contact with home very easy. Because Tartu is known as a student city there is more than enough to do in your free time; the park is always busy, the city square is always crowded, very good restaurants and the nightlife is more than excellent!

Overall we would recommend going to the Estonian Aviation Academy a lot, we had more than a great time here. The friendliness and help we experienced is more then we could possibly ask for, also the subjects and lessons are nice to do. Also because Tartu is so centrally positioned travelling is possible. During our time here we made trips to Stockholm, A ski-trip with the students of the Estonian Aviation Academy to Latvia, Riga, Tallinn and Saint Petersburg. The Estonian Aviation Academy also gave us the time to travel; lessons could be shifted very easily.

We are heading back to the Netherlands with a lot of new experiences which will be useful in the future when searching for the right job.

Aitäh meeldejääva aja eest Eesti Lennuakadeemias!

Dax Biesbrouck, Marthijn over de Linden, Robbert van Niekerk, Roger Smit and Stephan Diek
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
The Netherlands

How to survive in Estonia :)

The road to Estonia is very simple. It is true that you need to spend 16 hours in a bus from Warsaw but the journey passes very good. The best thing is that you can take a lot more baggage than you can by an airplane. When you get to the heart of Tartu, you find the dormitory is at a distance of just 5 minutes from the bus station.
From left to right Karine Mandel, Agata Pierścionek and Signe Vanker. Photo: Eelika Tootsi

Despite the advantages of journey by bus, many challenges await a student. First and foremost, the most important and urgent issue for each student is accommodation. I recommend the dormitory for international students on street Raatuse. The cost of living in a shared room is only 100 Euros. The dormitory offers you an opportunity to live with students from different countries. The experience affords you a fun and unique opportunity to learn about other cultures. The bus station for bus directly leaving to the academy is also near this dormitory. If you do not know how to cook, a delicious lunch is available at Metro, a food outlet, next to the dormitory. Furthermore, I recommend a delicious lunch at an affordable price in the university canteen.

The university offers excellent technical and academic facilities. There is a large well-equipped library. In addition, each student has unlimited access to the Internet. All of the lab and lecture halls are equipped with multimedia projectors and computers. There is a very interesting choice of courses for Erasmus students, like Estonian courses for Beginners, and Introduction to Robotics. In the later, we studied in a small group comprising of 6 people, only Erasmus students. This allowed me to interact and learn in a group while getting explicit attention and mentorship from the teacher. During our sessions, we built robots from Lego bricks and tried to program the robots in motion using a special program. I think this helped us in developing our creativity in a fun and interesting way. I highly recommend this course. On the contrary, the course in Estonian language was quite difficult to learn. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to learn the native language of the country where you are. The phrases that I remembered the most are: Tere Tere, Kuidas Läheb? J Yet another very useful course is in Aviation English. It offers many new words to learn, especially for someone who has their future work in applied aviation. I cannot forget the lessons in Business English and Effective Speaking with Hans Künka. These were the great classes by a man who can incredibly motivate us to work. But this isn’t all. The practices which we had in the hangar proved to be very interesting. I never held a drill in my hand before. But it was not an obstacle. I think everything can be learned if you want. These are some of my favorite classes, but additionally I also recommend the courses that were based on Internet. These courses require a lot of self motivation to learn but also bring effects on us. The internet based courses do not say that we are left on our own. We can always count on help of teachers as well as all of the employees of EAVA. They are always willing to help. Whenever we had queries and concerns, we went to the coordinator and always found a solution to the problem.

I also have very positive memories from the social life in Tartu. Social and cultural life flourishes here all the time. It was an amazing opportunity to compare the psychology of people, their different views. These included the various religious views which made me understand some of the commonly misunderstood concepts and beliefs better. The life here also allowed me to explore and examine some of the issues and problems that are beyond the science books.

Studying abroad as Erasmus student gave me a living proof that travelling broadens the perspective. Despite the great differences in the lifestyles of students, I saw tolerance and understanding for each other’s beliefs. Each one of us here stared at the differences with the great fascination. I tried to understand and accept them with full compassion. Here you can also always count on help from the other students as there is no rivalry here, just mutual respect and cooperation.

I think that Tartu is a great place for the Erasmus students. Furthermore, I believe that the offered program and the university ranking are high. The quality of education definitely prepares the students very well for employment in aviation. If you get a chance, you do not have anything to fear. Just pack your stuff, and head this way. Tartu welcomes you!

Agata Pierścionek,
Student of National Defence University in Warsaw