Frequently Asked Questions
What is Tallinn Summer School (TSS)?
Tallinn Summer School, as part of Tallinn University, a fully accredited Estonian higher education institution, offers summer programmes for international (including US) students and has been successfully doing so for many years.
What kind of courses has Tallinn Summer School offered over the years?
Tallinn University is a humanities and social sciences based university. The courses at Tallinn Summer School are related to languages (eastern and western), history, anthropology, cultural studies, film, art, communication, social marketing, painting, photography, recreation studies, creative writing, creative industries, political studies, social work etc. Every year there is a different theme for the summer school and the final list of courses is announced in January.
What is a day at Tallinn Summer School like?
Tallinn Summer School has a dynamic structure and all the courses adopt a student friendly approach.
The class times for the courses vary from day to day except language courses which have a more fixed daily routine. Classes are normally held between at 9:00 or 10:00 and last until 13:00 or 13:30. Between classes there are coffee breaks. The lunch break is scheduled after the language classes.Some days at 14:00 there is a public lecture open to all participants. The topics of these lectures vary from local Estonian issues to wider topics. The second Friday is when most one-week courses commence, but is also when the key-note speaker will deliver his or her lectures. The key-note speaker is usually a widely acclaimed academic (previous years at TSS have enjoyed Peter Burke, Zygmunt Bauman, Edward Soja, David Lowenthal etc.).
Apart from the courses, what else do you offer?
Tallinn Summer School has an extensive cultural programme. There are many public lectures for all participants. During the weekend we offer trips to north and south Estonia, and some years also to the islands. There are also visits to museums, concerts and local events. The full list is published in January. At the end of the summer school, we also organise trips to Russia and Estonian islands.
How do I get information about the courses and what's happening at the school?
Our summer school has grown rapidly and since the courses vary from year to year, we have set up three ways you can access the latest information.
Firstly, there is an information desk on the first floor of the Mare building at Uus-Sadama 5. Conveniently situated next to the main door and close to the cafe, the desk attendants can help you get your head around the different options.
Secondly, there is the TSS website with information up-dated daily.
Finally, there is a fan page on Facebook. If you have a question, just ask and one of the staff members will answer as soon as possible.
All participants will also obtain an information pack together with the Tallinn Summer School guide.
How do I pay for events in the cultural programme, and for extras?
The easiest way is to pay via internet banking. The details are all posted on the website: http://summerschool.tlu.ee/practical/payment-methods/
If you are in Tallinn you can also pay in cash for extra events or services.
Further information can be obtained from the Summer School Information desk at Uus-Sadama 5.
Where can I get my morning coffee and lunch during the summer school?
The cafe is open all three weeks and is located on the first floor of the Mare building at Uus-Sadama 5.
Do I receive credit-points (ECTS)?
For most of the courses yes, you do.
How do I register for the summer school?
Please visit the TSS website and read the information there carefully.
This site includes an online application form that you can complete and send from your browser.
You will be contacted a few days after sending the application form. If you have not heard from us after two weeks of applying online, please send us a reminder e-mail.
After we have received your application form, you will be contacted by one of our staff. You will also be issued an invoice, which you have 14 days to pay. If you need more time, the summer school advises you to let us know in your initial application form. If you have not paid by the due date, you will be notified and your name will be removed from the list of participants.
If I am attending a language course, how do I know which level to choose?
The language courses all have a placement test in the first lesson to ascertain your level. Since this is not carried out before you arrive (except in the case of Estonian), you will have to enroll in the class that you feel best matches your level. The placement test and activities in the first lesson will then confirm your choice or suggest that you be placed in another class. If after the first lesson you still have doubts, you need to contact your course leader.
Estonian language participants will have a test before their course begins and if necessary also during the first language class.
Can I pay separately for individual events during the cultural programme?
The programme is flexible in order to suit all participants. However, you cannot pay for individual events, but you can pay for either the full or the partial cultural programme.
How does the accommodation work?
Once you have chosen your course, go the accommodation page on the summer school website. There you will find information about which accommodation options are open to you.
Generally speaking, if you are enrolled in a longer course, your accommodation will be in the student hostel on Karu St, and if you are enrolled in a short course your accommodation will be at the student dormitory or one of the hotels.
Once you know where you will be staying, you need to indicate this on your application form when you apply. The summer school will then make a reservation for you and when you arrive you will simply need to introduce yourself at the chosen hostel/dormitory and the reception staff will check you in.
The staff at the hostel may be elderly and so a little patience is necessary.
The hostel has 24 hr security surveillance.
How do I pay for my hostel/dorm?
You can pay before you arrive via internet banking. All the details are up on the website: http://summerschool.tlu.ee/practical/accommodation/
Can I check in a day before and check out a few days after the summer school?
Yes, you can, but please inform the summer school of your wishes by including them in the application form. Please also remember that the earlier your reservation is placed, the better your chances of getting the rooms to suit your wishes.
Can I check in during the night?
Yes, at the hostel you can. The hostel has a 24 hr reception service like any hotel in town.
Can I choose a home-stay option?
The summer school does not organize home-stay style accommodation, but if you have friends or someone you can stay with in Tallinn, you can choose that option in the accommodation section of the application form.
Do I have to exchange currency before I arrive in Tallinn?
We strongly recommend that you have at least 15 EUR in cash with you to pay for a taxi. The taxi fare from the airport to the hostel, or any hotel in the city centre should cost no more than 10 EUR.
The airport currency exchange is open until the last flight has landed, but please bear in mind – the commission on currency exchanges is higher at the airport.
How safe is safe at the summer school?
Health and safety standards are applied to all providers of transportation during the weekend trips, tours and events in the cultural programme.
If you feel your safety, health or security is being compromised, you can call the 24 hr emergency assistance number 110 (emergency number).
Personal insurance is your own responsibility.
The university hostel is equipped with safety provisions such as smoke alarms, fire exits and fire extinguishers. There is a 24 hr guard at all the university premises.