7 Best International Scholarships in Estonia for Study and Research

Written by Azeemen

Located in the northern part of Europe, Estonia is one of the safest countries in the world, and is also famous for its leadership in the fields of digital and internet technologies. The innovative spirit in this country is encouraged among the students in Estonia.

With its university diplomas being internationally accepted, Estonian higher education is well respected around the world. Currently, there are 15 public universities and 9 private universities in Estonia, and most of the universities offer English-taught programs. Some of the Estonian universities are even listed among the best universities in the world.

If you are interested to study or conduct a research in Estonia, and you want to pursue your academic goals without having to stress about your financial situation, you might want to check out the following list of international scholarships in Estonia. Here are some of the best scholarships that you may be eligible to apply for to study in Estonia for free.

  1. University of Tartu Estonia University Scholarships: Various scholarships for all students at the University of Tartu.
    • Tuition-waiver scholarships for bachelor’s and master’s degree programs: Available to students who meet the nominal study load requirement. Nominal study load is completed if no more than 6 credits are missing from the 30 ECTS workload per semester. The tuition-waiver scholarships are allocated at the time of admission. It will be noted in the admission letter whether a student is granted a tuition-waiver scholarship or a tuition fee based study place (needs to pay for studies).
    • Scholarships for master’s programs:
      • Dora Plus – for master’s students: Scholarships for talented international Master’s students enrolled in English-taught master’s program at UT. The scholarship is worth 350 euros per month and could be awarded for one academic year, i.e. 10 calendar months at a time and to those studying full-time.
      • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) scholarships: Stipends for the following master’s programs:
        • Computer Science
        • Geoinformatics for Urbanized Society
        • Information Technology Law
        • Robotics and Computer Engineering
        • Software Engineering
        • Applied Measurement Science
        • Innovation and Technology Management
        • Quantitative Economics
        • Bioengineering
        • Materials Science and Technology

The scholarship consists of 400-EUR stipend per month assigned for two years (standard study period of master’s studies – altogether 20 months). The only exception is Information Technology Law which is a one-year program and thus the stipend is paid for one year (10 months).

    • Scholarships for doctoral programs:
      • Doctoral allowance: Available to PhD students whose studies are funded by the Estonian government, i.e. are studying at state-funded study places, are entitled to a PhD student allowance. This does not apply to the students of Dora Program and to those studying at non-state funded study places. The amount of the doctoral allowance is 660 EUR per month and is granted for the whole academic year (from August to September)
      • Dora Plus – for UT doctoral students:
        • Short term mobility (up to 30 days): The expenses are compensated as sum of the following unit prices: study mobility transport allowance, study mobility accommodation allowance, daily allowance (32 EUR per day). Participation fees will be covered based on cost. The maximum amount of grant is 2,000 euros.
        • Doctoral students mobility (1-10 months): The grant can be applied for in order to cover the travel costs and the accommodation and living costs related to study mobility. Each minimum period of study mobility is 31 calendar days and the grant is available for a total of 10 months.
    • Raeford scholarship for international students of the University of Tartu: Granted to students at UT whose place of residence in the population register of Estonia is the city of Tartu. The Scholarship is granted to support successful studies. The amount of the scholarship is 700 EUR. Up to 9 scholarships are granted per year and at least one to a foreign student.
  1. Kristjan Jaak Scholarships: Estonia’s governmental scholarship program initiated in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. The Kristjan Jaak Program awards mobility scholarships to the MA and PhD students and young faculty members. The scholarships are open to all applicants from all subject areas. The scholarship applications are accepted in three categories:
    • The scholarships for degree studies abroad: Available for individuals beginning or continuing their PhD/MA studies at a recognized university abroad and willing to return to Estonia after graduation. The deadline for applications is once a year, on April 1.
    • The scholarships for study period abroad: Created for MA and PhD students wishing to spend part of their studies abroad. The scholarship period can last from one to 12 months based on individual need. Applications are accepted twice a year, on May 1 and on October 15.
    • The scholarship aimed for supporting short-time visits: Awarded for visits abroad that last up to 30 days. The scholarship can be applied for by MA and PhD students, resident physicians and young faculty members. Applications are accepted four times a year, on March 1, June 1, October 1 and December 1.
  1. Government Scholarships for International Researchers and Academic Staff: Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and Archimedes Foundation offer scholarships to foreign nationals, pursuant to bilateral intergovernmental or inter-ministerial agreements concluded with other countries. Grants for foreign researchers can be either short-term or long-term:
    • The short-term grant shall be paid out for a period of one to nine days in duration. The rate is 45 euros per day.
    • The long-term grant shall be paid out for a period of ten days to ten months in duration. The rate is 660 euros per month.
  1. Government Scholarships for Short Courses: Estonian government scholarships for international students to take short courses at Estonia universities. The purpose of this scholarship program is to support participation in short courses of Estonian language and culture organized by the Estonian institutions of higher education as well as in summer and winter schools related to the degree programs taught in English. The scholarship can be awarded to the BA, MA and PhD students who are enrolled to the higher education institution abroad at least one year by the time of application. The candidate should pre-register to the course for applying for the scholarship. The scholarship can include a course fee in the amount of up to 500 EUR and the cost of accommodation in the amount of up to 25 EUR per night for a maximum period of 4 weeks.
  2. Smart Specialization Scholarship: Paid to the BA and MA students, who study a smart specialization specialties and PhD students of Estonian universities who conduct a research related to the smart specialization growth areas. These areas are:
    • Information and communication technologies (ICT) related to other areas of economy (e.g. cybersecurity, software development or the use of ICT for automating industrial processes)
    • Health technologies and services (e.g. the use of biotechnology or IT for the development of medical services or products)
    • More effective use of resources (e.g. entrepreneurs active in the area of materials science or industry, endeavor to identify innovative construction options or seek opportunities for the more effective utilization of oil shale in the chemical industry).

These scholarships are administered by Estonian universities. The scholarships have been established with the aim to increase the number of students graduating from university with degrees in these sectors, contribute to growth of research-intensive industry sector and support cooperation between R&D institutions and companies.

The participating higher education institutions are:

    • Estonian Academy of Arts (PhD only)
    • Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (PhD only)
    • Estonian Business School (PhD only)
    • Estonian University of Life Sciences
    • Tallinn University
    • Tallinn University of Technology
    • Tartu Health Care College
    • TTK University of Applied Sciences
    • University of Tartu
  1. Dora Plus Program: Dora Plus is an Estonian government program that is initiated with the aim to improve the Estonia’s visibility and attractiveness as a destination for studying and research. Dora Plus encompasses four actions:
    • Study and research-related outgoing mobility: Scholarships to the young researchers and Master’s students from Estonian higher education institutions for participating in the research conferences, seminars, courses or other professionally relevant activities abroad.
    • Study and research-related incoming mobility: Scholarships to the international MA and PhD students for study visits and full-time studies in the Estonian higher education institutions.
    • Organization of summer and winter schools: Support to the Estonian higher education institutions for the organization of intensive, short-term courses for international study groups.
    • Marketing of study and employment opportunities in Estonia: International marketing of study and employment opportunities in Estonia and endorsement of Estonian employment opportunities to the international graduates.

Dora Plus offers scholarships for foreign students (MA and PhD) in Estonian universities. The scholarships are for study visits and full-time studies in the Estonian higher education institutions. Dora Plus provides support to:

    • foreign Master’s students who study full-time in Estonia (support is provided one academic year at a time)
    • foreign Doctoral students who study full-time during the nominal time of their studies
    • short-term study or research of visiting Doctoral students in Estonia (1-10 months)

The scholarship grantees are appointed by the higher education institutions. The higher education institutions taking part in this Dora Plus program are:

    • Estonian Academy of Arts
    • Estonian University of Life Sciences
    • Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
    • Estonian Business School
    • TalTech University
    • Tallinn University
    • University of Tartu
    • Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences
    • Euroacademy
  1. Estophilus Scholarship: Available to international final bachelor year students, master students, PhD students and post-doctorate researchers from universities abroad while staying in Estonia for conducting research or collecting material about Estonia. When applying for an Estophilus Scholarship, the Estonian language proficiency is an advantage but not a requirement. The scholarship consists of the scholarship for living costs in amount of 500 euros per month, and travel compensation. The limits of travel compensation are given in the scholarship guidelines. The next deadline for Estophilus Scholarship applications is October 1, 2019.

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