A youth exchange programme brings together 30 youngsters with an Estonian background

The annual youth exchange programme, “Back to our roots”, aims to bring together 30 youngsters with an Estonian background, 20 from abroad and 10 from Estonia, with the aim of introducing the Estonian language and culture to the participants.

This year, there will be two exchanges, one from 21 September to 2 October, and one from 23 November to 4 December.

The programme includes introducing the Estonian history and cultural heritage to young Estonians living abroad, sharing Estonian success stories, good practices and planned future developments, and teaching the participants the Estonian language in the non-formal learning environment.

It also provides information about work and study opportunities in Estonia, introduces the Estonian governance system and creates a network for young people of Estonian origin that might support repatriation.

The chance to learn and practice the language

The programme consists of various activities organised in different parts of Estonia. It starts in Tallinn, where the participants will have a chance to visit cultural and historic places. It also includes visits to successful Estonian companies to learn about their innovative practices.

The participants will also be taken on a field trip to the wetlands where they can hike and try out Estonian sauna traditions. They will also take part in a two-day brainstorming with local participants to express themselves through music, art, video and writing. 

In the second part, the participants travel to the south of the country to experience authentic Estonian culture and heritage.

During the whole exchange programme, the participants will have the chance to learn and practice Estonian in the non-formal learning environment.

All costs in Estonia entirely covered

The youth exchange programme is organised by the youth organisation, Seiklejate Vennaskond (The Brotherhood of Adventurers), coordinated by the Estonian Youth Work Centre and financed by the Compatriots Programme of the Estonian education ministry.

The participants coming from abroad should be 18-30 years old, have Estonian roots, but have been living elsewhere for at least ten years. They should have the motivation to learn and practice Estonian and they would need to be willing to participate in the whole programme.

The poster of the annual youth exchange programme, “Back to our roots”.

If selected, all costs within Estonia are covered entirely, including accommodation, food, local transport, visits and field trips. Travel costs will be reimbursed after the exchange up to €300, based on the actual costs. If a visa is needed, this would be the responsibility of each participant. All participants will need travel insurance and the cost of it will not be reimbursed.

The application deadline is 1 July 2020. You can apply on the organisers’ website.

Cover: Participants of the “Back to roots” programme in August 2019.

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