The University of Tartu is welcoming all admitted international students and employees, both new and existing, and it will notify the citizens of third countries of the certain requirements imposed by the Estonian government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The university decided on 21 July that on its part, all international students may come to study in Estonia in the autumn and the same applies to employees arriving from foreign countries. “The decision concerns both new international students who were admitted this year and new staff members, as well as the existing international students and staff of the University of Tartu who are returning to Estonia in the coming months,” the university said in a statement.
At the beginning of July, the government of Estonia decided that people may come to Estonia for the purpose of work and study from all countries, but to citizens and residents of third countries with a higher number of infections, certain requirements will apply, and the responsibility for compliance with the requirements lies on both the arriving students or employees and the university who invited them.
Arrivals from third countries subjected to self-isolation
“The University of Tartu will notify the citizens of third countries of the requirements that apply to them during the first two weeks after their arrival in Estonia. The arrivals must confirm by signature that they have been informed of the requirements, stay in self-isolation for 14 days, and travel by separate means of transport during that period,” the university said.
“They must pass a COVID-19 test immediately after arrival and a repeat test at the end of the isolation period, ie on the 14th day. In case symptoms characteristic of COVID-19 develop, a family physician must be consulted immediately. If necessary, the University of Tartu can help arrange transport and testing.”
Self-isolation is required for all international students and employees who arrive in Estonia from or through a third country not listed on the foreign ministry website; from or through a country in which the number of positive tests of the novel coronavirus per 100,000 people over the last two weeks exceeds 16; and from or through a country for which there are no above data available and where the risk of virus spread is high.
“During self-isolation, international students and staff must stay in their place of residence or accommodation and refrain from unnecessary contacts. They are allowed to leave their place of residence only to see a doctor, shop for food, essentials and medicines, and in an emergency.”
Only up to a half of the admitted students expected to arrive
According to Ülle Tensing, the head of the Study Abroad Centre of the University of Tartu, more than 500 international students were admitted in 2020.
“However, considering the situation in the world, probably a third or a half of the admitted students will actually arrive. It is difficult to say how many students will be required to self-isolate, because the university also expects the existing students to return,” Tensing said.
According to her, it is important that as many international students as possible could start their studies in autumn at the same time as the Estonian students. “Organising the testing and isolation is an extra workload for the university, but it is very important to maintain openness also in challenging times. International students and staff are a valuable part of the university community,” she noted.
Cover: The University of Tartu’s main building. Photo by the University of Tartu.