Living and Studying

Tallinn is one of the more affordable capitals in Europe. Living expenses are generally considered to be reasonable, but will vary depending on your individual needs and choices. Here you can find some useful information and tips.

Living in Tallinn

Digital society

Estonia is one of the most advanced digital societies in the world, and e-services are fully embedded into the daily lives of individuals and organisations.

International students will have access to these benefits after obtaining their Estonian identity document, ID card for EU citizens and TRP card for non-EU citizens. Both cards are issued with an envelope that contains the necessary PIN codes for digital use of the card. The envelope will contain three codes: PIN 1 is used for authentication, PIN 2 for digital signature and PUK for unlocking the PIN codes. In order to be able to use the card digitally, you will need to install the necessary software that can be found here. If your device does not have a built-in card reader, you will also need a card reader, which can be purchased in all electronics stores and some larger convenience stores.

If having to use the card reader seems inconvenient, you may also opt for Mobile-ID or Smart-ID.

Accommodation and public transport

All students coming to pursue their studies in Estonia are responsible for arranging their own housing. Since it can be difficult at times to find suitable accommodation, EKA can provide guidance on where to get started.

EKA has a shared dormitory with EAMT in the city centre – Muusa Majutus. Due to the high demand, we recommend registering for a spot as soon as possible. Please note that you are not required to present an acceptance letter, but you will be required to pay a deposit to book a room. According to the regulations, the deposit is non-refundable, but the dormitory also reserves the right to make certain exceptions due to unexpected circumstances.

If you are unable to secure a spot at Muusa Majutus or would like to look for private housing, you should start your search on real estate websites, such as KV.EECity24.eeRendin.eeKinnisvara24 and Uusmaa. If you are interested in renting a room or finding roommates, you can try using Facebook Groups, such as “Expats Tallinn/Estonia” and “International students of EKA”.

EKA is located in the city centre, on the border of Kalamaja and Old Town. While the location is great, it is also the most expensive district in Tallinn, so you may want to consider other districts too. Tallinn is relatively small and has a good public transportation system which makes it easy to get around. Our city has a network of buses, trolleys and trams that operate daily from 6:00 to 23:00 and you can find the timetables here. Ticket prices and information on how to purchase tickets can be found here. It is also worth mentioning that EU citizens will be able to use public transport free of charge after obtaining their right of residence and ID card. Non-EU citizens will also be able to use public transport free of charge after obtaining their TRP card and registering their place of residence at the population register. In order to have free access to public transport you will need to personalise your student card or smartcard.

NB! Non-EU citizens will only be able to register their place of residence at the population register after obtaining a TRP.


You are not required to open a bank account in Estonia, but having an Estonian bank account may be a more convenient way for you to manage your finances and daily life. The largest banks in Estonia are LHV Pank, Swedbank , SEB Pank, Luminor Pank  and Coop Pank. All of them have convenient online banking options and apps. Opening a debit account is generally free for residents and EU citizens. Please note that opening a debit account for non-EU citizens without a TRP may come with a fee.

Estonian healthcare system

Please find detailed information about healthcare in Estonia here.

Useful information on health insurance for both EU citizens and non-EU citizens can be found here.

In Estonia, the first contact person in case of a health concern is a family physician or nurse. Family physicians can provide treatment for minor illnesses, make home visits and give referrals to visit medical specialists. They can also help if there is a need for a health certificate, prescription medicine or specialised medical care. You can usually get an appointment in a couple of days, or more quickly in case of an acute condition. So the first thing that you will need to do is choose a family physician. You can find the list of family physicians who are accepting new patients here.

If you have a health concern and your family physician is not available, you can call the family physician counselling line on 1220 or +372 634 6630. The line is intended to provide advice on minor health conditions, first aid instructions, and information on health management issues. Family physicians and nurses provide assistance in Estonian and Russian 24/7, and counselling in English is available daily from 3pm to 5pm.

You can also get medical advice via video consultations with English-speaking physicians at MinuDoc and Salu.MD.

There are also private clinics that offer a variety of services provided by family physicians and medical experts who are ready to assist you immediately. Here is a list of private clinics:




Sinu Arst


Emergency room

Emergency rooms provide immediate medical attention and unavoidable care. In case of a very serious and dangerous health condition or injury please go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital or call 112.


While living an active student life, please do not forget about safety. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It is compulsory to wear a reflector during the darker months in Estonia. You can purchase a reflector at almost any store. The reflector must be visible from all sides and should ideally be worn 50-80 cm from the ground. Please note that you can be fined for not wearing a reflector.
  • If a marked crosswalk is closer than 100 meters, pedestrians are required to cross the road at a marked crosswalk. Please note that you can be fined for not following the rules of crossing the road.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
  • Do not leave your bike unlocked and unattended.
  • Do not sign any documents that you do not understand.
  • Do not write any of your PINs down anywhere.

If you have any internet safety concerns, you can contact the web constables of the PBGB.

There is only one emergency phone number in Estonia, so please call 112 for emergencies of any nature. The number is accessible 24/7 and is free of charge.

Studying at EKA

Access to the building

In order to have access to the building, you will need a student card. We will order your first student card for you so it will be ready by the time you arrive. Please send your digital photo to by June 1st at the latest. Your photo needs to meet the following requirements:

  • it is not older than 3 years;
  • it is in .jpg format;
  • dimensions are at least 307 x 372 pixels, recommended resolution: min 300 dpi;
  • it is a clear image of you facing the camera straight;
  • it is showing your whole face, which fills about 80% of the space;
  • background is light and neutral, with no shadows, patterns, extraneous objects, or highlights;
  • you are not wearing sunglasses, headwear and headphones in the photo.

EKA student card costs 3.60 euros that will need to be paid with a card payment on the spot when we issue the card.

Once you are eligible to access free public transport, you will also be able to personalise your student card and use it instead of the smartcard.

If you lose your student card, please notify the information desk immediately and apply for a new card here. You will  have to pay the fee for the card again.

NB! Please note that while you may also obtain an ISIC card (regular or bank), it will not give you access to the building.

Email account and mailing lists

The IT department will create your EKA email account and the format of your email address will be This email will be your formal and primary communication channel at EKA. Please connect it to your other email accounts so you don’t miss any important information and deadlines.

Your email address will be added to three mailing lists:

  • general student list that contains all students at EKA;
  • international student list that contains all international students at EKA;
  • study group list that contains only students of a particular programme and year.

Tahvel and timetables

All students are enrolled and registered in our study information system Tahvel on the first day of the fall semester (please find the date in the Academic Calendar). Tahvel is used to store and manage student information. It will contain your personal information, timetables, grades and applications. You will need to log in to access your information in Tahvel. Our IT department will create usernames and passwords for temporary use so all international students will be able to log in to Tahvel before obtaining other types of authentication, such as ID/TRP card, Mobile-ID or Smart-ID.

However, you will be able to view general timetables without logging in to Tahvel by entering the code of your study group. Please keep in mind that timetables will be finalised about a week before the semester starts, so until then they are incomplete. It is also not uncommon for some changes to take place after timetables have already been finalised.

Codes for study groups are created from programme codes and admission years. Here are the code names for international master’s programmes:

MACA – contemporary art

MAN – animation

MCS – craft studies

MGD – graphic design

MIxD – interaction design

MUR – urban studies

Example: study group code for students admitted to the contemporary art programme in 2023 is MACA23.

Curriculum and courses

Curriculum consists of several modules that are either compulsory or elective. Every module has a credit value and consists of a certain set of courses.

In order to finish the studies within the nominal period of study, you will need to complete 30 ECTS credits every semester. In order to be classified as a full-time student, you will need to complete at least 75% of the full-time study load per year, which is 45 ECTS credits.

NB! Reducing to a part-time study load will result in the revocation of a TRP for non-EU students.

Your curriculum will consist of compulsory and elective specialty courses, general theory elective courses, optional courses* and final thesis. You can find a detailed overview of your curriculum in Tahvel, but please make sure to choose the latest version of the curriculum.

Here are the first letters of course codes to help orient you:

AN – specialty courses for animation

GD – specialty courses for graphic design

ID – specialty courses for interaction design

KU – specialty courses for contemporary art

TS  – specialty courses for craft studies

UR – specialty courses for urban studies

VA – optional courses

ÜT7 – general theory courses for MA level

ESTA – optional Estonian language courses

* Non-core courses that are part of the curriculum and do not have to be related to the major. All students are required to select optional courses in the volume set by the curriculum. Optional courses are offered schoolwide at the beginning of every semester.

Registrations and cancellations

Study specialists of your faculty will be registering you for all your compulsory specialty courses. You will be selecting your faculty electives, general theory electives and optional courses. Faculty electives are coordinated by study specialists of each faculty. General theory electives and optional courses are coordinated by the Centre of General Theory Subjects. You will receive detailed information and instructions by email before courses are open for registration.

In order to make sure that optional courses are accessible for all students, the groups are divided into the following subgroups: all students, Erasmus+ students, international students and waiting list. There is a limited number of seats reserved for each subgroup, so please make sure to select the correct subgroup when registering for courses. We will be checking all registrations for optional courses and if you select the wrong subgroup, you will be placed on the waiting list instead.

NB! Please keep in mind that attending classes without a registration to participate in the course is not allowed.

According to our regulations, it is not possible to cancel registrations for compulsory courses. You may cancel registrations for elective and optional courses up to three days after the first class has taken place. Please keep in mind that it is not possible to cancel registrations after that. If you are no longer able to cancel a registration and do not participate in the course, you will get a “no appearance” mark, but it will not affect your average grade.

Applications and certificates

All application forms can be found here. It is preferable to submit applications in Tahvel, but if you are unable to submit an application in Tahvel, you may fill out an appropriate form and send it to Helen Jürgens at The deadlines for submitting applications can be found in the academic calendar, but you will also receive information by email at the beginning and end of every semester.

If you need a certificate concerning your studies at EKA, please submit a request in Tahvel and it will be sent to you by email. If you are not sure about the type of certificate you need or are unable to find a suitable request in Tahvel, please contact Kaija Põder at

Academic leave and extension of studies

This section is currently under construction. In the meantime, all relevant information can be found here.

Tuition fees

Tuition fee for the first semester needs to be paid upon admission by April 30th. Afterwards the payments need to be made twice a year, by October 30th for the fall semester and by March 30th for the spring semester.

Here are current tuition fees (EUR, per year):

Programme Enrolled in 2021/22
EU* / non-EU**
Enrolled in 2022/23
EU* / non-EU**
Enrolled in 2023/24
EU* / non-EU***
Enrolled in 2024/25
EU* / non-EU***
Animation MA 2500 / 2500 2500 / 2700 2800 / 3600 3000 / 3800
Contemporary Art MA 1600 / 2700 1700 / 2600 1700 / 2700 1800 / 2800
Craft Studies MA 2600 / 2600 2800 / 2800
Design & Crafts MA 2090 / 2500
Graphic Design MA 2200 / 2200 2400 / 2600 2600 / 2600 2800 / 2800
Interaction Design MA 2600 / 3900 2600 / 3900 2900 /3900 3000 / 3900
Urban Studies MA 1300 / 1300 1500 / 1650 1700 / 1700 1900 / 1900

* EU/EEA citizens, long-term residents and holders of permanent right of residence

** Non-EU citizens enrolled before 2022/23 (excl citizens of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, UK and Switzerland)

*** Non-EU citizens enrolled since 2023/24 (excl citizens of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, UK and Switzerland)

Financial aid and scholarships

This section is currently under construction. In the meantime, all relevant information can be found here.

Working while studying

You are allowed to work during your studies in Estonia on the condition that it does not interfere with your studies. EKA does not have a job network, but feel free to search for a job independently. You can start by searching for information here and also visiting the biggest job search websites in Estonia:


EKA is offering counselling services to all students who are seeking help and support. If you are having personal issues, experiencing any difficulties with studies, or would like to seek guidance on your career path, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our psychologist and career counsellor Kaia-Leena Pino at