History of ESN in Estonia

How it all started - ESN Tartu and ESN Tallinn

Estonia joined ESN in the year 2000 when the first section was established in the university town of Tartu. The University of Tartu and some Estonian students who had been on the exchange were looking for ways to integrate international students and saw ESN as a great opportunity. Thus, ESN Tartu was founded on the 21st of August 2000. At first, ESN Tartu worked together only with Tartu University, but today also with other universities in Tartu: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Pallas University of Applied Sciences, Estonian Aviation Academy and Tartu Health Care College.

For a while, ESN Tartu was the only section in Estonia, but the first activities of ESN Tallinn started in 2002 and in 2003 ESN Tallinn was officially founded. ESN Tallinn had its first experience with international students at Tallinn Pedagogical University (currently Tallinn University). However, the popularity of Tallinn as a study destination kept growing, so ESN Tallinn decided to also take care of students from other universities. Today, ESN Tallinn is partnered with many higher education institutions: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Estonian Business School, Tallinn Health Care College, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology and University of Applied Sciences.

International Club joining ESN
Next to the two bigger sections organizing events and trips for all the international students of their towns are three smaller ones that operate as parts of their universities’ student councils. The oldest among them is ESN TalTech IC (ESN Tallinn University of Technology International Club) which was founded as an international club in 2003, but as the number of incoming students kept growing and they kept working together with ESN Tallinn, they made the decision to become an official ESN section in 2009.

Then, in 2006, there was an International Club formed at Tallinn University and in the spring of 2009, they became an official ESN section named ESN TLU Tallinn, but now they have changed the name to ESN TU IC.

The youngest and smallest section in Estonia is ESN EBS. The international club at the Estonian Business School was created in the spring of 2008 for organizing events and building a buddy network for the exchange students in EBS. The international club became an official ESN section in the spring of 2009. ESN EBS drifted away from the Estonian network for a few years and re-joined the ESN Estonia network again in 2017.

Creation of National Level - ESN Estonia

ESN Estonia as a separate body and a National Board was first established in 2011 and registered as an NGO in 2012. Since the first National Board was elected, the cooperation between the sections has grown much stronger, especially between the sections in Tallinn and ESN Tartu. The aim of the National Level is to support local sections and be the link between local sections and the international level.

More about the National Level of ESN Estonia here.

Creation of the National Event - Estonian Wedding

With the creation of ESN Estonia as a separate body, the idea to start organizing our own National Event started growing. The idea for a traditional Estonian Wedding came up and never left our minds. It is a tradition in Estonia to make a mock wedding as a part of your senior year in high school where a bride and groom are elected in the class and everyone else also gets specific roles: mother and father of the bride, the couple’s best friends, etc. And we decided that the event needed to take place at one of the most beautiful places in Estonia: on our biggest island, Saaremaa. And so, our national event Estonian Wedding in Saaremaa was born and held for the first time in May 2013. More about the event here.

Creation of National Training Event - Skillbox
In 2014 our first National Training event Skillbox was launched. The idea came from the National President of that time. ESN Estonia wanted to bring sections together through training, make them work towards the same cause and empower them through non-formal education. More about the National training event here.

ESN Estonia's participation in events 

  • Participated in SeaBattle 2012 (National event of ESN Sweden) in April and November
  • Participated in SeaBattle 2013 (National event of ESN Sweden) in April and November
  • Organised first National event Estonian Wedding 2013, May
  • Participated in SeaBattle 2014 (National event of ESN Sweden) in April and November
  • Organised National Event Estonian Wedding 2014, May
  • Organised National Trip to Riga and Vilnius in 2014
  • Organised National event Estonian Wedding 2015, May
  • Participated in SeaBattle (National event of ESN Sweden) and in Pirates of the Baltic Sea (National event of ESN Finland) 2015
  • Participated National Trip to Belarus in 2015, May
  • Organised National Trip to Riga and Vilnius in 2015, May
  • Organised National Trip to Estonian Islands called Island Hopper in 2016
  • Participated in Pirates of the Baltic Sea (National event of ESN Finland) 2016
  • Organised National Trip to Baltics called Baltic Weekend in 2017
  • Participated in Pirates of the Baltic Sea (National event of ESN Finland) 2017
  • Organised National Trip combined with National event called Saaremaa Adventure,  2017
  • Participated in Pirates of the Baltic Sea (National event of ESN Finland) 2018
  • Participated in Pirates of the Baltic Sea (National event of ESN Finland) 2022

International events organised in Estonia

  • NEP Tartu 2017, by ESN Tartu
  • EACM Tallinn 2016, by ESN Tallinn
  • NEP Tallinn 2012, by ESN Tallinn
  • CNR Tartu 2011, by ESN Tartu
  • PRIME Conference 2011, by ESN Tartu
  • PRIME Conference 2009, by ESN Tallinn
  • NEP Tartu 2008, by ESN Tartu
  • Erasmus Van hosted by ESN Tallinn, 2007
  • CNR Tallinn 2004, by ESN Tallinn
  • CNR Tartu 2003, by ESN Tartu
  • Nordic Network Meeting aka NEP by ESN Tartu and ESN Tallinn, 2002


ESN Estonia and Board of ESN International

  • International Board member 2002 - Kairika Kärsna
  • Vice-President of ESN International 2003 - Merilyn Keskküla
  • EVS in ESN International 2009 - Jörgen Talkop
  • Vice-President of ESN International 2009 - Veeli Oeselg
  • Candidate for Vice-President of ESN International 2013 - Katre Trei