The reasons why people choose Estonia as their host country (where they can discover themselves) differ but these are the most common ones:
- Special programs: every year we receive several students coming to participate in one of our special programs. Where would you go to study music if not to a singing nation?
- Estonian nature: stories of the beautiful and diverse Estonian nature have gone far, farther than we would have thought.
- The Estonian language: a unique language spoken by such a small group of people is definitely interesting for many.
- Estonian roots: because of our history there are people who come to Estonia to search for and find their roots.
- Unknown, small and far away: if one wishes to experience something totally new and different than at home.
- Future: as one of the fastest developing European economies, knowing the language and culture of Estonia can offer valuable opportunities in the future.
There are definitely people who have heard exciting gossip about Estonia and the Estonians and want to see them with their own eyes. Here are some examples what exchange students have heard about Estonia before they arrived here:
- Estonians live in igloos and eat fish every day.
- Estonians have to go hunting every day wearing Viking costumes in order to always have fresh meat.
- Estonia is part of Russia where there are no computers, nor the Internet.
- Our children and teachers go to school riding a reindeer sled because the Estonians have no cars.
These are only a few examples what our exchange students have told us. With YFU they not only discover the world, themselves and many other things, but after their exchange year we send home students who have somehow become Estonians as well. They promise to smoke fish at home, translate Estonian books into their respective languages or build saunas.