It's not easy to move to a new country and to be a foreigner in the place you call home. Estonia has one of the highest percentages of residents of foreign origins, at around 27%. With such a high percentage of people identifying as having foreign origins our goal was to collect some of their stories and find out what they have found in Estonia and how it has become home for them.
Our stories focus on three different groups.The first two, students and professionals are people who have moved to Estonia from other countries. We interviewed these people since Estonia is often portrayed as a destination for education as well as startup businesses and the IT industry. The third group, ethnic Russians, is more complex. They were all born in Estonia and comprise around 24% of the population and is the majority in certain areas. However, due to their ethnic identity or citizenship laws they are not considered to be fully Estonian. A large number of ethnic Russians we interviewed wished to remain anonymous due to the social tensions that they feel exists between ethnic Russians and Estonians. Despite this we hope that this project can highlight the stories that all these people have to share about their lives in Estonia.
We are international students from the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. We have diverse backgrounds from Kazakhstan, Russia, Italy and The United States with specialities ranging from international relations, political studies and journalism. As international students who have moved to Estonia ourselves we wanted to highlight the stories of people who are not Estonian, but who have a connection to the country.