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(happy me in Riga)

Hey! My name is Nina (for all the Estonians – no in Austria this name has nothing to do with nose) and I am 18 years old. In February (16.02) I am celebrating my birthday. :D 

I am from Austria. Yes – Austria – the small country in the middle of Europa – so no – not Australia. We do not have kangaroos or Santas, which are surfing on Christmas. (as we do not have on the one hand a sea and on the other hand the climate for that).
In Austria I am living in the state called “lower Austria” and there in a village - “Ernsthofen”. It is not the biggest place or a city, but I like it there, as everybody knows each other.

In my free time I like to do music, as I play the violin and the piano. I also like to sing, but the shower is the only one who is allowed to listen to my beautiful show.
I also like to travel. My dream destination would be “Rio de Janeiro” during carnival. But I also would like to see more of the north – too bad, that you need money to travel :D
Also taking photos became a hobby since I have my SLR camera.
Of course I also like to meet with my friends, especially when we activity we are doing requires something to eat.

DSC05552So in general I like food (<3), but somehow I do not like paprika (I already tasted it, but IDK why, but I don’t like it) and I would probably never order a pizza at an Italian restaurant (if we order something home via Internet, then I am a total fan of pizza) To not only talk about food – I am snowboarding, but I do not like it, when there is bad weather during it.
But when the sun is out, I really enjoy snowboarding and sitting outside of the “ski hut”, drinking warm chocolate and eating “Apfelstrudl”.
In summer I am also a huge fan of good weather, especially when you have free time and you can lay in the hammock and enjoying the warm sun and the birds singing around you. :D

So if I like good and warm weather – why did I come to Estonia?

Well – I graduated from high school this summer and I always knew, that I wanted to go abroad after this. And the program Erasmus+ seemed to be a good possibly to me.

Also I do not really know, what I want to study and I think (and hope), that this year can help me, to find “the right thing” for me – so it is also an “orientation” for me.
I choose to apply for the “Tankla” project, because I thought, that on the one hand it could suit me and on the other hand it combines those two things (working with youngsters and media) in which I am interested in.
But to the question, why Estonia, I do not really have an answer. A lot of people just recommended me a Baltic country, as it is beautiful here.
And I was thinking – why not? – in Austria the people do not really know that much about Estonia, so would I ever come here (if I would not do my EVS here)? – probably not. So I think, it is a good opportunity for me getting to know a country I do not know so much about and be a part of it.

So now I am here for almost 2 months and I have had some situations that are new to me, even funny, because in Austria I was used to something different.

DSC06803To give you examples:

  1. The first school day is here in Estonia a huge thing. In Austria it is also important, but more for the kids that are now going for the first time to school.
    Here there is a ceremony, where every teacher gets flowers and the kids that begin with school also get flowers. Their parents get 100 euros to buy the stuff they need for school. – so compared to Austria it is celebrated much more.
  2. Going to the shop / doing shopping
    When I first went to “Maxima” (it is open even on Sundays, till 10 p.m. – I was really surprised and also a bit shocked, because in Austria everything is closed on Sundays) it reminded me e bit of the Austrian “Interspar” – so a huge shop, where you can find almost everything – beginning from stuff for school, then of course food, and ending with decorations for home. So this was not really new to me, but what really surprised me was the fact, that you can not buy fresh bread at the counter. There is only the one, that is already in plastic.
    But besides the bread, also the milk surprised me. Not the milk itself, but the packaging. From Austria I only know the carton packaging for milk, but here it is also possible to buy the milk (and yoghurt,…) in “bags”. I was a bit confused how you are supposed to put it in the fridge after opening, but of course there is a solution for it – you just put the bag in a small vascular, cut of one corner of the bag and “Tada” – now you can use it “normally”.

    P1080681Next to this, it was also really funny to go shopping with Rasmus (my dutor) for my “Austria Event”. As I planned to cook something at this event we needed some things.
    When I told him about the salad I am going to make (potato salad), and that there is no sour crème in it, his reaction just was “ah okay, that is new to me”. When I said, that in Austria we put also something green, like parsley, in the salad Rasmus just said “hmhmm, will be interesting.” (As we did not use all the parsley Rasmus gave it to me, because I am cooking with it and in the Youth Center no one will use it J).
  • So if you are coming to Estonia, be ready, that there are not that much spices/… used – just one exception – salt.
  1. What also was really funny to me, was when they told me, that we are going hiking (I was before at the youth center). I knew, that Estonia is not really a country with much hills and mountains, but I expected something different.
    Because before we started the “hikingtrip” I really thought, that I am not wearing the right shoes and clothes for it. But it turned out, that hiking means something different here than in Austria – because the hiking we did in Estonia would be a walk for most Austrians.

evs lumi

But all in all I would not say, that Estonians and Austrians are so much different. At my Austrian Event I just heard, that I have too big eyes to be Estonian. (with smaller ones, I would look like one)
I am just really excited about the winter, because I think, compared to Austria, the winter here in Estonia will be so much colder (as everybody is telling me, that there will be minus 25 degrees). I just hope, that there will be snow, but I think the chances are not too bad, as the first snow was here on the 26th of October. (Update: all snow was gone on the next day :) )

I do not know yet how to survive -25 degrees, so wish me luck :D luckily it was not that cold when I came here on the 31st of August, but about my first day (and the following the months) more next time :D

And now I am wishing you all the best, “Head aega” und “Baba!” (good bye)!


In einem Wort zusammengefasst lassen sich meine Erfahrungen hier wohl als überwältigend bezeichnen.
Überwältigend, weil ich so viele neue Dinge erleben durfte und hoffentlich noch viele folgen, aber auch, weil ich merke, wie ich mich einlebe und trotzdem jeden Tag etwas Anderes geschieht.
Estland ist ein wunderschönes Land und ich hoffe, dass ich noch viel davon zu sehen bekommen. Bisher konnte ich schon einige Orte sehen – dazu aber ein anderes Mal mehr :)

(if you want to contact me, because you have questions/… or want to see pics of Estonia
– Facebook: Nina Leimlehner, Instagram: estoni.n.a)

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