Instructors working in the programme Settle in Estonia share their experiences
In their work, the instructors working in the programme Settle in Estonia meet foreign nationals who have relocated to Estonia almost every day. Over the years, they have gathered a number of interesting stories and obtained a good overview of the immigrants.
Martin Lään, one of the founders of Expat Relocation Estonia OÜ, used to teach training courses himself, but now he mainly deals with the management of the company and provides consultation to individual private clients. Before Martin started a company for consulting new immigrants, he had been a diplomat for year and had obtained an MBA degree in Switzerland. Over the course of his career, he had been networking with foreign nationals a lot and would often offer help and advice to those who relocated to Estonia. At one point, Martin arrived at the conclusion that there was no adaptation counselling service in Estonia although there seemed to be a demand for it, and this was what inspired him to establish the firm Expat Relocation Estonia OÜ.
Within the scope of the programme over the years, Martin has generally met very well-disposed people who had sincere intention to integrate into Estonian society and wanted to understand its systems and cultural peculiarities. A number of the people who had participated in in the courses within the programme have become Martin’s or his colleagues’ good friends or partners.
One Example Martin mentions is Vitali from Ukraine, who attended the language course of the programme to obtain level A1 Estonian language skills. After this, Vitali was Expat Relocation Estonia OÜ’s partner in the creation of a number of interactive study aids for the programme. Martin says that Vitali has adapted very well in Estonia; he is enterprising, open to change and can notice new opportunities. Because of all of this, Vitaly has also acquired a broad circle of friends and acquaintances in Estonia. He has recently founded a new radio station in Estonia called Relax FM.
Another nice example Martin tells us about is Oksana, who had also initially taken part in the programme as a student. Oksana was fascinated by the programme and soon became Martin’s partner and assistant responsible for translations and editing texts in Russian.
Another participant of the programme whom Martin remembers vividly and still meets from time to time to exchange experiences was Hamid from Iran. Hamid is an IT entrepreneur whom Martin supported in adaptation in Estonia. He was a very enthusiastic student taking great interest in the language. Even before Hamid started attending the A1 language course, he used to listen to Estonian radio stations and watch local TV channels, picking up interesting phrases which would create a lot of excitement during the language course. These days, Hamid manages to communicate in Estonian quite nicely albeit on the beginner’s level, and he copes with living here well, together with his wife and daughter.