Article written by Mahboob Alam

“followed by determination”

Studying abroad isn’t easy for anyone in this world until you are not sure you want to do it. Most countries in east which are called developing countries, don’t have as good educational systems as westerns countries do.

University system in my home town, Lahore

People who are highly interestted in getting a good education always try to reach at that position where they can find educational Heaven. I lived almost 23 years of my life in metropolitan city Lahore within Pakistan. Lahore is called a city of colleges or universities. Many private and government or public universities are located in different parts of this city. I studied in Punjab University for my Bachelor studies.

I always denied that Pakistan is providing better quality and non-expensive education to their citizens. When I’m talking about non-expensive education, I mean public universities. Public universities in Pakistan have a few disadvantages such as the services being provided to students, Lecturers, and most importantly to Professors.

Students are facing refusals to execute their ideas, suffer due to unsupported behaviour of university and government for research funds, lecturers are feeling compactness due to restrictions and rules that don’t allow them to teach with their free will. Professors are worried about delays in their works and request submitted to government for approvals regarding new research proposals. I was determined to experience world class education out of my country about which I was told and searched on the Internet. This idea was prevailing in my mind since I was in 8th grade.

When I was like in 12th grade, I was a little worried about the resources I had at that time which were compelling me not to pursue what I dreamt about. My determination and vague educational system of Pakistan education kept me together with my dreams for studying abroad. But I was wrong about educational system of Pakistan; that is what I think now. One of my friends joined me in this journey for studying abroad, I asked him to help me out find the good programme in which I can enhance my previous knowledge about what I specialized in my Bachelor studies. I started my search on Internet for good courses at the end of 7th semester of my Bachelor studies, but devoted myself when I finished my Bachelor’s degree.

Finding my programme with Studyportals

I found Studyportals at that time which helped me really in a  good way. First, I was looking for each country and then I had to select cities of that country and after, all universities or programmes. It was really confusing and hectic. But Studyportals gave me everything just with in few clicks. Then I selected courses of my choice and countries. I applied in Finland, Italy, and Estonia. I wanted to go to those countries which are offering me free education. So Baltic or northern countries were on my priority list.

Getting my admission letters

I got admission letters from Italy and Finland but still I was waiting for Estonia. University of Tartu was offering a course which really suited me with respect to my previous education. In the month of April or May I got an admission letter from the University of Tartu, I was too happy that day. New problem was waiting for me when I came to know there is no Estonian Embassy where I can go to apply for visa or residence permit. But I found courage and started to look for the nearest country where I could go and apply at an Estonian Embassy for visa. There were three options for me, Egypt, Turkey and Georgia where Estonian Embassy was located. I selected two of them: Egypt and Turkey. I applied for visiting Visa in Egyptian and Turkish embassies. Unfortunately, both embassies took like two months and I was getting late to reach here, in Estonia. When you are so close to reaching your goal, there is still a problem waiting for you in a corner to make you stronger about your decisions, ideas and dreams.



Finally reaching Estonia

In the end, Turkish Embassy refused me to give visa due to internal problems Turkey was facing at that time. They stopped assigning visas to foreigners. But Egyptian Embassy gave me permission to visit their country when I had late, my classes already had started here in the University of Tartu. I took first flight the day when the big Festival of Sacrifice “Sacrifice Feast Greater Eid” was held. I was too excited and then, at 12 pm, I reached at Cairo International Airport.

I was alone, afraid but determined to reach Estonia for my study abroad experience. The very next day, I took an appointment from Estonian Embassy in Cairo to apply for visa and residence permit. I was glad when Estonian embassy supported me in a way that they just gave me visa in three days. When I got Estonian visa, I didn’t want be more late and took flight from Cairo to Tallinn, Estonia. Unfortunately, I was late for 1 month but my determination brought me here to experience the world’s best experience.

I was appreciated by my programme director, Professor Ivo Ieito. He was happy to see me here. My journey wasn’t easy so yours will probably be the same as well, but I advise you to be determined and take the first step; many more doors will open for you, which will lead you to fulfilling your dreams. I believed in it, so, should you!