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Found in Estonia

Found in Estonia

By Tiina Pärtel, Kaisa Holsting
We talk with foreigners who have made Estonia their home.
Inspire more open-mindedness by sharing interesting stories and observations that many foreigners with their fresh eyes can offer.

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#29 Enlik Tjioe from Indonesia to Estonia: The hardest part was to explain my parents, where is Estonia.
"I don’t have difficulty pronouncing Estonian words!" - Did you know Indonesian and Estonian language have the same pronunciation - at least that's what Enlik says 😅 Meet Enlik, a young, energetic and ambitious guy from Indonesia. His passions are data, computer games, podcasts, and exploring Estonia. One weekend going to plant trees, the next recording his own podcast, and in between discovering new hiking trails somewhere along the way.  *What's the difference between living in Jakarta and Bali?  *How did working in Australia helped Enlik to move to Europe? *How to meet Estonians during COVID restrictions? *Why did he start to appreciate potatoes more than rice?  Click play and listen further.  Listen to Enlik's podcast here: * Find out more about Found in Estonia podcast here:
June 10, 2021
#28 Tiina - what's up with Found in Estonia podcast?
Special day = special episode! *Where did Kaisa disappear?  *What kind of episodes are coming up?  *Any collaborations in the air?  *Anything else happening with Found in Estonia podcast? *Any get-togethers? Good that you asked, 'cause Tiina is  answering it all in the special solo episode 😎 Listen and join the email newsletter on  And get in touch if you have any collaboration ideas! -> 💕
June 4, 2021
#27 Alex Bitskov from Narva to the world and back to Estonia: I like when things are difficult
Alex is a special guest on Found in Estonia podcast!  He is an Estonian who was born in Narva and moved to the UK when he was 12. Alex spent 4 years working in Japan, 1 year helping to build up a language school in Malaysia. Through the years has launched 4 startups and is now living and working back in Narva, Estonia. He loves challenges, design, startups, Japanese culture, Estonian nature, and the startup world. Even though he doesn't speak Estonian, he thinks Estonia is amazing and has lots of cool stuff.  Wondering why he moved back to Narva? Listen to our chat to find out!  Quote from Alex: "Also expats, if you’ve been here, in Estonia, over a year and haven’t visited Narva, then what are you doing?" * Alex mentioned: AR Narva app: * Join our listeners community on:
May 22, 2021
#26 Brothers Joy and Jessi Verano from Peru to Estonia: I think that in Peru we should know more about Estonia
Something special - not only one guest but two! :O  Joy and Jessi are brothers who have lived in Estonia 8/10years and have few things to share! They're both passionate about the finance world, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and building businesses. Besides that they are super impressed with Estonian nature, love walking in the forest or in the bog, winter swimming, and yes sauna as well! Not only do we talk about Estonia, but they share their TOP must-know-about-Peru facts and explain how can one catch a bus in Lima and what's up with their “Two hour consideration rule”?   * Enjoy the episode and reach out on 🥳  
May 7, 2021
#25 Avishek Tarun from India to Estonia: I applied to 300 different job offers, before moving to Estonia
This time we're heading to India or to be more exact India is coming to us through a highly energetic young guy Avishek Tarun! 🥳🥳 He introduces himself as a simple data guy - but what does it mean? It's quite remarkable, that Avishek spent 3 years and filled in over 300 job applications since he already knew, he wants to move to Estonia (or to Berlin)! We'll hear what's up with frozen veggies or the lack of them in India, how Indian people distinguish between spicy and hot foods. How do Indian people plan their time without using a calendar? And how he had to relearn how to make compliments in Estonia 😅 *
April 23, 2021
#24 Andrew Sai from Ghana to Estonia: I love the sauna!
Listen to Andrew sharing why Africans never sleep in a tent, how does the naming system function in Ghana. Why does Andrew like the cold and sauna in Estonia? How did he survive his first winter in Estonia, when the heating broke down? How did he manage to study and work full time? What are the differences in school systems in Ghana vs Estonia? What are the staple foods in Ghana? How does he enjoy winter sports here? And most importantly why did he prefer moving to Estonia instead of Australia? Let’s find out! *
April 9, 2021
#23 Eunice Bolanle from Nigeria: My children like it because there is snow!
Eunice is a bubbly soul with a love for African food and entrepreneurship. She says Nigerian people are happy people and you should approach them more to get to know them better! We talk about how Estonia is the first country, where she traveled outside of Africa. Why she decided to stay here. What does she think about Estonian foods, are there any similarities between her native language and Estonian? Her first experiences with snow, sauna, and much more! Join in and let’s travel to Nigeria! *
March 26, 2021
#22 Nikki Tan from Singapore to Estonia: The air in Estonia is impossibly clean
Listen to how Nikki explains what it’s been like to travel the world as a digital nomad and how is it different from being a slow nomad.  Why after living in Estonia for three years, she still appreciates Estonian air quality and how clean it is! She loves the sauna in her apartment (despite coming from a warm country), and tells why it’s hard to eat green leafy vegetables in Estonia. She is amazed by our sour creme and dairy selection and compares it to tofu choices in Asian countries.  You might also ask, what’s up with giving our red envelopes and tangerines when you visit someone? And even if you didn’t ask it - we will talk about it! :)  So stay tuned and enjoy hearing Nikki’s story! Join in and let us know, what you learned from this episode!
March 12, 2021
#21 Mihaela Benedicitie from Moldova to Estonia: even if you move to Antarctica, you know you are a Moldovian!
How can one Moldovian woman, who has lived in Estonia for 6+ years, say that she doesn’t feel like an Estonian, rather “Kohilane”? *Why you shouldn’t go hitchhiking in Moldova? *Is Moldova actually a giant Soviet-styled Escape room? * What does it mean, if you spit on Moldovian field something is pound to grow? * If being naked in a sauna was easy for her, what was the hard part? Come and enjoy Miha’s very lively personality explaining how she first moved to Estonia. Starting to live in a village with just around 3000 people altogether, is it worth it? Miha has a very colorful way of explaining everything to us, starting from the languages used in Moldova. Then sharing her transforming journey from studying architecture, learning woodworking, and now being immersed in Fin-tech and the world of numbers. Join in and let us know, what you learned from this episode! *
February 27, 2021
#20 Viktorija Domarkaite from Lithuania to Estonia: Lithuanians are way too loud and eccentric
Listen to Viktorija sharing her passion for the jewelry world, giving insights into what it’s like to study in the Estonian Academy of Arts, how she got good at art history. How basketball in Lithuania has a similar meaning as singing in Estonia. Why do they talk with their pets?? And hey are Lithuanians and Estonians actually similar? 💎 check out Vikas jewelry line:  🥰 win a pair of QVIIN earrings, by posting an Instagram story, where you write, what you appreciate in your friends + tag @Foundinestonia and @qviin_jewelry 😍 *
February 8, 2021
#19 Ucha Vekua from Georgia to Estonia: I was 15 years old and I decided I want to organise a huge hip-hop party
Listen to our very bubbly chat with Ucha from Georgia. Ucha is passionate about startups, has contributed a lot to Garage48 and ESN networks, and focuses on building his own platform under the name Startup Ventures! He is a true activist, though at the same time a total introvert as he says. He shares how Eminem and hip-hop world kickstarted his journey to the startup world and living abroad. You’ll hear the inspiring story about how one project and opportunity took him to another! Today he’s lived in Estonia for 5 years and totally appreciates this opportunity! *
January 29, 2021
#18 Penelope Piip from Australia to Estonia: Being a red head I tend to blend in!
Listen to as we chat with a lovely lady Penelope Piip, who has lived in Tartu for nearly 16 years already! She has seen Estonia changing and developing from inside and outside. And her first impressions coming to Estonia from Australia, were: it’s like going back in time with these tiny highways :) Get ready to hear more about lace making and handicraft, her journey ending up in Estonia, how she became board member of Eesti Niplispitsi selts and whether she wears shoes indoors and much more! *
January 15, 2021
#17 Tiina and Kaisa - reviewing 2020 and going over all the episodes!
Time for a duo show! Tiina and Kaisa sending away year 2020, discussing what were their highlights this year and what are their plans for the next year! The majority if this episode goes over all the 16 episodes published! Tiina and Kaisa put themselves to the test and share what stood out to them from each episode! They share memories from behind the recording and things they can recall from the chats! Let us know if you can also remember all of these things and what would you add! Timestamps: 00:00 What were our highlights in 2020 12:14 - Revisiting all the episodes 1:03:11 - From which countries would we love to have our next guests? 1:05:35 - Things gained from making this podcast? 1:07:18 - What is something in your bucket list for 2021? 1:09:7 - Goals regarding the podcast! *
December 29, 2020
#16 Jameela Prits from Palestine to Estonia - "Estonians are living their own lifestyles, don’t think people will focus on you!”
We chat with Jameela about differences between Palestinian people and Estonians. She shares, how she learned to speak almost perfect Estonian, how she doesn’t think winters here are too harsh. She shares her love for mashed potatoes and explains as how she grew up wearing hijabi. Get ready for some Palestinian health hacks and hearing about traditional Palestinian wedding traditions. Let us know, what you enjoyed the most! *
December 18, 2020
#15 Marino Bresciani from Italy to Estonia - “Italians can absolutely work hard, the point is, we realise we don’t always have to.
Working in IT during the day and in the dance world during evenings. Marino started to appreciate Estonian food and the life in Tartu after living in Finland. He shares, how he turned his passion for latin dances into a blooming dance studio. What are the differences between Estonian introverts and Estonian extraverts. How different it might be to take care of some paperwork in Italy vs in Estonia. And Italian espresso vs Estonian coffee. Let us know, what you enjoyed the most! *
December 4, 2020
#14 John Avila from Colombia to Estonia - “Before coming to Estonia I was just a plain software engineer”

He says: "before coming to Estonia he was just a plain software engineer, .." Maybe his life changed after he started drinking kama with keefir for breakfast to blend in more or maybe it was thanks to the clever hack, how he learned to say the letter “Ö” in Estonian and probably getting into composing music had its contribution. We’ll find out through his highly entertaining stories. He also shares, why Colombian people are so intense in making eye contact. And how feelings in general are just not Estonian thing, except maybe, when it comes to our Singing festival. Then it’s a totally different story. Let us know, what you enjoyed the most! *
November 12, 2020
#13 Iryna Krepchuk from Belarus to Estonia
Iryna grew up in Belarus and moved to Tartu 6 years ago. We talk about Belarusian  language and its new wave, about how she uses Russian and English language in Estonia. We dive deep into her musical background. We talk about how much Estonians dislike talking on phones. We get into different local traditions Kadripäev, Mardipäev, Jaanipäev and the story of Tahma-Toomas - let us know, if you’ve heard about Tahma-Toomas before! And there are many more topics that we cover, so let’s start, enjoy! *
October 30, 2020
#12 Jaime Delgado - From Chile to Estonia
After living his entire life in Chile, Jaime decided it’s time to study abroad. After he convinced his parents, that yes this university he found on the other side of the world, is right fit for him, he did a little research, packed his bag and moved to Estona. First impressions after landing - wow, this country is so FLAT! Some other memorable impressions were seeing an Estonian hot dog for the first time, realising that his university building has its own sauna, people eating open sided sandwiches, not being able to find Pisco sour here and so much more. Click play to unfold the conversation! *
October 23, 2020
#11 Mathilde Roch-Penet - from France to Estonia
Mathilde is full of artsy vibes. She loves yoga, tattoos, travelling and Estonia. After her Erasmus year in Tallinn, she has moved away multiple times and always found her way back! Our laid back chat contained hilarious stories about sauna, 3-course eating habits in France, her first impressions about seeing Estonia's highest hill..  Stories behind her tattoos, how safe is it really to walk around in Tallinn, as a female, in the middle of the night. How she is constantly impressed, that you can see stars in the sky here and how she compares Estonians with jam and coconuts. Listen further in the episode itself! *
October 15, 2020
#10 Taavi Suikkanen - from Finland to Estonia

Taavi is from Finland or a guy without land, a European citizen? Yes, he’s going to elaborate on that. He is very open about, what annoys him about Estonia and Estonians. He shares his opinion about whether Estonians actually have their own standards, whether we should accept Russian language as our national language. The pressure of today’s society etc. Additionally he shares his views about HR and music industry. Listen further in the episode itself and enjoy! *
October 2, 2020
#9 Tati Beck- from Brazil to Estonia
Tati was living in Brazil, when 6 years ago, her boyfriend announced, that he is going to move to Estonia. She then read from Google, that Estonia is the best place in the world, to live surrounded by beautiful women. Well after reading that, her decision was easy, she decided she won’t let him move to Estonia alone. Now she says Estonia truly is a sweet spot and she really likes it here. Some things started finally making more sense here - like Santa wearing an actual winter coat and winter boots and Christmas songs being about snow. And something, that Tati was quite shocked about during summer time, was seeing people sunbathing in the middle of the street here. Listen further in the episode itself! *
September 24, 2020
#8 Ada Hisunova - from Ukraine to Estonia
Being born in Ukraine, she fell in love with Estonia and surprisingly came to learn Spanish language and literature here. She is so passionated about dancing, that, when seeing so many girls just waiting for guys to ask them to dancefloor, she decided, she’s going to learn the other side as well and now she’s giving dancing tips for men and women. She is crazy about Estonian pastry kohupiimatasku and she keeps a list of boardgames, that she has played or wants to buy. Oh and btw, her hair is pretty special too - one side of her hair is blue, other red! Listen further in the episode itself! *
September 17, 2020
#7 Shahab Abarjafari - from Iran/KKTC to Estonia

Being born in Iran, having lived in multiple countries and now having lived 8 years in Estonia, Shahab says for him Estonian culture is the perfect culture! He loves speed, cars, A.I., his cat and dog and most importantly the personality of Estonians and Estonian culture in general! He is the only computer vision scientist in the whole Estonia, he established the first and now the largest computer vision lab in the Baltics! He has a startup company: that analyses people based on how they express yourself in front of the computer. He has been elected as the best lecturer multiple times. He’s giving advice to Estonian Police, to many startups etc. And he was also the first person in Cyprus and in Turkey, who finished his Phd in 2 years time! Listen further in the episode itself! *
September 10, 2020
#6 Avery Schrader - From Canada to Estonia
Although Avery grew up in Canada, he still says his startup is Estonian - listen to his story of joining Estonian startup bubble and how he appreciates Estonian entrepreneurs supportiveness, especially how they give back to community. We also covered topics like: the Russian role on Estonia, between Estonian and South Western book salesmen, is his English getting worse here? Which summer hobbies do Estonians have and why does he think our cakes are weird :O - we really went deep with this chat let us know, what you remember from this episode! Listen further in the episode itself! *
September 4, 2020
#5 Buluthan Aktaş - From Turkey to Estonia
New homes can be find through Eurovision Song Contest - at least that turns out to be true for Buluthan. He moved here from Turkey. Among learning, that he now has his own candy here, he also discovered, that Asia is not the only place, where people enjoy eating plain rice. We’ll also make a deep dive into - are Turkish and Estonian languages similar? And how about Turkish and Azerbaijani? Listen further in the episode itself! *
August 28, 2020
#4 Rafiki Salieto - From Spain to Estonia
While watching TV in Northern Russia, Rafiki came to conclusion, that it’s his destiny to move to Estonia! He came here with a hobby, he had started, while living in Uzbekistan - visiting all the museums around him and boy, has he been committed! 200 different museum visits in Estonia and still going strong!? :O and he really says, there’s more to visit! On other topics - he now finds it hard to go to bars in Spain, is a fan of reflectors and made up a new term for Estonian drivers - ”complex of the first in line” - what does it mean? Well find out after pressing play button! *
August 20, 2020
#3 Chris Raastad - From USA to Estonia
Chris, our third guest, says he now feels somewhere between American and Estonian - “I'm never going to be Estonian. And I just, I don't make sense in America.” Turns out, all he needed to start taking Estonian language learning seriously, was to miss one train ride with his Erasmus friends. And thanks to singing in a choir, taking intensive language courses and bathing in “Estonian showers” as he calls it - he can now confidently add Estonian to one of the languages that he speaks. Listen more about, why he enjoys the minus degrees here, how he loves Estonian dairy products, about differences learning Estonian in Tartu vs in Tallinn and how he finds Estonian grocery stores relaxing. 😎 *
August 14, 2020
#2 Sandra Valle - From Mexico to Estonia
Even though the name does sound like Estonian, our guest for today is actually from far away Mexico. Nonetheless after living in Estonia for 10 plus years now, she has loads of interesting stories and observations about both of those countries to share with us. After living in Estonia for 10+ years, she can now honestly confirm her husbands description of Estonia - Estonia and Mexico are opposite. You’re feeling confused? Yep, so did Sandra. Listen to, why there are no SPA’s in Mexico, how Estonian can be used as a secret language, Sandra’s love for “heeringas” and why you shouldn’t smile too much during Estonian winters. Listen further from the episode itself! *
August 4, 2020
#1 Rufat Dargahli - from Azerbaijan to Estonia
Rufat feels home both at Tartu and Tallinn, but was actually born in a city of 4mil people, in Baku, Azerbaijan. We will hear how Rufat recognises Estonians on the street, how he already grew up with the love for potatoes, why the word “allahindlus” made him think all the shops in Estonia are religious! How he managed to get locked up in a local church. Also how Estonian weather is similar to Kinder surprise! Listen further from the episode itself! *
August 4, 2020
#0 Meet your hosts: Tiina and Kaisa
Get to know the hosts of this show - both speak at least 5 languages, have lived abroad multiple times and have introduced themselves and their country to others countless times. Hear how they describe, what being an Estonian means to them, what are their favorite memories growing up and what are they planing with this podcast.
August 4, 2020