Fewer Pupils Applying for International Exchange
Exchange organizations for secondary school students are being forced to focus their priorities on attracting foreign students to Estonia because the number of Estonian teens applying to go abroad has declined.
For example, this year the Estonian branch of the international student exchange organization Youth for Understanding (YFU) will send a total of 57 students to partner institutions overseas, which is 88 fewer than during the organization's heyday in 2007.
Students' modest financial resources are one of the reasons behind the declining interest in studying abroad, according to Oliver Kontram, executive director of YFU Estonia.
Although those participating in exchange programs can apply for scholarships, an additional 5,000 to 10,000 euros is needed to cover everyday costs, wrote Postimees.
To attract more foreign students to Estonia, the country is being presented as a nation of folklore, sports and unusual culture, said Kontram, adding that in the upcoming years the organization expects a 25 percent increase in the number of students hosted.