A newly-published survey by the Erasmus Student Network has found that, when asked to rate their overall level of satisfaction with their stays abroad, international students gave Estonia the highest marks of all 25 countries covered.
In the ESN Survey 2010, which polled over 8,400 students who had spent at least one semester abroad, students gave Estonia an average of 4.74 points on a 5-point scale. Estonia was closely followed on the list by Austria and Portugal, while Greece, Norway and Switzerland came out on the bottom, rating 4.36, 4.35 and 4.33 respectively.
In the survey's other general category, students' overall level of satisfaction with the quality of studies, the US, Denmark and Switzerland topped the list, while Estonia came in tenth.
In a statement put out by the Archimedes Foundation project Study In Estonia, University of Tartu master's degree student and ESN Survey 2010 Team member Marge Taivere she said that the quality of foreign students' experiences was boosted by strong support from local organizations and the universities themselves.
"Estonia's low living costs is also an important factor and […] Estonian students tend to speak foreign languages. All these factors make international students feel very good in Estonia," said Taivere.
While foreigners may be having a great time in Estonia, the situation isn't quite so rosy for Estonians studying abroad. Among the students surveyed, Estonians had the highest portion, 30.4 percent, who reported feeling isolated from student life and 20 percent of them said that they had difficulties getting by with the money they had.