You probably wouldn’t believe which country is leading the charge towards a digital world… it’s Estonia, a tiny, former soviet nation in Northern Europe with a population of only 1.3 million. What Estonia has done to earn their reputation as the “Silicon Valley of digital government” (Rainer Kattel, Deputy Director at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) is incredibly impressive and it’s all because of a government project which has reinvented society as we know it.
The “e-Estonia” project allows citizens to access everything that comes under the government umbrella via one online platform including voting, education, health care, banking, taxes, and you can even become a virtual resident of Estonia without ever having set foot in the country – an “e-resident”.
You have a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only learn about how this small but beautiful Baltic country is leading the world in e-Governance and innovation but experience it first-hand. That futuristic world we all wonder about and joke about (and maybe even fear a little) is happening right now (and has been for a while) in this picturesque corner of Northern Europe. What a way to make your resume stand out, right?
You wouldn’t feel like you’re in one of the world’s most innovative and digitally advanced societies when walking through Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city, though. The scenes of Tallinn Old Town feel more like something out of a medieval fairy tale with cobblestone streets winding between the castle-like buildings and incredibly well preserved gothic architecture.
The contrast of how this society lives versus where they live, makes their virtual way of life all the more intriguing and fascinating.
Check out the following articles on e-Estonia to find out why it is THE place to study digital society and innovation:
- Estonia, The Digital Republic (The New Yorker)
- Estonians Embrace Life in a Digital World (The New York Times)
Topics that will be covered in this program include:
- Introduction: Estonian experience in the development of digital society
- Digital technologies in politics and governance
- Social entrepreneurship services
- Case studies in open society technologies
- Participation and value based design of socio-technological innovation
- Introduction to Linked and Open Data
- Choice designs and the theory of matching (algorithms) and market design in supporting the choice in public service
- Open Society technologies in the context of information and knowledge management
Tallinn University is the largest university of humanities in Tallinn and the third biggest public university in Estonia. The university has more than 7500 students (with 9.5% of them international), and nearly 400 researchers and lecturers. The university's five interdisciplinary focus fields are educational innovation, digital and media culture, cultural competences, healthy and sustainable lifestyle and society and open governance.
Tallinn University is situated in a compact campus within the city centre. In front of the university there is the "Tallinn University" tram stop, behind the university, only a few hundred metres away, stands the sea gate of Estonia - Port of Tallinn. It is also only a few hundred metres away from the peaceful Kadriorg Park and the Presidential Palace.
- Senior Researcher Kai Pata is the expert of interactions in socio-technical ecosystems. She is involved in the Horizon 2020 project (2016-2019) Adult Education as a Means to Active Participatory Citizenship that integrates social data for machine learning based prediction.
- Lecturer Zsolt Bugarszki is the expert of social and responsible innovation.
- Professor David Lamas is the expert of human computer interaction.
- Associate Professor Ilja Šmorgun is the expert of design patterns in human computer.
- Associate Professor of Public Policy Triin Lauri has the expertise of how to create policies of social justice in social governing systems using algorithms.
- Professor Sirje Virkus is the expert of information science.
- Senior Researcher Mart Laanpere is the expert of change management in organisations and learning in organisations.
Site visits are likely to include:
- Visit to Ministry of Economics and Communications
- Visit to Citizen OS
Citizen OS is an open source social enterprise that offers an online collaborative decision making tool which helps facilitate discussions, propose arguments and provides the ability to vote on things together without needing to be in the same physical space. Citizen OS enables a new sense of connectivity that encourages participatory democracy.
- Visit to HITSA (Information Technology Foundation for Education)
In 2014, the Estonian government approved the Digital Focus Program with the purpose of meeting the 'Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020' strategic objectives. The aim of this policy is to ensure the entire population's digital skills improve and that access to the new generation of digital infrastructure is ensured. The role of HITSA is to ensure that graduates at all levels of education have obtained the digital skills necessary for the development of the economy and society. HITSA initiates and guides innovation and development in the area of educational technology and introduces best practices.
Cultural activities may include:
- Guided tour in Old Town
- Estonian Movie Nights
- Trip to Tartu
- Visit the Ellstvere Animal Park
- Explore an Estonian Forest
- Estonian National Museum
- Visit to KUMU Art Museum
- Visit to Maarjamäe History Centre
Accommodation for this program is still be confirmed.
It's 2011. I'm 18 years old, straight out of high school and into uni. It's a couple of weeks in and I'm sitting in the uni's International Office at lunchtime to find out more about how I can study overseas. Three minutes in and it's becoming overwhelming very, VERY quickly. The cost, the lengthy application process, the organisation of everything (from finding my own accommodation to picking my own classes that match exactly with the subjects in my current degree) forced me to realise that I definitely wasn't ready for my overseas study adventure just yet...
3 years later, I'm in my second last semester of my communications degree and I discover that overseas short-term study experiences are possible, and it really sounded too good to be true! Spending three weeks in America studying social media and marketing from expert professors in their field, visiting and networking with companies, whilst being immersed in American college life sounded like an absolute dream to me! Thanks to AIM Overseas, it was all possible!
So, if you're tossing up between an exchange or a short term overseas study experience, here is what I've learnt about why you should consider a short-term experience:
1. It's financially a great choice if you can't afford exchange
2. You can work it around your current commitments
3. You can still absorb a whole damn lot in 3-4 weeks
4. It still looks AMAZING on your resume
5. It's a great way to get outside of your comfort zone... but not too far out
READ FULL BLOG HERE!
Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia, it is known for cobblestoned streets and fairytale like façades. Tallinn is a major European political, cultural and educational centre. Often called Europe's answer to Silicon Valley, E-Estonia has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is the birthplace of many international companies including Skype. It is also the home of the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.
Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.
You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.
Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.
We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation.
Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.
Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.
The application process for this program are as follows:
1. Apply online
2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.
3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.
4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.
5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.
7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.
8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.
9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.
10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 28th October 2019.
Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.
For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest. Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.