Languages: Estonian (official), Russian, Other
Useful links: CIA World Factbook
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Estonia. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.
- The idea of being an au pair is becoming common in Estonia.
- Applicants from Estonia are motivated by learning about a new culture and improving their English.
- Applicants sometimes have difficulty affording the program fees.
- Young people in Estonia have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
- Curfews are not common.
- Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
- Nudity is generally not acceptable.
- Estonians describe themselves as calm, friendly, hard-working.
- Physical discipline is not common in Estonia. Parents love their children but demand order and obedience.
- Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling and babysitting younger family members or neighbors' children.
- Both parents share the childrearing duties, but the mother is usually responsible for more.
- It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.
- Most applicants obtain their driving license at age 17 or 18.
- A driving license is not difficult to obtain, but it is expensive.
- It takes approximately three months obtain a license in Estonia.
- The steps involved in obtaining a driving license in Estonia include:
- Driving lessons
- Theoretical test
- Practical test
- The International driving permit is available.
- Applicants typically take formal driving lessons and practice driving using their parents’ car; once they have started working they will save money with the intention of buying a car.
- Most cars have manual transmissions.
- English is compulsory in Estonia.
- Classes begin in first grade, and students focus on oral and written skills.
- Approximately 35% of young women continue their studies at university.
- Those who do not attend university apply to technical colleges or seek employment.
- The academic year in Estonia starts in September and ends in June.
- The educational opportunities of the Au Pair in America program are very important to applicants.
- The most common inoculation is for tuberculosis.
- Estonia has a free health service for those who are employed.
- Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis.
- “Eating disorders” are not common, but do occur.
- Most young people in Estonia eat meat.
- Vegetarianism is not common.
- A typical Estonian diet includes bread, milk, meat, potatoes, vegetables, pasta and sandwiches. Estonians cook a lot at home, and eating out is more common in cities, where you can find Chinese, Italian, and Mexican restaurants.
- The most common religions in Estonia are Lutheran and Orthodox.
- Most young people in Estonia do not practice their religion regularly.
- Most homes have a telephone and applicants have access to the Internet.
- Parents may not be able to take a message in English from a potential host family, although siblings will be able to speak English.
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