The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory is welcoming participants to a Summer School that takes place on 4 to 9 August 2024. This year, we are especially encouraging young people of Estonian heritage to apply. We welcome applications from upper secondary school and undergraduate students. The aim of the Summer School is to introduce young people to 20th century Estonian history and give them an opportunity to forge new friendships and visit their ancestral homeland.

What was this country that was created in 1918 and was fought over in the subsequent War of Independence? What were people fleeing from, defying the autumn storms of 1944, sometimes at the cost of their lives? What lay ahead for those who stayed? As a result of the terrors of the occupying power, Estonia lost a fifth of its population of just over one million. In total, more than 75,000 Estonians were murdered, imprisoned or deported. Despite the dangers, an estimated 80,000 people decided to escape to the free world. There were no illusions about what was to come after the first Soviet occupation in 1940.

The Summer School includes presentations, film screenings, excursions, visits to museums and places of remembrance and discussions. It is also an opportunity to explore Estonia’s beautiful nature. In addition to the capital, Tallinn, we will also visit Tartu, the European Capital of Culture 2024, and spend a day in Viljandi. You will also have the chance to swim in a bog lake and see how Estonia’s “Forest Brothers” lived as they fought for freedom and against a foreign rule.

On the other side of the Iron Curtain, the spirit and ideas of freedom were carried on by those who had left. In 1991, we restored our independence, and now we can be together again. So come on over!

Participation at the summer school is free of charge. The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory covers the costs of the programme, catering and accommodation in twin rooms. Participants are responsible for organising and paying for their transport to and from Estonia. Applications to the Summer School are open until 30 April and applicants will be notified of the results by 6 May.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Application link: