The primary goal of the Exchange Program is to serve as an anchor for all visits to Estonia and the Nordic-Baltic region by members of the Stanford community and related activities. As such, the program is linked to already existing flows of Stanford travelers, including the growing number of Stanford students holding internships or undergoing language study programs; Stanford’s faculty and staff visiting the region with the intent of carrying out research, delivering guest lectures, or attending conferences and other events; Stanford faculty and students engaging in Overseas Seminar programs; and Stanford faculty, staff, students, and alumni visiting the region through Stanford Alumni Center’s travel programs. The Program is intended to greatly increase the number of Stanford visitors Estonia receives each year, and to enhance the experiences of the visitors. The program is launched with seed funding from the Kistler-Ritso Foundation.

The Program will be led by the Stanford-Estonia Exchange Coordinator Kadri Paju, a full-time staff member at Vabamu, who will design and execute the program’s activities, establish partnerships with public and private entities, and locate sources for external funding. Prior to joining Vabamu, Kadri worked as a program coordinator for the UK scholarship program Chevening and for a London study abroad provider Accent International. She has always loved working in higher education settings and is excited to bring her international experience to Vabamu.

As for her educational background, Kadri has studied at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, the University of Palermo in Italy, and Queen Mary UoL in the UK. She earned her postgraduate degree from Queen Mary UoL where she studied International Public Policy and dedicated her research to the benefits that international student exchange can bring to smaller communities in Estonia.