Interview with Richard Hoffmann

Categories: Meet the researchers

What was your main reason for coming to Estonia?

My wife’s family is originally from Estonia. We first visited in 2006 as tourists and to meet some of her family. Subsequent to that, as professor in the US, I co-led a group of students here. We held a summer school at the University of Tartu in 2008. Since that time our two universities have signed and exchange agreement. In 2012 my wife and I returned to Tartu to work on the exchange. In the meantime I decided to apply for a Fulbright Grant to teach and research at UT. In the spring of 2013 I have been a Fulbright Professor at UT. Tartu’s Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

What is the best thing about living/working in Estonia?

The people are friendly although not very outgoing. The city of Tartu has the great combination of old European city square yet modern conveniences like the malls right downtown. It is a youthful, small city. I very much enjoy living and working in Tartu, a nice quality of life. I also enjoy the verdant countryside and wide open spaces.

What was surprising for you when you moved to Estonia?

The people were friendlier than I thought they might be. The progress in restoring buildings and roads in just the seven year span that I have been visiting Estonia has been remarkable. How long the ice and snow remained on the ground. Despite that mothers walk their babies in strollers in all seasons of the year! And there are walking paths everywhere throughout the country!

How would you describe your career perspectives in Estonia?

I do not have career plans in Estonia, but I do intend to continue to work with our partner, the University of Tartu and to visit for that purpose as well as to see my wife’s family.

What do you miss from your home country?

My family, friends, and my sports car! And a little less winter, at least where I am from.