For Caelum Davies, a short trip to Copenhagen, Denmark was all it took to spark an interest in the Nordic way of life. “Equality, openness and great pastries” piqued his interest — however, Davies wasn’t sure if a move was worth upending the life he knew in Wales, the UK.
That doubt dissolved after his Erasmus Semester at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Most importantly, the stint reignited his passion for Nordic living. Thankfully, the University of Helsinki had a Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies to match. Davies signed up quickly and his experience so far has broadened his horizons in ways he never thought possible.
To develop him into a professional capable of transforming the world, the university allowed him to explore several disciplines in any way he saw fit. “They gave my professors and me a lot of academic freedom,” Davies confirms. “From exams, presentations, work-life projects, reflective diaries, oral debates – the list goes on and it is clear Helsinki knows there’s no one right way to measure ability.”
For example, his favourite class, the programme’s most interactive — The Politics of Nordic Cooperation Past and Present — brought him to the Nordic Council in Copenhagen, where he got to meet, question and learn from many decision-makers. Another assignment entailed investigating and presenting findings on Nordic cooperation in action — Davies’s part focused on LGBTQ+ nightclub networks. Interdisciplinary opportunities exposed him to how technology is integrated into the learning environment. As a research assistant, he conducted studies on everything from sustainability to terrorism.
Fully engaged in a connected community, it wasn’t hard for him to feel inspired enough to go further. As a member of the Student Union’s council, he hosted legendary parties, sauna nights, cabin/forest trips and other student activities that tremendously boosted his organisational and leadership skills.
Davies leverages every ounce of his postgraduate knowledge today as a financial crime prevention specialist at Nordea, a leading Nordic universal bank. He proudly credits his success to the university that made him, stating: “Helsinki has given me insight into how each of the Nordic countries and their people tick; how they work (or don’t work) together. It has also given me the softer intercultural skills that can help keep communication and teamwork progressing smoothly.”
Such outcomes are typical of University of Helsinki graduates. Apart from being Finland’s oldest and largest academic institution, it is internationally renowned for its high-quality teaching, future-focused offerings and world-changing capabilities. Its position among the world’s top 1% says it all. Here, 36 International Master’s Programmes serve as entry tickets to academic excellence. Little wonder why expert educators here warmly welcome over 1,000 exchange students from over 60 countries annually.
Vy Anh Huynh is proud to have been one of them. After completing her undergraduate degree, she left Vietnam in hopes of exploring her passion for science — specifically, microbiology. Her existing expertise made it easy for her to identify a good programme when she saw one. “The Master’s Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology captivated my attention instantly,” she says. Upon arriving on campus, she discovered far more.
“Here, cultures meet and prosper. I had the chance to make many friends and broaden my network,” Huynh says. “Another source of motivation for me to study here is the full scholarship I was awarded by the University of Helsinki for non-EU students. After two years of being here, the teaching and research quality of the university won my trust completely.”
She’s staying put. Her master’s programme has equipped her to fulfill her PhD dreams, at none other than her alma mater. It taught her the arts of writing scientific papers and complete manuscripts; conducting scientific experiments; and presenting compelling results. Most importantly, it prepared her to practise independent research with ease. “It’s all helped me get to where I am,” she says.
Today, Huynh is a research assistant who plays a pivotal role in ongoing projects. In her free time, she performs industry tasks and supervises undergraduates and MSc students who hope to one day follow in her footsteps.
If you’d like to be one of them, click here to start writing your success story with the University of Helsinki today.