Growing up in Egypt, Eman Hassanain never expected her academic career to transport her to Finland. The 30-year-old graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology with a specialisation in neuropsychology, and was keen on finding a postgraduate degree that covered the clinical aspects of neuroscience and neuroimaging. Her search led her to the Master’s Programme in Human Neuroscience at the University of Turku (UTU).
“I knew this was the right place for me because not only did it offer comprehensive lessons in all the topics I was interested in, but the university was also filled with all the facilities I would ever need,” she says. “Joining UTU also meant I would be working towards a qualification from one of the best universities in the world.”
UTU’s reputation precedes itself. The university hosts some 20,000 students, of which 2,500 are international students who come from diverse countries. They know that UTU is one of Finland’s finest when it comes to research. It has also cemented its position within the top 1% of the world’s universities.
All this is possible due to UTU’s curricula, which are often revamped around the most critical topics of our time and laced with up-to-date research. Here, every student is trained with problem-solving skills necessary to thrive in their chosen career pathways.
The educational journey may be rigorous, but Finland’s surroundings make the perfect setting for a balanced student life. It wasn’t long until Hassanain discovered the city’s charm for herself. She arrived amid the pandemic, just before classes began. Lockdowns were lifted just in time for spring, when the melting snow makes way for greener pastures. This gave her an opportunity to explore the city and all its glory. “I went hiking in different places around Turku and went swimming in the nearby areas,” she says. How better to recharge?
Its tranquil environment isn’t Turku’s only unique selling point. The city is equally renowned for its vibrancy — think delectable cuisines, postcard-like natural wonders, historic architecture, a bustling arts scene, and countless cultural events. Little wonder why Turku is a popular student city with an environment that inspires learners of all backgrounds.
Students of all aspirations can thrive at UTU, thanks to the university’s expansive lineup of carefully-designed English taught programmes in the fields of Economics; Education; Health and Biomedical Science; Technology and Engineering; Natural Sciences; as well as Social Sciences.
Regardless of students’ chosen routes, everyone is encouraged to take optional courses across various topics to pursue their personal interests. This emphasis on interdisciplinary excellence ensures no two modules are ever the same at UTU. Each lesson at UTU is delivered by an approachable group of expert educators focused on challenging students’ thinking.
“Most of my classes are special because included topics are really new and challenging,” enthuses Hassanain. “I would say that measuring cognitive functions, clinical case seminars, clinical neurophysiology, and practical training on in vivo imaging techniques are the best for me because I’ve had several opportunities to conduct experiments myself and witness testing being done in a clinical setting.”
Soon, Hassanain will follow in the footsteps of an illustrious alumni who collectively prove that UTU outcomes are just as rewarding as they are outstanding.
Take Meghadipa Goswami’s story, for instance. She departed India for far more than just a robust Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics. In the male-dominated field of STEM, Turku’s gender-inclusive nature stood out to her.
“Before this, I was living in metropolitan Bangalore. I grew up in Kolkata. These are two of the biggest cities in India, where thousands of students are constantly competing to be the best,” she explains. “Studying in Finland is much more relaxed. It helps one really focus on what is important.”
And focus, she did. With heaps of newfound knowledge, Goswami completed her master’s thesis for ArcDia International Ltd. Upon graduating from UTU, her journey there continued — but as a research assistant who would occasionally lend a helping hand in its marketing department.
So far, the professional experience has opened her eyes to how smaller organisations are just as capable of making global impact — if not more. Her work revolves around providing test systems and medication to those in urgent need. Life in Turku has taught her that despite its endless opportunities, none should be taken for granted.
“The diagnostics industry in Turku has been flourishing over the last few decades. I believe that one of the main reasons is that the research is so strong at the universities here,” she says. “I would also like to emphasise that since it is a student city, it is a great place to start a professional career as a student before taking the next big step.”