Student testimonials

What's it like to study in the Master's Programme in Contemporary Sciences at the University of Helsinki? What future possibilities does a degree in Social sciences offer? Find out what our students say.
Emma De Carvalho, So­ci­ology

I’ve always been very interested in learning about societies, identities, and cultures, which is why I chose to pursue my Master’s degree in this field as well. I wanted to attend a program that would allow me to move between subjects and fields of study and explore my different interests.

The type of work I want to pursue is very relevant to this degree as well. For me to properly research (and work in the fields of) journalism, arts, and culture, it is very necessary to have a grasp on how societies function as a whole. There’s a lot of synergy between all of my courses, and with time I’ve come to realise that everything I study is connected. My studies are predominantly theoretical, but this has given me a solid basis for my research and work.

An­dré Bus­cari­olli, So­cial Psy­cho­logy

At the very beginning of my bachelor studies, almost ten years ago, I decided I would like to have an academic career, this is what motived me to start in a master’s program. I chose the University of Helsinki because I could relate to some of the topics being research at the Social Psychology department; also, the idea of living in Finland was very attractive. I am glad to say that my experience here only confirmed previous intentions. During my experience I acquired both qualitative and quantitative research skills (including an internship at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health); right now my intention is to start in a PhD program as soon as possible and I feel like over the last two years I developed the necessary skills to become a competitive candidate.

Helsinki has a great environment for international students. Upon starting my studies I noticed a lot of events were organized both by the university and different students’ organizations, in these events I got to meet some of the people that would remain my friends for my whole period here. As part of the CISSI board (the organization of international social scientists at the University of Helsinki) I helped to promote different events bringing international students together, which is also a valuable part of my academic and professional development.

Mai Hait­tori, So­cial Psy­cho­logy

I chose to study in University of Helsinki since I wanted to study social psychology and the study focuses in COS program matched with my interests. Also the idea of living in the capital city attracted me, since I was living in different part of Finland during the application period.

I´ve gained a broad view about society, social psychology, and how I see the world. Every single course has been eye-opening and inspiring, and professors and researchers are always accessible and helpful. I´ve also got some precious friends with whom I can share experiences and joys. Enjoying the high quality Finnish language classes is also a big advantage of studying in the university.

My career plan is to work in a field related to social science, especially research on gender inequality. Work related data analysis in public or private sector would be interesting too. The COS program has offered me a lot of opportunities to dig up the career interests.

Car­o­lyn Kehn, Sociology

I chose to study at the COS program because it combined a discipline in the behavioral sciences with critical problems facing the world today. Through my sociology track and inequality pathway, I feel both equipped and inspired to follow my academic passions. Additionally, studying at the University of Helsinki has allowed me access to the resources in a capital city, while still feeling "known" and a part of my faculty.

Though I have thoroughly enjoyed my coursework, the most important thing I have gained during my time at the university has been my friends. The COS program is set up to facilitate a network of other passionate, international (or internationally-minded) graduate students. In their company, as well as through other organizations at the University of Helsinki, I have been both supported and challenged by the intellectual curiosity that abounds on this campus.

The COS master's program has helped me prepare for an international future by introducing me to a European style of social theory, as well as researchers from around the world. The career credits portion of my degree has enabled me to apply for various research internships as well as volunteer with activist organizations as I explore what I want my next steps to be.

Étienne Lemyre, So­ci­ology

I am from Montreal, Canada, where I completed a bachelor degree in urban studies. I had no prior connection to Helsinki or Finland before studying here.

I applied to the University of Helsinki for its multilingual setting and its excellent international reputation. I enjoyed that while my studies were demanding and teachings were of high quality, the overall pace of life is quite relaxed. The cosy, close-to-nature Nordic atmosphere might have to do with it! For instance, professors are super accessible and the campus is gorgeous.

Professionally I aim for a career that deals broadly with social scientific research in either the public or private sector.

Sarah Ní Mháirtín, So­cial Psy­cho­logy

I see myself as a world traveller, someone with itchy feet and a strong desire to live abroad. Put these together with a fascination with Nordic countries and a strong academic ambition and I had a perfect motivation to study an unique master's to undertake a very unique masters at the University of Helsinki!

Cheesy and clichéd as it may be, my positive experiences here have been largely based around those I've met. Helsinki has a student life unlike any other city, with an event or party happening every night – if you know where to look! Take CISSI for international (or: internationally minded) social scientists, that’s been my rock during my studies.

My professional goal is to work in the field of migration/ integration. My studies here have introduced me to wonderfully inspiring professors and helped me to carve out a mental career ladder. If you keep your eyes peeled you can always find an interesting career talk to attend or if an academic path is in your future there are numerous paper presentations each month to inspire you! 

Hertta Ranta, So­cial and Pub­lic Policy

I did my Bachelor’s degree in the University of Helsinki and really liked studying here. Helsinki is an easy and fascinating city once you get the hang of it and I love the university campus in the city center. Applying for an international Master’s program felt like a natural next step to take, since I wanted to complete my degree in English and I have always enjoyed meeting people from other countries. I wanted to study in an international environment with people with different backgrounds, because it makes studying a lot more interesting, and makes it possible to learn fascinating stuff also outside the lectures. I think that graduating from an international Master´s program will also benefit my career, because it gives such a wide perspective to the field of social sciences.

Contemporary societies program sounded great, because the program structure emphasizes questions of inequality and all courses in the Social and Public Policy track were super interesting to me. It has been easy to get to know new people and for those who are interested in student activities there’s an endless amount of organizations and events happening all the time. Helsinki is big enough that there’s always something new to be found, and small enough to feel like home. Altogether I am very happy that I chose this master’s program, and would warmly recommend it to anyone!