Student stories

What is it like to study in the Bachelor’s Programme in Science at the University of Helsinki? Our students share their thoughts and insights about the programme.
Sunny Wong

Mathematics was not the strongest subject of Sunny Wong in high school, and still he is now on a path to proficiency needed for solving societal challenges with mathematical knowledge and computational tools. According to him, nurturing your curiosity matters more than perfect grades when it comes to computing. In addition, all students in the Bachelor's Programme in Science receive a foundation in university-level math and basic programming skills before specializing.

Find out more in this article.

Amanda Sandelin

Who are you and what do you study?

My name is Amanda. I study in the Bachelor’s Programme in Science and my chosen study track is chemistry.

Why did you choose this particular programme?

I was not sure what I wanted to study when I was about to graduate from high school, I just knew I liked natural sciences. I heard about this programme and thought that it could be a perfect fit for me since I could first get a feeling of what it is like to study natural sciences at the university before having to choose the main subject. In addition, I found it to be very beneficial that the programme is in English, as Master’s programmes are also extensively taught in English.

What has been the best part of your studies?

The best part has been meeting new people and getting into university life. The studies have also been very interesting!

Name a particularly fun, challenging or memorable course.

My favourite course so far has been Organic Chemistry Labworks 1. It is fun to work in the lab independently and some of the analyses were really fascinating.

How has remote studying been?

It has been okay to study remotely, even though I prefer to be on campus. For me, it is harder to get stuff done at home. It is also more difficult to learn together, such as work on exercises, via remote devices.

What are your thoughts on career possibilities?

Right now, I am considering which Master’s programme to choose. I am most interested in biochemistry and drug discovery and would like to work within these fields in the future.

Did you continue your hobbies or have you taken up any new ones?

I have mostly been able to continue my hobbies. However, it was unfortunate that UniSport services are closed due to the pandemic.

What are your accommodation arrangements?

I have lived near Helsinki most of my life. I lived with my parents at the start of my studies but now live nearby the Kumpula campus. I like living in Helsinki and the campus area has good public transport connections.

What myth about university studies would you like to overturn?

I am not sure if it is a myth, but I was surprised how much freedom you have in choosing courses and forming your degree. You of course have to take all the mandatory courses, but there is still much room to choose courses based on your own interests, even from other faculties.

Tips for applicants to the programme

Make sure you know how the application process goes (you can read about it online). Think about what study track you would choose and what interests you, but be open-minded as your opinion might change. Check out what courses you would have during the first year, that way you get an image of what you will actually be studying.

Marcelo Guimaraes Neto

Who are you and what do you study?

My name is Marcelo. I am a first-year student in the Bachelor's Programme in Science. I am yet to decide definitively between the Physics and Mathematics study tracks, though I am more inclined towards the latter.

Why did you choose this particular programme?

Finland seemed like a very student-friendly country and overall just a nice place to live in. I was also impressed by the internationally recognised education and research quality of the University of Helsinki. I appreciate that the BSc programme is interdisciplinary as it provides flexibility and the opportunity to pursue both mathematics and physics according to my own course choices.

What has been the best part of your studies?

My favourite part of the study experience so far has been the flexibility in course choice and study pace. I get to study what I find interesting, at a pace I find stimulating. I am always engaged and excited, never bored!

Name a particularly fun, challenging or memorable course.

Either “Introduction to Quantum Physics” or "Introduction to Vector Analysis" – both courses which I am currently taking. I find the subject matter of both to be extremely interesting and it is quite exciting to be studying these things. I have found the course conduct, teaching and assessment methods, of both courses to work really well for me.

How has remote studying been?

It has been alright. The digital systems of the University work really well, so things have been going smoothly. Of course, there is a lot that we are missing out on, but I believe the University is doing its best to alleviate the obstacles and to compensate for what is perhaps lacking.

What are your thoughts on career possibilities?

I would like to pursue further studies in the direction of theoretical physics, and perhaps one day work as a researcher in the field.

What are your accommodation arrangements?

Helsinki is a nice, clean, green and peaceful city. It is also very student-friendly, so student benefits and discounts are great. Student housing has been very good in my experience: I have managed to get a very affordable shared apartment close to campus, in a very nice area, which I am very satisfied with.

Finding accommodation might seem daunting at first, but my best tip would be to figure out precisely what you are looking for. What is most important to you? Prioritize, so that it is easier to make the compromises that you might need to make. Apply as early as possible.

Tips for applicants to the programme.

Reflect on what interests you and what your future aims might be. Think about what you would like to do next and work backwards: how is the BSc programme going to get you to where you want to be in the future?

Look up the courses that are available within the programme and the study track course structures and timelines. Start thinking about the different study tracks and which interests you the most.

Always be on top of the application process (understand what you need to do, what documents you need to have). Do not be afraid to contact people and ask questions if you have any doubts.

Melina Vuorinen and Thanh Dao-Cong

Melina Vuorinen and Thanh Dao-Cong enjoy the international atmosphere in the Bachelor’s Programme in Science and want to learn about the different disciplines of science. Thanh wants to pursue physics while Melina is interested in using chemistry in the humanitarian field.

In this article, Melina and Thanh share their study experiences in the Bachelor’s Programme in Science.