Student testimonials

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.

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.

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 mastersto 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! 

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.