Looking for the bigger picture of forestry


Breck Miller has been studying tropical forest ecology and management in the Master's programme. He has appreciated its flexibility, which has allowed him to follow his own interests. Florencia Franzini is impressed with the people of Helsinki. In her studies she doesn’t want to be stuck in a bubble of tradition.

At the University of Helsinki, all teachers participate in research, and sometimes the best researchers can also be the best teachers.  For Breck, studying on the Viikki Campus has been a completely positive experience.

“Studying in a foreign country has given me opportunities to travel. The Viikki Campus has been really great, and the professors and classes very good. If you don't mind the cold, it’s a great place to study.”

[We should remind Breck that we do have a really nice summer and the midnight sun in Finland!]

Breck has been most interested in the development of forest management on an international scale. After his studies, he would like to be involved in the bigger picture of forestry.

“Forestry relates to climate change and international development. For me this is very exciting and relevant. The programme allowed me to study Finnish forestry and tropical forestry at the same time, and it will give me so many opportunities.”

Florencia Franzini has started her forestry science and business studies in Viikki. Her first weeks have been busy.

“It has been awesome! The Viikki Campus has a really strong and diverse network of international students. Of course, you have Finnish students as well, which means that the University has a good supporting system of students.”

Florencia is interested in focusing on policy design in the future. Now she wants to combine the technical studies she has done previously with forestry and business.

“After these few weeks of studies, my brain is full of new ideas and information.”

Since the campus is so international, Florencia has learned not only how things work in Finland but how things work in the world.

“In the first week I felt a little bit ignorant about some of the global issues occurring in the world. Then I started to talk about those issues with friends and understood more about them. This happens naturally, and I think this is the best part of studying abroad.”

The main reason Florencia chose to come to Viikki is that so many fields of study and multidisciplinary studies are happening at the same time on the campus.

“Now we should realize that what we need is a nexus between forestry and all other aspects of sciences and business and the economy. If you get stuck in a bubble of tradition, you will get nowhere.”