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Dreams coming true in Finland: Story of Saima Thakur

UEF has provided a transformative experience for Saima Thakur, a Public Health student from Bangladesh. Overcoming pandemic-related challenges, the warm welcome, robust support system, picturesque campus, and diverse research opportunities make UEF the perfect choice for those passionate about public health and research, shaping not just an academic path but a fulfilling career journey.

UEF has a glorious history of research from the past twentieth century, and it is the most multidisciplinary university in Finland. Currently, I am pursuing my Master’s in Public Health (MPH), which was my dream. I am from Bangladesh, a country in Southern Asia. The journey to Finland was not very smooth during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the warm welcome and support of UEF eased all the hurdles. Now Kuopio has become like my hometown, and I enjoy every bit of life here. I can still remember, before coming here, how I was very worried about the new culture and environment, but now I realise that if you have supportive people around you and prepare properly, there is nothing to worry about.

UEF provides a student tutor for each student, and they provide whatever practical support is necessary. My tutor came to the railway station to meet me, and guided me in how to handle the washing machine, drying room, and so on. Some surprises were still waiting for me. When I entered my apartment, it was full of necessary things, such as food, utensils, and a blanket. Guess who sent them -- our international coordinator.

Attractive campus and support from the staff

The outdoor scenery and internal amenities at UEF are both very impressive. The picturesque view of UEF always provides a kind of mental support. UEF is surrounded by an attractive lake. You can spend time with a laptop beside the lake, with a breathtaking view and no chance of being tense with homework and assignments. You rarely find that something is unavailable inside UEF: the IT service, library, printing facility, restaurant, and even packets of masks are all available.

Furthermore, with Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY) membership, students get discounts in restaurants and on bus and train tickets, the cheapest housing facilities, and more. In addition, the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) provides health services to all Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students. The support that the student counsellor facilities provide for the mental wellbeing of the students is another strength of UEF, as every student always has someone around them for assistance and guidance.

I have completed my first two semesters online with awesome experiences. The teaching methods of the teachers are very interesting and unique. Each of the teachers has their own teaching style and evaluation technique. The most interesting thing is that not only can you participate in MPH major courses, but you can also join different disciplines as elective subjects, and every course is so interesting that you will have difficulty deciding which ones you will choose or not!

Our department is very rich in both qualitative and quantitative research. The professors offer you the data sets according to your knowledge and interest in quantitative research. From my point of view, this is the most valuable part of the MPH programme, as we all know that data is not an easy matter. For qualitative research, you are the king of your own kingdom, as you can choose your own thesis topic under the guidance of an experienced teacher. Last but not least, this MPH will provide sufficient knowledge with regard to public health challenges, epidemiology, and statistical analysis, which will support our future endeavours.  

For a person who is keen on public health topics and interested in research, this is the perfect place to come. I believe I have found my best option for building my career and academic path by choosing UEF.