Students of Aalto, Kasia from Poland, Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering
Hello everyone! My name is Kasia and I come from Poland. I’m a second-year master’s student in Functional Materials at Aalto CHEM. In this blog post, you can find out why did I pick Aalto and how my Bachelor’s studies varied from my Finnish master’s. Let’s begin!
I came to Finland for the first time in 2017 for my Erasmus+ exchange in Turku. That time, I studied at Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) with Chemical Engineering students. I took courses in Nanotechnology (15 cr), Materials Science (15 cr), Bioengineering (5 cr), and others. I realized that there are many differences between the Polish way of studying and the Finnish one. At TUAS, there were many hand-on experiences laboratory or workshop classes and many project courses with real companies who needed fresh insights from students whereas in Poland we had to learn the laboratory instructions by heart, write an entry exam and there was not much space for innovation, not even mentioning working with huge corporations. Also, the life in Finland, and especially trips to Finnish Lapland, made me think of coming back. Thus, I decided to apply to Finland to start my Master’s at Aalto.
Aalto is one of the top universities in Finland and one of the top universities in the world as well. I applied to two of the programs that interested me the most and got accepted to Functional Materials which was my first choice. So far, I am very satisfied with my studies. I am pleased with the freedom to choose most courses, working in multidisciplinary teams, with companies’ representatives, being treated by the teachers like we are on a pair, and eating delicious lunches at the university. I could also select minor of my choice that was related to Design Thinking and Product Development. In addition, there are plenty of student associations anyone can join and many organizations in Helsinki and Espoo. I joined a very cool robotic club, BEST Helsinki, a public speaking organization, and since a few months I’m a member of a association that organizes STEM workshops for underrepresented groups only.
What I enjoyed the most during my studies was a course in which I worked in a research group. In my previous university being a member of a research group was considered as a privilege and was not achievable for an average bachelor student. After the course, I stayed and worked in summer as a Research Assistant and then continued part-time in the autumn. It was one of my greatest learning experiences in the whole life and my first publication is the greatest proof. Currently, I am finishing writing my thesis about wearable technology in the same group.