Tawfiqur Rahman, Joensuu campus - Enjoying the studies & surviving the darknessTawfiqur Rahman, Joensuu campus - Enjoying the studies & surviving the darkness

For Tawfiqur, a Bangladesh-native first-year student in the Biology of Environmental Change programme, it is easy to name the three reasons that led him to choose the University of Eastern Finland and this particular programme.

“The first and most important reason is, of course, the course orientation. Before, I have completed a Master’s degree in Zoology and it has been the perfect background for this programme”, he explains.

“The second reason is the scholarship system, because with the help of a tuition waiver and monthly allowance I have been able to fully concentrate on my studies and not other things. The third reason is Finland itself and the high-quality education. I had read about Finland in the media and was convinced by the fact that Finland is a clean and safe country with high-class universities and professional teachers.”

Researcher by heart

As Tawfiqur is aiming at his second Master’s degree already, it is no surprise that his future goal is to go further towards a PhD degree as well.

“There are nine world world-class research groups operating in this department, so I’m very excited about the future opportunity to do a PhD at the UEF as well.”

At the moment, Tawfiqur has started doing research work in one of the research groups, the Aquatic Ecology group, where he learns more about the impact of heavy metals in the developmental stages of white fish. His interest in fish is reflected in the many courses that he has especially enjoyed, such as Philosophy and History of Biology, Fish and Fisheries Biology, Community Ecology, Climate Change as well as Population Genetics and Evolution.

Spreading a word

Tawfiqur was also appointed as the student ambassador of the Biology of Environmental Change programme  - so you will be able to read his blogs as well as follow his everyday life on the official Instagram account of the UEF that he will be updating for one week later in 2019.

“In addition to producing content, I also collaborate with the coordinators to give ideas about the content of the courses and such. It’s great to be able to have a say and pass on insights from students to the programme organisers, as well as spread the word about the real-life experiences while studying in this programme. It feels good to be a part of the university, it’s a great atmosphere.”

Tawfiqur says the studies in Finland have met his expectations and he has settled in Finland very well - as he has learnt to live with the darkness that prevails during winter months.

“At first it was hard because of the darkness and the cold temperatures. Now it is ok and I’m actually enjoying the winter”, he laughs.

“There’s not really a reason for not applying for someone with an interest in ecology and a suitable backroung in zoology, botany or biological sciences. It is a very well-organised programme that will open many doors in the future”, he concludes.