Student stories

MSc Wood Materials Science

Aitor Barbero, Spain

"I personally feel that coming here is one of the best choices anyone can make."

Hei, my name is Aitor Barbero. I come from the Basque country, located in the north of Spain, a region that some people say that has similarities with Finland. I'm a second year student in MSc Wood Materials Science.

I can only say good things about University of Eastern Finland. I knew which country I was coming to when I decided to come to this university, but I did not know the city or the university, so I did not know what the experience would be like. After more than one year, I can simply say that it has been the best choice I have made. I am learning a lot about wood as a material and other topics that I am interested in, such as scientific writing. In addition, the studying environment and the student-teacher relations are really good.

Upon graduation, I will get an international Master of Science degree, which will open many doors for me. What I would really like to do is to go for a PhD, and thanks to the Master's programme and my English skills, which have improved a lot since studying here, I think that it will be much easier. In addition, studying in an international environment with people from all around the world will help me to adapt to any country I have to go for studying or working.

Already, I have recommended this programme for prospective students.  I think that studying in this university is great, and for people like me who come from other countries, it is an experience that one will never forget. A good international studying environment combined with a nice place to live in makes University of Eastern Finland a great university to study in.

Li PanPan, China

"The professional skills acquired from UEF will play a significant role in my foreseeable future."

Hello, my name is Li Panpan and I come from China. I study in the course-based MSc programme in Wood Materials Science here at the University of Eastern Finland. When it comes to wood-related disciplines, UEF is a pioneer in the field.  Furthermore, the Joensuu campus is located in the city centre next to the European Forest Institute headquarters and Natural Resources Institute Finland, which benefit students a lot.

What I have most enjoyed at University of Eastern Finland is the liberal and international atmosphere as well as the various excursion opportunities arranged by teachers and the Wood Materials Sciences programme coordinator. It is not uncommon to interrupt the lecturer when you get confused or have questions. In other words, you are quite free to express your ideas, suggestions and even requirements since here they believe that great ideas are worth spreading.

There is no denying the fact that the professional skills acquired from University of Eastern Finland will play a significant role in my foreseeable future. The direction I am really interested in is gradually becoming clear. Meanwhile, based on my previous courses and programme internship, my supervisor guided me to seek further study opportunities that are closely related to my Master's thesis.

I would like to recommend UEF to prospective students. No matter if you are keen to become a specialist in wood sciences or if you are just a big fan of wood as a material: University of Eastern Finland deserves to be taken into consideration first.

MSc Forestry (CBU)

Mariia Gutman, Russia

I began my studies at the CBU FOR program in a couple of month after graduation from St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University. The cross-border feature of the program gave a very good opportunity to study in both, Finland and Russia, and to see with your own eyes how different forest management is in that two neighbouring countries.

International experience, lectures from Finnish and Russian forestry specialists, field trips and excursions to world-known forestry companies, many good friends from different parts of the world…

Studies at the CBU FOR gave me a lot. International experience, lectures from Finnish and Russian forestry specialists, field trips and excursions to world-known forestry companies, many good friends from different parts of the world… During my studies I got very valuable internship experience at the Finnish Forest Research Institute METLA, where I got the chance to see the work of this organization from inside and to make new contacts.

At the moment I’m working as Sales Assistant in Luxhammar OY in Mikkeli. The company is supplying equipment (kilns) for thermal modification of wood. Thermal modification or heat treatment is natural method to protect wood from decay and insects; it provides wood with durability and dimensional stability.  My task is to communicate with new customers, to supply information about heat treatment kilns, to advice if needed, to prepare and to send quotations. Forestry background helped me a lot to understand better the process of thermal modification of wood and helps every day to explain it to new customers.

If you love nature and would like to expand your life horizons, be active - take your chance and apply for CBU FOR programme!

Antti Hiltunen, Finland

Nowadays employers appreciate and require also international experience from their employees.

Nowadays employers appreciate and require also international experience from their employees. To have different kind of qualification is a great way to separate from the other applicants, when you are going to move to the work life. That was the main force why I applied to this program.

CBU FOR has offered me a lot. The knowledge and skills which I have received during my CBU FOR studies, especially from Russian forestry, have helped me a lot in a couple of projects during my studies. Of course you need to have basic forestry skills, but this program can give you more and something extra like experience and knowledge about the cross-border co-operative-area. I have also met great persons during this program.

MSc European Forestry

Emmanuel Da Ponte Canova, Paraguay

One of the things that treasure the most from my MSc period are the incredible people that I meet, (which some became part of my current life), and the life experiences that I got at personal and professional level. There not enough words to describe all the amazing moments lived over those 2 years.  The MSc gave me the opportunity to work within an international environment and challenge myself to reach levels beyond my expectations. The MSc show me that with patience and hard work no dreams is too big or paths to narrow if you set your mind into it. Currently I’m a PhD candidate at the DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Munich researching on Forest Loss in the Atlantic Forest and Ecosystem Services.  

Alain Joseph, Canada

I am originally from Orléans Canada  – a suburb of the Nation's Capital: Ottawa. I have two major career goals for my life: (1) to become a university professor/researcher and (2) to become the superintendent of one of Canada's beautiful National Parks. I started my student career at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario. I spent three years in Lindsay graduating as an Ecosystem Management Technician and as a Parks and Forest Recreation Management Technician. Following this, I spent a fourth year in Fleming at their Haliburton, Ontario campus and got a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Adventure Tourism Management. Knowing full-well that this would not be it for me as a student I then applied to the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. During my studies at Lakehead University I took some Finnish language courses and decided that I should put them to good use by going on exchange there.

The MSc EF programme has opened doors for me around the world and will help me further my career and enjoy my private life.

I came to the Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in European Forestry to build on the relationships which I had started during an exchange visit as a Bachelor student. Ever since my first visit to Joensuu I had been searching for an opportunity to return and pursue graduate level studies and the timing was somehow perfect for me. I was particularly interested in the variety of courses which were offered from all of the partner universities and the fact that the programme awarded a double degree. The double degree in particular provides me with an edge over other job applicants and searching for PhD positions.

I have worked several jobs in the past from paper boy to liaison officer, to forest firefighter. The latter of those jobs is the one which has steered me towards an academic career. Mother Nature is a formidable force to be reasoned with and wildfire is one of the ways in which she manifests her power over us. Many aspects of forest disturbances interest me, not only the suppression of wildfire, but what effects decades of suppression have had on our forests. In the course of the MSc EF I have been able to connect with several people who will be able to help me further develop my career in fire ecology and management.

The MSc EF programme has opened doors for me around the world and will help me further my career and enjoy my private life.

"Mr Alain Joseph graduated in European Forestry from the University of Eastern Finland and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and is currently working as a Park Planner at Parks Canada."