UTUambassadors 2020 (11)


The student ambassadors of the University are international students who are glad to help you with any questions regarding studies or student life in Turku.

Please note that in July and August the UTUambassadors are off-duty, enjoying their summer.

You can find some glimpses into their life in Turku on social media, and of course the Student Life blog. The blog posts include tips on how to get settled in in Turku and Finland, housing options, free time activities, different degree programmes, and what to do after graduation.


The aim of the ambassador programme is to share information with people interested in university studies, especially from the point of view of an international student and give new international students tips on how to settle in Turku. At the same time, the student ambassadors extend their important network for their life and career after graduation.

Click here for more information on our Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programmes.

Meet the UTUambassadors!

UTUambassador Irene 12

Irene Pampallis, South Africa

Master’s Degree Programme in Education and Learning 

I am currently a second-year student in the Master’s Degree Programme in Education and Learning (EdLearn). I decided to pursue a master’s degree after teaching for several years as I wanted to better understand how students learn and how educational systems could be improved. The EdLearn programme appealed to me because it had a dual focus, encompassing both individual learning and systemic issues of policy and equality. Studying at UTU has been very different to my previous university experiences, but also very rewarding. Discussing educational issues with classmates from all over the world is enlightening, and the staff are supportive and approachable. When I am not studying, I enjoy wandering in the forest, visiting local libraries, drinking tea with my friends and practising my Finnish on unsuspecting shop assistants.

Instagram: @explore_then_tea

UTUambassador Alex 37

Alexander Spicer, United Kingdom

Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences: Drug Discovery and Development 

I have a background in biomedical science with a one year placement in Australia, I graduated and spent some time supporting scientific research from a consultancy perceptive. As I wanted to move further in my career, a Masters would be beneficial and having worked with many Finnish life science companies it seemed an opportune place to finally get to see another country and live on the continent. Going back to and Living as a student is a shock to the system but with a country as well adapted it is very easy. Finnish culture and lifestyle is unique, especially always living in Anglo nations, and to experience it first hand is a great place to begin. 


UTUambassador Rasha 21

Rasha ElMansuri, Libya-Finland

Master’s Degree student in Biomedical sciences: Biomedical Imaging

My name  is  Rasha. I am  a Biomedical Imaging Master’s student at the University of Turku. Studying at the University of Turku has been a dream of mine that I can proudly say, it came true. Turku is a city I consider  home, it is a student friendly city, connected in a beautiful way, making everything one possibly could need easily approachable. The international student community as well as the University of Turku community in Turku are inspiring and they provide all sorts of support and help upon request .Being a science student myself with a tight schedule, especially throughout current COVID-19 pandemic situation it can get overwhelming. However Finland has beautiful nature, which can be a great de-stressing resource,  providing many activities such as  taking long walks, hiking, canoeing, and camping, which I personally enjoy doing during my free time. Still asking why Finland  is  worth  coming?  Well, I can help  you  with  your  decision by sharing real-life experiences from both myself as well as fellow international students, and maybe then, you will not only consider studying in Finland, but possibly staying in Finland.

Instagram: rasha_elmansuri

UTUambassador Zejia Song 30

Zejia Song, China

Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences: Drug Discovery and Development 

After my research internship in Shanghai, I searched for Master’s programme to have a broader view in drug development and international cooperation in drug research. University of Turku offers multiple career options from academic research to industrial internship with NordBioMedNet network. Here, your idea and career plan are really supported and encouraged. Two years before my Master’s study, I was an exchange student in Kuopio. Living in a student-friendly country with unique Finnish culture and lifestyle, I enjoyed my study in Finland and decided for another two years here! Currently, I’m in the first-year study in Turku, and I’m looking forward to exploring more possibilities in the field of biomedical sciences!

Instagram: @zjj_song 

UTUambassador Anna Ryzhova 27

Anna Ryzhova, Russia

Master's Degree Programme in Futures Studies

After getting my bachelor's degree in Business Administration also in Finland, I have decided to continue my education in this country as the Finnish education system is very interactive, innovative and allows you to broaden your horizons through a variety of opportunities, including exchange programmes and international partnerships. I have chosen the University of Turku because of its unique Master`s Degree programme in Futures Studies provided by Finland Futures Research Centre. Based on my own experience of being a student in a few Finnish cities, I can say that Turku is the best city for students! 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ann_gexwy/ 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-sergine-ryzhova/

UTUambassador Olha 4

Olha Nikolaienko, Ukraine

Master's Degree Programme in Education and Learning

I am Olha and I am a first-year Master’s student in Education and Learning. Studying at a Finnish university was something that I thought was unreachable for me. I came from Ukraine, where the educational system is not like in Finland but still I wanted to try my best and now, I am here, in one of the best universities in the world, in the university on Turku. And what is more, I am now also living in one of the most beautiful cities in Finland. 
    Studying here is one of the best things that happened to me. I feel that I can share my thoughts, that I am getting support from my peers and teachers and that is an amazing feeling.
   Being an ambassador is an opportunity to meet new and wonderful people and to open new horizons of the student life and, of course, it id an opportunity to do something useful for the university. Being an ambassador is an honour for me. 
   Have some questions or doubts about studying at the University of Turku? I am here to help you!

Instagram: @olha.nikolaienko

UTUambassador Eman 25

Eman Hassanain, Egypt

Master’s Degree Programme in Human Neuroscience 

I have always been fascinated by the brain and how it works, and I knew since I was studying bachelor’s in psychology that I will start a career in neuroscience. After graduation, I started to search for a master’s degree that teaches the fundamental concepts of neuroscience as well as the clinical and imaging techniques, which I found here at the University of Turku. The curriculum is interesting and covers different topics that combine theory and practicality. I also had the chance to visit some of the facilities, such as the PET center and the Game lab, and meet researchers of several backgrounds. Turku is also an amazing city to enjoy your time. Everything is close and available, and you can do many activities like hiking and exercise in the university’s gym. Students also get several discounts, which is an extra benefit when buying things. I love being here and would encourage you to apply to UTU. 

Instagram: @emy.hassanain

UTUambassador Alaa 85

Alaa Benkherouf, Algeria

MSc in Biomedical Imaging master’s program, Faculty of Biomedicine 

My name is Alaa, I am 22 years old and currently doing my master’s degree at the University of Turku. What I love most about this university is that is has multifunctional facilities and high-quality research. The university makes sure that it has the newest technologies and up to date information for teaching, that way, we stay in track with what is happening in the world of science. The campuses are very modernised and comfortable. As for the City of Turku, it is known for being a “student’s city”. If you are interested in knowing more about the University of Turku and the city of Turku, you can always check my social media and contact me personally if you are curious!  

Instagram: albenk981
LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/alaabenkherouf98 

Mukarram Zaman Khan

Mukarram Zaman Khan, Pakistan

A doctoral candidate in Physics

Back in 2016, at the age of 23 years, I moved to University of Turku for pursuing masters degree in Materials Science with Physics as major. Due to the excellent teaching methodology and freedom of research linked with my hard work I was able to complete my 2 years of degree in just 14 months. Graduating from Master's programme was just a hurdle for me to enter into PhD. When I left Pakistan, my mindset was to notch and design my future by becoming a good researcher via pursuing PhD degree. During my maters degree I decided to start my PhD from University of Turku since I was well settled and aware of research facilities here. Currently I am working at Wihuri Physical Laboratory, Department of Physics with the focus on microwave and electrical properties of high temperature superconductors and have published 10 papers in 3 years. Due to my PhD work, I traveled to many countries for attending conferences and sharing new ideas while meeting with Nobel Laureates and other scientific giants.

There are many research facilities available at this university but one needs to be passionate about what he/she really wants to achieve. For me, I love to sniff around the labs and share knowledge with the students with the intention of learning. Now I am on the stage of finishing my PhD and implementing the outcomes of my stay here in my career. Surely, this is a lovely journey of knowledge where I grew up like a fledgling learns to fly where sky is the limit. Although it is hard to integrate with Finnish people but I struggled to make some very good Finnish friends with whom I have traveled towards many European countries and as myself becoming their host to let them explore my home country with one of the best landscapes in the world.

UTUambassador Haque

Afra Haque, Bangladesh

Master´s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences – Drug Discovery and Development

Opportunity is always there; all we need is to knock on the right door. For me Finland was the right door. I am a first-year student in master’s degree program in Biomedical Sciences at Drug Discovery and Development track in the University of Turku (UTU). My thirst for research brought me here as I found the curriculum best matches my interest. Though the weather was a bit challenging, but its better to take risk than regret. At this point, I am proud that I took the risk and came to Finland. The best combination of serenity and world class education is in Finland.

Instagram: @afra.tisha


Anand Kalgudi, India

Master's Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Science, Bioinformatics Track.
(Current name of the programme is Master's Degree Programme in Information and Communication Technology: Digital Health)

After my bachelor's in Biotechnology, the thirst for learning and exploring in the field of Bioinformatics brought me to Finland with great aspirations and I ended up choosing this program at the University of Turku. The reason was simple, Finland is the world's best with its education system, UTU being one of the oldest universites in Finland and a line that enthralled me the most 'The campus that never sleeps'.

Instagram : @akalgudi_photography

UTUambassador Maria 9

Mária Kubincová, Slovakia

Master's Degree Programme in East Asian Studies

My perseverance and passion for studying Japan, Japanese language and society, is what eventually brought me to Finland, where I am currently in my third year of studying East Asian Studies at UTU, and loving it. Turku has become my second home and if I am not busy with my studies or part-time job, I am most likely with my friends, discovering the various student-friendly cafes, restaurants, or shops in the city, staying active thanks to Campus Sport, enjoying the beautiful Finnish nature, or just staying home reading book

Instagram: @kubemary

UTUambassador Nesrin Drug discovery 13

Nesrin Muhamed, Egypt

Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences: Drug Discovery and Development

Learning to trust myself brought me to Finland, I am a  first-year biomedical science master degree student at UTU. I wanted to shape my personality, by plunging myself into an environment that is entirely different from what I am used to. Being a student of science with a tight schedule, I spend most of my time attending classes or in the lab. However, on weekends I like to go for a forest walk or learn some Finnish. In addition, I do some Finnish sightseeing .This helps me to understand the country in more depth. Exploring everyday aspects of Finnish life: the towns and villages, high streets, supermarkets, restaurants and parks that people visit on a day-to-day basis gives me a much better sense of what real life in Finland is like. I can help you with your decision in coming to Finland by sharing my first experiences and how I managed to quickly adjust my life in a new country.

UTUambassador Nabizadeh

Armin Nabizadeh, Iran

Physical and Chemical Sciences Doctoral Programme

My name is Armin Nabizadeh and I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in high energy astrophysics at the University of Turku. I got my bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Tabriz in Iran, and METU in Turkey, respectively. For the first time and before joining UTU, I learned about the university in summer 2015 during a summer school which was held in Tuorla Observatory, the biggest observatory in Finland. One of the most important reasons that I chose UTU to continue my studies was the notable faculty members. UTU researchers are very actively doing great works in their research area, especially in astrophysics. Once I started my Ph.D. at UTU, I found out that studying at UTU has other various advantages such as great sports facilities, professional scientific labs, the location in city which is very close to the city center and its good relations with other big universities around the world.

Instagram: @armin.astrophysics

Loan Pham, Vietnam

Master's Degree Programme in Law and Information Society

My friends always call me Leen as my English name and I'm from Hanoi, Vietnam. I took part in the University of Turku in early Autumn 2018 for the Master's Degree Programme in Law and Information Society. I chose UniTurku because of the 2 following main reasons: the great quality of international education in Finland, and, the unique research opportunities that my program offers. UniTurku is a great option for learning, growing, and challenging your own ability for your future career.

Instagram: @leen.ph___/