International Alum Story: Lilia Nora Adamou

Lilia Nora Adamou profile
Lilia Nora Adamou

I'm Lilia, a recent University of Turku master's graduate from Finland. I studied in the Master's Degree Programme in Human Neuroscience. I have a very international background having grown up in Finland, France and the United Arab Emirates. 

I am currently living in Paris and studying adolescent and adult psychiatry at the University of Paris and the Institute of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. I am training to become a clinical psychologist here in France.

Lilia’s Story

What I’ve studied

For my bachelor's degree, I wanted to study psychology, so I chose the United Kingdom where I lived for the 3 years of my studying. During my second and final years in the UK, I began questioning where I wanted to do my master's degree. I wanted to do my master's in neuroscience in English and preferably within the European Union.  I applied to the Human Neuroscience master's degree program at the University of Turku and was accepted. 

Image of MRI scans neuroimaging courses
Image of MRI scans from Lilia's neuroimaging courses


Why I chose Turku and the journey thereafter

I chose Turku because it is a student-friendly city with a large international community. The university has plenty of programs and activities in English which I really appreciated.

During my 2 years there, I gained research and clinical experience through my courses, thesis research project, and a clinical traineeship I was fortunate to get at the Turku University Hospital.  The first year was hectic and demanding in terms of workload but I managed to find a rhythm that worked for me.

Lilia during clinical observations of neurophysiological investigations as part of the neurophysiology course
Lilia conducted clinical observations of neurophysiological investigations as part of the neurophysiology course

Unfortunately, the pandemic began during the second half of my first year, so most of the lectures were online. It was sometimes hard to keep up the motivation and rhythm. So, I started going to the university libraries every day at 9 o'clock with a friend who was also a classmate. This managed to make us both much more productive, get work done, and socialise as well. 

MRI Scan
MRI Scan from Lilia's neuroimaging courses

During my time in Turku, I was also part of the Finnish Red Cross and I volunteered as a refugee support worker at the Finnish Refugee Council (Suomen Pakolaisapu), where I assisted refugees settling in Finland and learning the Finnish language. 


Networking and tips for students

In terms of networking, I was very active on LinkedIn. I connected with my professors and professionals in my field in the Turku area. I highly recommend students do the same, as I managed to get my traineeship at the hospital this way. Never hesitate to connect and ask your professors or thesis supervisors for tips and guidance. They may have opportunities such as internships, summer jobs, and connections for you.  

Overall experience

My overall experience in Turku was very positive. I truly enjoyed living and studying there. At times, it was challenging but I managed to acquire good experiences, important connections, a master's degree and beautiful memories. My advice is to be as active as possible and reach out to people through social media to get the best out of your university experience.

Written by Lilia Nora Adamou, UTU alum, Faculty of Medicine, Turku Brain and Mind Center.