Student experiences


Jismi, India (started 2016)

It’s been a year since I started my studies here and when I look back, as promised, we all got all the necessary support and the systems in place was designed to ensure that the students need are taken care of! Stay tuned for more information, regarding our student lives in Turku and all that it brings along! Follow Jismis blog here.


Hanna, Finland (started 2017)

I am a native Finnish citizen and have lived my whole life in Turku area. I studied Biotechnology in the Turku University of Applied Sciences. After Bachelors degree, my first plan was to continue straight to the working life, but I noticed the Biomedical Imaging Masters Programme in one information session in the last year of my Bachelor studies. The application deadline was quite close at that point, so there were some work in a short time with the application process. I was ready to do all that work after reading the program and courses descriptions, it sounded so tempting! I understood that this program was just the right for me, since I have always wanted to actually see what is going on at cell level. In addition, a research and development in a medical field fascinated me.

Now when studying in the Biomedical Imaging program, I am even more convinced that this is the right path for me. All lectures are interesting and even though I was not comfortable with the English language, I am ready to overcome obstacles in order to continue studying in this amazing program!

Professors have huge knowledge about their field of science, the program is very international and personnel are doing close cooperation with other research groups and Universities all over the world. On top of that, I have had a wonderful opportunity to get to know all this lovely and friendly people from                                        around the world.


Jed, USA (started 2015)


After finishing my undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon, I never expected to find myself in this small Nordic country known as Finland, yet it turned out perfect.  An important aspect to this degree is the diversity of students here.  With small class sizes (compared to USA), each of us can share from our own backgrounds and it is helpful to see a challenge from many perspectives.

This degree program has a broad range of applicable roles for us and sometimes it can seem overwhelming.  However, this is a blessing as the student advisors, professors, and others working inside the scientific halls here in Turku are all great sources for critical thought and guidance.  Learning the functions and roles of MRI, PET, CT, Laser-scanning microscopes, and the image analysis programs that support them is immensely useful in a research or clinical role.  A proper Master’s degree is earned from a program that readies you for career success through encouragement, challenge, and excellent teaching.  The Biomedical Imaging program here in Turku does just that.



Mahayae, Malaysia (started 2014)

Hello everybody, I am Mahyae; I am Persian from Malaysia and currently doing my master`s in Biomedical imaging here at Åbo Akademi in Turku, Finland. My background was biochemistry and I decided to continue further in imaging perspective of science. Science and research world are so wide that you can connect your previous knowledge to a new field and enter a new and very interesting area. Here in Bioimaging field, we all have the opportunity of working with various image modalities and it all brights up your way so that later on you can narrow yourself down and follow what you decide to pursue.

On the other hand, Turku is a very student friendly city and has an extremely beautiful nature. For a person like me who came from an extremely hot climate, seeing finnish seasons is not only challenging but interesting as well.

If I would have gone back in time, I would still choose the same path and I do encourage other passionate students from all over the globe to give it a try and  come and see yourself.




Tatsiana, Belarus (started 2014)


My name is Tatsiana, and I just started my first year in Biomedical Imaging. I had not dreamed about this program for several years, I found it 2 months before deadline. But at that moment I exactly recognized that it was the right place to build my future, and I did not want to study anything or anywhere else. From the first moment in Finland I am amazed every day: concern of coordinators and student tutors, highly qualified and friendly professors, scientific environment and just nice people everywhere.

This program is multidisciplinary and attracts inquisitive people with knowledge in biology, physics, chemistry, medicine, information technology. And the great moment is that students with different background can enter the program. Right now I’m filling the gap in some subjects, at the same time I attend courses related to bioimaging. So I am still excited to be part of this program, and I am sure I will keep enthusiasm for all two years.



Daniel, Mexico (started 2014)


My experience in University of Turku as well as in Finland has been unique. The cold weather of this coast city is in completely contrast with its huge University: many libraries around the campuses and the city which is always full of people coming from all over the world; big buildings completely occupied by laboratories with the latest and best technology.

Biomedical Imaging Master’s Program is offer by both Åbo Akademi and Turun Yliopisto, which are first world class universities. Besides this, lab is now Nobel Prize awarded.

The gap between students and professors is thinner, as we all have the opportunity of talk with the greatest scientists of this time. I had the nice chance to share lunch with an invited professor who is leading an amazing group of new antivirals discovery.

In conclusion, University of Turku is a great university which offers incredible opportunities and facilities for own development just waiting for you.



Lauren, USA (started 2014)


Hey, there! My name is Lauren Brothers and I am a first year student starting out in the Biomedical Imaging Master’s degree program. For over a year, I awaited the chance to venture into all that Finland has to offer. A hidden gem in the far corner of the world, there I would find a unique opportunity for an international experience at a high quality education which would further broaden my knowledge and skill set in the imaging industry. I feel privileged to be a part of a programme that is designed for your individual success.

The Finnish city of Turku is a compact, yet diverse, one that is known for its continuous contributions to scientific research. The networking possibilities and flexible curriculum one gets by studying in the Biomedical Imaging programme, are extremely difficult to match. The immense support among the professors, coordinators, and fellow students have made such a huge transition ultimately an easy one. While my journey in Finland and in the program have only just begun, I can envision it will bring my life to new heights, just as it could do for you!



Ashraful, Bangladesh (started 2014)


It’s a pleasure for me to be a part of Biomedical Imaging Turku. I am Md. Ashraful Islam, an international student from Bangladesh. I decided to come here not only because of it’s stunning natural beauty and higher standard of living, but also a strong focus on research and innovation, a good selection of world-class universities and a commitment to offering higher education free of charge.

As an international student, I can say with proud that I have chosen the right one. My background is in Pharmaceutical Science and I wanted to build up my future career as a Biomedical researcher. Biocity is the heart of research activities in Turku, one of the oldest cities and ex-capital city of Finland.

The tradition of world class bioimaging expertise and technologies still lives strong in Biocity. So, everyone working in biomedical sciences in Turku-Biocity should be proud of its past, present, and possible future achievements.




Piryanka, Pakistan (started 2013)


My name is Piryanka Motiani. I am a second year student in Master’s degree in Biomedical Imaging with a background of medicine. I feel lucky to be chosen as one of the candidates in this program because I have managed to strengthen and polish my skills in variety of backgrounds such as programing and image analysis. There is enormous scope of learning from Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering. It is rare to find such a diverse fusion of every field in one program and that is what makes it unique. Furthermore, there are numerous opportunities to meet researchers all over the world in the seminars to be updated with the cutting edge technology in scientific research.

Turku is well-known for quality research. Moreover, the variety of microscopes and the possibilities of performing research from single cell to entire living organism cannot be overlooked. I highly recommend students to apply in this program, it will be an experience hard to forget as it is for me.





Mojtaba, Iran (started 2012)mojtaba

My name is Mojtaba Jafari from Iran and I have just graduated from MSc program in Biomedical Imaging, and I must tell that this program is really appropriate for those students who want to get skill by different fields such as engineering, biomedical image processing, data analysis, microscopy and biology. The flexibility of this program for students is awesome, in addition to mandatory courses, there is a pool of interesting courses which you can take based upon your own necessities and background.  My background is Biomedical Engineering and I was disappointed in the primary days of starting study on this program, because there were some courses which were totally dissimilar with my background (e.g. Biology and microscopy). However, after discussing this issue with the teachers, they showed me a novel view regarding this program. To be honest, I found my way after performing my internship and taking my favorite courses. I prepared my M.Sc. thesis on the topic that I liked and got more experiences during my final project. I recommend this program to students who are curious to learn more about the biomedical imaging and biomedicine world. Finally, my deepest thank goes to the professors and coordinators of the program who have supported all the students by their helps.



Natalia, Russia (started 2013)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My name is Natalia Gurvits, and I came here from the opposite side of the Earth, Far East of Russia, but from the first day I feel here as at home, with the careful support of coordinators of BMI and talented professors. Turku is a peaceful and cozy city with a lot of international students. My background is Medicine, Otorhinolaryngology, and now I am a first year student of Biomedical Imaging. Nowadays the work of a medical doctor is inconceivable without modern imaging equipment, and the Master Program of Biomedical Imaging helps to cover all of these facilities: PET, MRI, CT, ultrasound and microscopy. A considerable advantage of the program is the versatility that gives a lot of opportunities where to move further in the future.

Likewise, Turku University provides a great accommodation since the first day of the student arrival. I got cheap and comfortable student apartment with 10 minutes walking to the university. Besides, there many opportunities for international students to participate in various sport activities, from tennis to hockey.



Alex, Russia (started 2013)Alex

My name is Alex and I am a first year student of BMI. I have found this program two years before my graduation in previous University and since then I couldn’t find something better for me. My background is Biology but I was really interested in physics and related research. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to jump over this gap and totally change the field. Biomedical Imaging program combines both biological and physical research and allows people with different backgrounds to study here.

During my first semester, I have learned huge amount of cutting-edge knowledge in Imaging and also refreshed my mind with some things that I forgot from the bachelor’s education. I like our professors and teachers, who are always ready to lend a helping hand and give some advice.  From the first semester I have found academic superviser and started my research in NanoImaging.  We also have an opportunity to visit many companies in order to see where we can work in the future and how we can apply our knowledge to do a breakthrough research. I am so happy to be here. I know I will get all the necessary skills to become an expert in BioImaging.


Interview with Kumail, Pakistan (started 2012)


Susanne, Finland (started 2011)

My name is Susanne Vainio and I just started my second year in the Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Imaging. I decided to apply to Biomedical Imaging after talking to some students in the “pilot” class of the programme. It sounded like a versatile and a cutting-edge education which would provide many opportunities in my future life. This is also what I’ve experienced during my studies last year. Turku as a studying place was a natural choice for me because it’s my hometown and I’ve enjoyed studying here. In the Finnish scale Turku is a relatively big city with all the services, but small enough to move around by bike. My background is in biosciences, so some of the more technical courses have been challenging. However,  the programme takes into account the different backgrounds of the students by offering basic courses as well as selectable subjects in various different areas. My goal is to become a researcher in biomedicine and I think the programme gives you important tools in order to stay up-to-date in modern research. For me personally the programme has opened new doors and I’m very pleased with my current master’s thesis work in the Turku PET Centre.


Arsalan, Pakistan (started 2011)

I am Muhammad Arsalan Khan from Karachi, Pakistan and I am a biomedical engineer. Most of the people ask me “Why do you study in Finland? Why not other countries like UK, Australia and Canada? “.  The reason behind this is very clear – that is interest or passion. When I was in my country I got admission in many universities, including also UK, Australia, New Zealand and different courses in Finland but I decided to join the MSc Programme in Biomedical Imaging. The course structure really attracted me and very important factors were also the international ranking and collaborations of the university – The University of Turku is one of the most popular universities in Europe. Also opportunities to work in labs with experienced research teams were important things.

This program contains a good mixture of courses in bioimaging and medical imaging. My background is engineering so I have also found many good courses related to physics and engineering. I have also worked in the Laboratory of Biophysics in the University of Turku with great research team.  All the professors are very cooperative and the course coordinators are always ready to help. I am currently working in Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the University of Eastern Finland. I am doing my MSc thesis work here and got this position because of my previous working experience in Turku. I would say to the new students in the programme that there are several opportunities but you just have to prove yourself and your knowledge. To achieve anything in the world you have to work hard and you should have a passion for that. As a Pakistani, I can proudly say that we have very talented people in that region but we just have to find the right opportunity to show and enhance our talent. I can say that coming to Turku for the biomedical imaging programme was correct and one of the best decisions I have made!


Qiu, China (started 2011)

My name is Qiu Yaqi. I come from China. During my fourth-year study in the college, I decided to continue my master study in the future. At that moment one of my friends who studied in Finland as an exchange student told me that the high education in Finland is outstanding and the teachers are highly qualified. Thus I started to apply for Finnish universities. On one occasion, I found that there was a new master’s program – Biomedical Imaging at Åbo Akademi University which attracted my attention. My career plan is to become a researcher in the field of cell biology, so with the help of imaging, I am able to know more about cells.

Currently I enjoy my life in Turku, Finland. Everyone here is friendly and helpful especially our teachers and program coordinators who are always fairly nice and do their best to help us when some difficulties are encountered. BMI not only get students ready in professional knowledge but also offers different practical opportunities. For instance, I am being trained and gaining the experience in a research group right now at Biocity so as to most of my classmates. The study of BMI program is neither tough nor easy, but it requires hard work for sure. Until now I have travelled several cities in Europe. In my eyes, Turku is the best one suitable for me. Since it is peaceful and quiet, I can focus on my study and work.


Joanna, Finland (started 2010)

My name is Joanna and I am a second year student at BMI. A friend of mine found out about the program and knowing that I’m interested in microscopy she immediately informed me. I have completed my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Turku in biochemistry and therefore it was easy for me to choose BMI for my next career step.

I have enjoyed the BMI program very much. The program requires hard work but during this program I have learned more in one year that I ever thought possible. The warm bio-community at Turku played a significant role in my progression as a researcher. I also have been lucky enough to complete part of my masters’ thesis in the Cell Imaging Facility of Northwestern University in Chicago. I feel that the international experiences I have gained from both this exchange and the BMI program will be significant for my career progression. I recommend this program; overall it was a fulfilling experience!


Ahmed, Libya (started 2010)

My field of study is dental science and I graduated from my homecountry as a dentist more than 10 years ago. In 2002 I started my PhD study in university of Helsinki and although I have already got my PhD from the same, I felt that there is something missing between PhD and bachelor degrees, and here where the idea of a master degree popped in!

One evening I was sitting at my desk checking my emails and then found an announcement about the starting admission of an international MSc program in biomedical imaging, and that really seemed wonderful because I had been struggling-during my PhD study which consisted of research work- with my data analysis, and one of the most crucial players in data analysis is imaging.  The title was very attractive and its contents gave me the impression that it would enrich my skill and knowledge with all what a successful researcher, and clinician, needs. What made me even more interested in the program was the higly sophisticated and advanced imaging techniques contained in the study syllabus.

I decided to apply for it and luckily was accepted. Despite my long stay among Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa (about 10 years), I like Turku most because it is calm, safe, nature-rich, and thus more suitable for a student life. When I joined the program, I found the coordinators very helpful and cooperative. The teaching staff was highly qualified, the course material was rich and up to date.

I wish all the best for the newcomers and good luck in your career!


Habib, Azerbaijan (started 2010)

My name is Habib Baghirov and I have graduated from the MSc Programme in Biomedical Imaging. Before enrolling in this programme I had some experience in neuroscience, but decided to add versatility to my training by learning imaging techniques widely used in almost all biomedical studies. I never regretted joining the programme, as imaging is among the strongest research areas in Turku, with a number of facilities focusing on both experimental studies and clinical applications and offering a first-hand experience in various imaging modalities. Although the programme is still relatively new, it is already well-designed, with mandatory courses building a fundamental knowledge and basic practical skills, while selectable courses and the master’s project allow students to get an in-depth knowledge in an area of their choice. It is also very balanced, and studies remain enjoyable without being superficial. The quality of teaching and supervision is very good, with an emphasis on curiosity, independent thinking and practical applications of knowledge. I think that, given the widespread use of and high demand for imaging techniques, this programme can serve as an excellent starting point both for students that want to further specialize in imaging and for those that wish to use their newly-acquired skills in other biomedical studies. Living in Turku has also been a pleasure – the city itself is relatively small and calm, but having two universities with a number of international students coming from different cultures also makes it a dynamic and diverse environment. I wish all new students every success in their studies and hope that they will enjoy their stay in Turku and greatly benefit from the learning opportunities that this programme offers!