Before applying to the UEF, Ehab graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree from Ain Shams University in Egypt. He wanted to continue studies and gained a diploma in molecular biology, during which he started to develop an interest in investigating the effects of environmental toxicants at a molecular level.
And his thirst for knowledge didn’t stop, as he wanted to find the best possible way to combine his skills in molecular biology with his passion in environmental health sciences.
–I got admission to universities in Belgium, Netherland, and Austria as well. Before Finland, I had never been to any Nordic country, so exploring the far north was the main reason for finally choosing the UEF. Ever since I was a child, I have been hearing people talk about the quality of Finnish education.
These talks became a reality when Ehab moved to Finland.
–I’ve found a good study environment with highly qualified teachers. Beside safety and clean air, Finnish universities offer their international students state-of-the-art facilities.
However, making a new country your home doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye – and for Ehab, too, the adaptation took some time.
–I was new to everyone and everything was new to me; different culture, different food, different language, and of course, completely different type of weather. I considered it as a challenge rather that a problem, and finally I enjoyed that fact that I’m different.
Luckily, there was peer support available.
–Our student group was good. We motivated and encouraged each other – and that was also important to lessen procrastination. In a group, we learnt new study skills by observing each others’ habits.
Extensive lab work with latest methods
When looking back to his Master’s studies, the most intriguing part for him was definitely his Master’s thesis.
–Before that, I didn’t have a chance to perform such extensive laboratory work. While working on my Master’s thesis, I was able to expose myself to the latest methods in molecular biology and genetic toxicology. I also had the chance to get in touch with the up-to-date approaches in statistical analysis and conclusion making.
Finally, when all the work was summed up in the form of a diploma, it was a moment that Ehab will surely remember.
–Of course, the most exciting moment was when I collected the Master’s degree certificate itself. Finally, after two years of hard work I had a chance to relax, celebrate, and think about the future with some confidence.
Now, Ehab continues at the same Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, but now as an early stage researcher and PhD student. His research focuses on the health effects of electromagnetic fields, solely or when combined with chemicals.
–That could never have been possible without having my Master’s degree. Master’s studies emphasized my interests in the health effects of environmental agents. I’ve learned that proper assessment of health risks is ultimately crucial in making policies that can promote people’s wellbeing and influence the success of any intervention effort.
Experts are needed
Ehab is happy to have chosen the Master’s studies at UEF and the possibility to soak himself in the world of academia. However, he reminds that the programme offers many opportunities also outside the university circles.
–It is a good stepping stone for those who seek doing doctoral studies in environmental health sciences. Besides, it provides a great opportunity to pursue a career in national and international health agencies.
Environmental risks are increasing on our planet, and there’s a need for more skilled professionals to assess risks that different environmental toxicants, such as chemicals or air pollutants, pose to us. Ehab encourages future students to consider the ENHET programme that has many paths to choose from.
–The program provides a wide range of theoretical and practical skills. From approaches in exposure assessment and epidemiology to methods in cellular and molecular biology, you will certainly find the path that you are looking for. When finishing the Master’s degree program, you will be aware of the ongoing global health issues more than ever.
Ehab’s future plans are clear.
–I’ve chosen academia as a career. After finishing my doctoral degree, I will seek an opportunity to continue for post-doc studies.