Williane Bernardes, Master's Degree Programme in Medical Physics (2018-2020)
Williane Bernardes, a Brazil-native first-year student in the Master’s Degree Programme in Medical Physics knew to expect a multidisciplinary and challenging study content – and the first 6 months have not proved her wrong.
“For someone like myself who likes learning about different topics, it’s really, really cool that the programme touches so many fields: maths, physics, computer science… The only problem is that I slightly overestimated my resources and took too many courses at the same time because I was so eager to start”, laughs Williane.
For Williane, the most fascinating courses so far have been Biomechanics and Physics in Radiotherapy – both are courses with a strong emphasis on learning in practice.
“During the courses, we went to the campus hospital to conduct measurements with cancer treatment machines, and also made virtual experiments in the lab. That was super interesting.”
In the Medical Physics programme, there is an opportunity to either do an internship at the campus hospital or an advanced laboratory practice in one of the research groups. Williane will do the latter as she will start in the Biosignal Analysis research group very soon.
“I will be helping my supervisor who conducts a study on human motion analysis. The data is obtained when the subject does a predetermined movement, such as walking or jumping, and I will help him with the data collection and analysis. I’m very much looking forward to start!”
When asked about her future plans, Williane says she wants to keep her options open.
“First, I want to be a researcher – that I know for sure. I’ve always been a person with many interests, but luckily this degree opens doors to three different directions: research, hospital work and private sector.”
Life and studies in Finland
Williane already knew quite a lot about the Finnish lifestyle before applying to the Master’s programme, as she had spent a year on exchange at the university of Jyväskylä a few years ago. After her Bachelor’s degree she wanted to continue her studies abroad, and Finland was an easy choice for her.
“Here the relevant things matter in the application process – which are the grades, of course, but also your own activity, such as participating in winter or summer schools, your work experience and language skills. When I was preparing my application, I got help from the programme coordinator Siru throughout the process whenever I needed. Without a scholarship I couldn’t have afforded to study here but I’m more than happy that now it is possible.”
What Williane really likes about her studies at the UEF is the free atmosphere.
“I appreciate the freedom and safety, and the fact that it is not a competitive environment – on the contrary, everyone is willing to help. There’s a mutual respect between teachers and students, and you feel that you are trusted in. It’s important to me that I can speak my mind to the teachers and discuss openly, as there’s no hierarchy in a way. I know it sounds cheesy but so far I got the impression that the department is kind of like a big welcoming family.”
For Williane, adapting into the Finnish society has been easy.
“If someone steps into another culture from outside, they need to think that they are guests who are eager to adapt. When I first came here, I kissed and hugged everyone I met but then I realized that it’s not the common practice here. Therefore I always want to ask people to tell me how they do things as I want to learn and respect.”
Williane is learning Finnish language, and she says she also likes the cold and winter in the North. Therefore her future dream is to establish a career somewhere in the Northern hemisphere - we do hope it will be in Finland!