Arsam Ali: Smart Systems Integrated Solutions programme offers extensive possibilities

Arsam loved the academic environment and student culture in Aalto University, as well as Finnish nature.
Student Arsam Ali at the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi.
Arsam Ali at Otaniemi campus.

Arsam Ali is a student in the Smart Systems Integrated Solutions, which is a two-year joint master programme with full student mobility between Aalto University, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) and Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) with leading expertise in the academic fields of Smart Systems and Microsystems Technology.

Why did you choose the Master's Programme in Smart Systems Integrated Solutions? 

Selecting the Master’s Programme in Smart Systems Integrated Solutions was indeed a very crucial decision. As I was exclusively interested in the field of cyber-physical systems, the SSIs provided the best possible platform for diving into the sustainable and application-specific smart systems domain.
I found SSIs as a comprehensive blend of contemporary course work, substantial practical work, industrial liaison for networking, and excellent cultural diversity. I found that the technological topics covering the processes from the ever-growing semi-conductor industry especially topics ranging from microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design to materials integration has a huge job as well as academic prospects.

The second important thing was the association with the technology platform EPoSS for unmatched industrial relations and opportunities for SSIs graduates into the market.

Lastly, the diversity it offers in terms of cultures, languages, locations, and colleagues is matchless. I believe that the programme has been structured eminently and encloses great future opportunities for  graduate students despite their diverse academic backgrounds and experiences. 

What benefits do you feel you will get when you study for your degree at three different universities? 

In my opinion, the experience you get by studying in three different countries is unmatched. You get to see the environment, extend your network beyond a country’s border and the best of them, you get acquainted with more opportunities. 

One of the great things about such programme is that you get to learn the language and culture of that 
country and it allows you to have healthy and productive interactions with the local people. It is always a two-way learning process, you learn something from them as well they do. You get to see their lifestyle, their history, their traditions and most importantly you learn the way people think in different areas of the world.

Studying in three different countries can provide great opportunities to establish friendly relations with developed nations and learn the importance of acceptability, tolerance, and diversity. In short, it has great prospects for self-growth and development. 

I would definitely encourage international students to come to Finland!

Arsam Ali

What did you like about studying at Aalto University? What was the best part of your studies? 

I miss my time at Aalto. It is one of the reasons why I want to come back to Finland. Aalto is located in 
Espoo, which almost the technological hub of the country along with Helsinki. The campus is very 
approachable and has one of the best transport infrastructures connecting it to the other parts of the 

The academic environment at Aalto is very fostering and the research facilities are state of the art. The campus life at Aalto was very active, especially with all the parties organised by the guilds. I was a part of SIK (Sähköinsinöörikilta, Guild of Electrical Engineering) and the international sitsit parties was the highlight. The Teekkari culture was the best part and I really miss my time there!

What was your favourite course at Aalto University? 

There were plenty of interesting courses at Aalto University. MEMS design and analysis course was 
the highlight of the semester. The best thing about the course was the lectures from industrial specialists on various topics, especially from Murata, Vaisala, and VTT. The assignments helped me grasp the key concepts of MEMS-based sensors and design considerations. The accelerometer design project was gripping, and the learning curve went up by the end of the course as I didn't have any MEMS background and the course was the only source for developing the foundation. 

What do you expect from the future? 

The Masters in SSIs covers a wide range of technical areas from MEMS design to system-level  integrations and includes a variety of topics from the semi-conductor industry. It has a promising future. In terms of the size of the market and technological standpoint, this field will be growing substantially in the coming years and will provide even more and better opportunities.  

The SSIs itself is very broad and students can move to areas ranging from sensor design to process industry, embedded systems, IoT systems, cybersecurity, etc. SSIs offers extensive possibilities, and it solely depends upon the individual approach. The doors are open, we just need to see them.  

What would you want to say to international students that consider coming to Finland to study? 

I would say that Finland is a land of opportunities. The culture, be it the academic or corporate  professional, is nurturing and will allow you to fulfill your goals. Finnish working life is based on equality, autonomy, and employs a culture of trust. Students will find these values as supportive and prolific for their career progression in the country. 

In addition to that, the fact that Finland has a networked society and allows the inculcation of people from 
various international ethnicities and backgrounds into their active networks will provide the finest and equal opportunities to the international students coming to Finland. Along with that, student life in Finland has its advantages. You will find the infrastructure of the country among the best in the world, be it transport, accommodation, food, etc. The universities as well as the student societies are always putting in genuine efforts for providing the best possible facilities to students covering from paid internships to finding jobs after graduation. 

The country also offers a lot aside from academic and career opportunities, like nature. Thousands of lakes, conserved forests, snow-covered mountains, and especially northern lights are another reason for coming to Finland. You will find this place as a true beauty of nature and will cherish your time 

I would definitely encourage international students to come to Finland and I am sure that they will find their own way here. 

Student Arsam Ali with his friends at the Aalto campus
Arsam with his friends at the Overall Gala. Left to right Josef, Shamil, Arsam, Aaron, Alaa, Fernando and Lea. Front left to right Khaydarbek and Saltanat.

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SSIs is a continuation of the Erasmus Mundus SSI+ programme (2017-2020)

Smart Systems Integrated Solutions SSIs, (Erasmus Mundus), Master of Science (Technology)

SSIs is a two-year joint master programme, with full student mobility between Aalto University, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) and Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) with leading expertise in the academic fields of Smart Systems and Microsystems Technology.

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