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Astrid Andersin, studying chemical engineering in English, feels she benefits from studying in a foreign language

Astrid Andersin, a third-year chemical engineering student, chose to study in the English-language degree program and is happy with her decision. Although studying in English made her a little nervous at first, Astrid now sees a lot of benefits.
Astrid Andersin
Astrid Andersin

Astrid Andersin, a third-year chemical engineering student, was already interested in natural sciences in primary school and was told by her teachers that she was good at them. However, as a high school student, Astrid considered many different options when thinking about higher education. "There are so many different options for where to go in natural sciences, and it seems like everyone was always pressured to go into medical school if they were good at them. But there were so many other options, and then I heard about the English-language application period, which was in January." Astrid eventually applied to several different places and was accepted to study at more than one school. She ended up choosing to study chemical engineering in English at Aalto. After three years of study, Astrid can say that Aalto has the best in Finland. The professors' research is of the highest quality and the school is also highly regarded abroad. Aalto University also selects the most talented high school students in Finland. Astrid says that instead of thinking of it as a competition, people should think about how much they can learn from others. When you are surrounded by wiser people, you learn, and when there are opportunities to help others, your own skills are strengthened.

Before starting her studies, Astrid was nervous about English, although she had taken a language trip in secondary school, which had given her confidence in speaking English. After that, however, she had already spent several years at a Finnish-language school. However, Astrid had made friends in the IB section of her own upper secondary school, with whom she spoke only English. The summer before her studies, she also got a job in a company where English was the working language. Despite the amount of experience, Astrid encourages people to consider studying in English: "We had really nice tutors who encouraged us, and if you couldn't remember something in English, you got a lot of help from the students in your year. It also helped that there are a lot of Finnish-speaking professors who don't necessarily remember everything in English themselves. Everyone makes little mistakes. And when all the material is in English, the vocabulary gets stronger." Astrid also points out that the Master's degree in chemical engineering is in English anyway. If you do your studies in English during your bachelor's degree, the transition to a master's degree can feel easier, at least from a language point of view. On the other hand, after the first year, it is possible to switch from English to Finnish if you feel like it.

Astrid has enjoyed her studies in chemical engineering and has also had the opportunity to work at the university. She has been a research assistant in Professor Pekka Oinas' Plant Design research group since the summer after her first year of studies. Astrid's bachelor studies will continue for a while, and will be followed by a master's degree. Astrid is also already thinking about the future. "Chemistry in general is a big export sector in Finland. There are lots of opportunities. Maybe I see myself in a project management position somewhere. I feel like I've pretty much taken on that role throughout my school career." In fact, Astrid has also been somewhat involved in the activities of the Association of Process Engineering Students. She took on a project to have students in the English-language bachelor's program wear sleeves on their overalls that would distinguish them from other bachelor students.

Although there is a lot to do, it has also been possible to lighten one's own schedule, especially after the first year of study. In her spare time, Astrid enjoys skiing and playing tennis, among other things. She also got a puppy last autumn, which has been almost like a hobby in itself. It has been a positive surprise that she has found time and energy to take up new hobbies during her studies.

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