I was born and raised in Turkey. I completed my bachelor’s degree in architecture there, and in 2016, I moved to Finland to start my studies in the Master’s Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation.
As a person who sees beauty in simplicity, I loved studying as well as practicing architecture for an utterly simple reason: It is everywhere. I just had to understand the rules of such an essential part of our lives and find ways to improve it. In time, I came to realise that buildings themselves are only a small part of a very complex system: cities. Now I am trying to do the same thing, but at a larger scale: trying to understand the rules of cities and find ways of improving them so that they could improve our daily lives in return.
With the help of my studies in the programme, I feel much more involved in my own living environment. Feeling like an active part of my own environment makes me feel empowered as a person.
Moving abroad on your own and changing your professional focus come with certain challenges, for sure. Within the academic environment of Aalto University and the student culture of Otaniemi, you easily find the inner strength and external support that you need to cope with those challenges from both the teaching staff and other students. Looking back to when I started, I am amazed at and even proud of how much I improved both professionally and as a person.
Living, studying and working in Otaniemi have been inspirational to me. It is pretty cool to be able to find one of the most peaceful hiking trails you could ever see and a group of students having a dinner party full of laughter just 5 metres away from each other!
Oya Duman, Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering student