Welcome to the international (English-speaking) blog of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. Our blog invites views on research, education, student life, and other societal themes connected to our computer science fields. The intention is to build a forum as an open window for readers from inside and outside computer science. If you have any good ideas or articles to share on this blog, please feel free to contact us: cs-blog [ät] cs.helsinki.fi.
Good reputation attracts international Master's students
The new university year has just begun. It is an exciting time for our fresh Master's students as well as senior ones, both aiming at obtaining their MSc degree from the CS department. To provide an insight into the international part of the Master's students, we start from the recruitment statistics of new students, and then share with you five fascinating stories.
New Master's students in numbers
The total number of non-Finnish applicants for Master's studies for the year 2011/2012 was 421 (52 of which had done their Bachelor's degree in Finland), which was an increase of more than 50% to the year 2010/2011 (273 applications). This year, 74 of the applicants were offered a place to study, out of which 9 accepted their study places in the Algorithms and Machine Learning program, 19 in the Network and Systems program, 3 in CBU-ICT and 5 in MBI. Compared to last year's number a major increase was in the accepted places in the Network and Systems programme (12 places only last year) and a decrease in CBU-ICT (5 places). In both years the ratio of male and female students accepting their slot was about 2/3 to 1/3, and the majority of the international students came from Asia (23 this year and 21 last year). This year, there was an increase in European students (from 3 to 6) and American students (from 2 to 5).
If you are interested in more details also on the Finnish Bachelor and Master's students, please check https://www.cs.helsinki.fi/en/news/65767.
International Master's students at the CS department
We interviewed five international Master's students (two fresh MSc and three senior ones) and heard their interesting stories.
The main reasons to come to the University of Helsinki were its good reputation for education and research, a previous study experience in Finland, as well as Helsinki being a safe place to live. Those Master's students who are already studying for the second year at the department give some tips on interesting courses for the different programs and how to manage work and study life simultaneously. The interviews also revealed that a good way to get involved in a research group is via a summer internship, and like that it is also easy to find a supervisor and topic for the Master thesis. Other possibilities are the topics listed on the web.
Fresh students had a very positive impression of the derpatment and the university, include good facilities and computer equipment, the open access to library and the 24-hour room for students .
Regarding the future plans of the students, they are as diverse as their stories: some of them would like to stay in Finland, pursuing a PhD or start working in industries, others don't know yet.
If you are interested in those five interesting stories, covering suggestions on how to get started, course recommendation, and practical information, check the full interviews at
Our thanks go to Patrick Coe, Mohsen Koolaji, Yonghao Li, Huibin Shen and Miraj Tafsir for their time and effort.
Do you want to share your experience too? Any practical information and tips for newcomers? How do you, international students, get along with the Finnish students?
How much do you, Finnish students, interact with the international students? How do you view the internationalization process of MSc at the department?
PostDocs, professors, and others: What is your experience in teaching and/or working with international students? Any tips for international students how to succeed in their new environment? For those who are interested in research, what is your suggestion?
The CS Blog Task Force
Aaron is doing his PhD in the NODES group at the CS department. His research focuses on mobile computing and energy efficient design for multi-interfaced mobile devices.
Giulio is a Professor at the CS department. His area is Human-Computer Interaction. For more information, please find his homepage here
Doris is a researcher at the CS department and HIIT, doing her PhD in the neuroinformatics research group. Her research interests include graphical models, causal discovery, and time series.