Anwarul Islam from Bangladesh was very excited to come to Finland. Not only was he beginning his studies in Ecology and Population Genetics Master’s programme at the University of Oulu, but he had a chance to experience snow, ice and below-zero temperatures.
“Summer temperature in Finland is winter temperature in Bangladesh,” Islam laughs. “Making snowballs was very exotic to me. The cold and the dark were something else for sure.”
Islam found that he can battle the winter by exercising and playing indoor sports and taking vitamins. And he actually fell in love with winter and snow, because here he has all the proper gear to overcome the freezing cold and enjoy the variety in weather.
“After the first winter, I can say I really agree with the University of Oulu’s motto, ‘Science with an Arctic Attitude’,” Islam says with a smile.
Challenging and exotic weather aside, Islam says he got off to a slightly stressful start in his programme.
“It was a case of getting too much on my plate. I had to learn programming languages and cope in a totally different environment. The teachers gave me extra time for my projects. In the end I completed all the theoretical lessons in my first year and got an award for completing the maximum number of lessons. Now I can concentrate on my thesis and a part-time job,” Islam says.
Islam is working in the Fresh Water Ecology research group. The group is working on the aquatic environment and studying how environmental change can affect benthic and aquatic communities.
“It’s a very important issue right now. I am very happy and lucky to be a part of this research group, and if I can get the opportunity, I will do my PhD in this area,” Islam says.
Clearing up his schedule somewhat - at least compared to his first year - Islam is also taking part in the UniOulu Ambassador programme. Islam says the main reasons for him to join in the programme are to get more social contacts and build a social network.
“It’s about having a chance to meet students from different cultures and make new friends. I think the programme is also great in helping me develop my communication skills. And I can help new students when they experience their first winter in Oulu,” Islam says.
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Last updated: 12.6.2020