Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Universidad de Chile
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2010/2011
Name: Alonso Blanch Zelada
Email address: blanchx4@gmail.com

Arrival and registration

The arrival  at Stockholm and KI went very well, because I received a lot of help from global friends, who helped me with addresses, places to go and useful information both for the accomodation and academical issues.

The first day at the hospital was impressing; to see such a great hospital as Huddinge was amazing. After that, I met my supervisor who introduced me to the ENT team, and then got to show me around the facilities.

The contact with the student health centre went ok, as it was located in the same campus where I was studying.

Acommendation

Regarding the accommodation, I made the apply through the UAC and got  an appartment in PAX. There was no problem at all with the apply itself.

I found that the standard of the appartment itself was ok, little bit small but enough for a short period of time. Regarding the kitchen, I found that the equipment could be a little bit unequal between floors. Also, I found the price of rent a little bit high.
 
Also, I think that a common place or room should be habilitated in order to increase the interaction between students from differents floors.

Leisure time and social activities

I assisted to the global friends meetings during my stay. It was a good oportunity to get to know both exchange and swedish students and get to share different experiences with them.

I would have liked to participate regularly in a sport team or similar with regularity during my stay, but because of the date of my exchange (summer holidays) it was not possible.

And yes, I made some good Swedish friends during my stay in KI and Stockholm.

Pre-departure

I took the decision to come to make an exchange course to KI on mid-2010, because I thought that it could be a fulfilling experience to go through, both in academical and non-academical areas.

I chose Ki from a list of possible universities, because I had heard previous experiences from other classmates that looked really interesting. Also, I felt intrigued about the possibility to experience the lifestyle and customs of a such different culture as is the swedish one.

The planification, information gathering and "paperwork" that had to be done to make the exchange possible was done in a adecuate way, maybe with a little bit of rush by the deadlines that needed to be respected.

Courses during the exchange period

ELAX15 : Oto-Rhino-Laryngology 1
I found that this rotation was very complete, as I went through different activities and it was a very organized course. The outpatient polyclinic is a great instance to learn and to get to do some examinations and procedures that makes things more fun. I think it was the best of the two rotations.
ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
It was a good rotation, but sometimes I felt that it wasn't as organized as ├ľNH. The provisional supervisor had a helpful attitude most of the times, but I think that maybe if I got to be more time with the actual supervisor of the rotation, maybe it could had been a better experience.

Summary

I came to the conclusion that  both KI and Stockholm experiences were really fulfilling. 

It was an oportunity to know a different perspective of the medicine, get familiar with a different kind of health system and health issues, to discover a little bit about a new culture and to meet interesting people and stories that made this exchange a much more rich experience .

  

Language and Culture

I didn't participate in the Swedish language course during my stay on KI, because I thought beforehand it should be a little bit hard to get to learn a useful amount of the language in only two months. 
If my stay in Sweden had been longer, It would have been definitely useful to participate of the courses.   

Studies in general


I found that, in general, the academical experience in KI was a positive one.

The biggest barrier regarding this topic was the swedish language. It was no problem at all when I had to discuss something with the different members of the staff, as it was done in english. But when it came to the clinical reunions and interacting with the patients it was more difficult, as it was most of the time they where taken in swedish.

The relationship with the teachers was most of the times a very good one, as most of them where always interested on my learning process, trying to take the most of the interviews they could in english, or in it's defect making as a translator. Also, most of them were eager to always ask me questions related to what we get to see in the clinical work.

I think that most of the learnings in the hospital were more practical than theoretical, as it was clinical rotations without theoretical classes. This is a positive fact, as I'm done with my theoretical studies back home, and doing my internship wich involves more practical knownledge and skills rather than pure theory.

There's a lot of differences in hospitals and the public health systems between Sweden and Chile, mostly related with the technology and resources availability, and also some differences in the efficiency of the health related processes.

But when I contrast both KI and my home university, I think there is more things in common than I expected: commitment with the docency, health assistance, research and innovation. Both are excellent houses of formation for heath area workers.