Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: University of Dublin - Trinity College Dublin
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2016/2017
Name: Sayoni Chakraborty
Email address:


Hello everyone who is going to exchange or is thinking about it!

I have one word of advice for you, Go For it! You would not regret it even once. For myself, even when I was initially looking at the Biomedicine program at KI, the exchange was a big attraction. This opportunity brings with itself the excitement of travelling to a new country/city, working in another environment, getting to know work ethics, making new connections and friends and lots more. I went to Trinity College in Dublin for my exchange and needless to say, every part of it was awesome. I chose Trinity and Dublin for a few reasons which were: english speaking country, not too far from home (so that my friends could visit me), always wanted to visit Ireland, Trinity is a very renowned school. Before the departure, we were provided with lot of help from our International Coordinator-Malin Ahlen. An Info meeting will give you the necessary information before you need to go. There is no requirement for any special vaccination and you are also provided with an health insurance from KI.  

Arrival and registration

Being in the 5th semester for your program, you will have the Molecular Medicine exam after the holidays and KI doesn't allow you to take the exam beforehand. So, I left on the Sunday and lab started from Monday. Trinity organises lots of events for new students such as orientations and fairs but we weren't able to catch those. However, worry not as there are approx 120 societies in the college ( and you can join all the ones you like as they have numerous events/classes etc. (we joined pottery!!). There were no introduction course or anything but you can always go to the The Global Room in the main campus and they will help you with anything you need (you can join them on Facebook). Also, don't forget to join the International Students' Society (DUISS) as you will get to meet many new people via their organised movie nights, pub crawls and trips.  


As far as finances are concerned, you get quite some help from KI and then there is your CSN. I had some savings from before as I like to spend a bit on travelling and food. But, be assured that the 12000kr you get from the Erasmus program and your CSN will be enough to survive as Dublin is cheaper than Stockholm for many things such as food, groceries, drinks etc. For myself, I required to get a visa for Ireland so that added to the costs a bit (If there is anyone that requires information regarding this matter you can contact me separately as most people don't require one). You can join the societies you like for a nominal fee and if you join classes then you have to pay per class (like painting/pottery/photography).  
For basics such as groceries, you have several options for example TESCO, which is one of the cheapest. 
A mobile connection there is also very convenient, you can buy a sim card and top it up with 20 euros (most companies) every month for free calls and unlimited data. 
Transportation is a bit expensive in Dublin actually for which the best option is to walk or bike. I used to usually walk unto most places but also its good to get the Leap Card which you can get at Trinity College (where they sell the Student Leap Card, which is cheaper) during the first few orientation days. The Leap Card is valid on buses and LUAS (their trams system). You have to keep topping up the card and can even use the app which is linked to your card.
You can use your bank card from Sweden very easily in order to take out cash or pay with the card in almost all places.   


Finding accommodation for myself was very easy I would say. I had heard people complaining that finding housing in Dublin is vey difficult but maybe I was fortunate. Just a quick google search landed me with ISA website ( I emailed them and got a quick reply back. They have student residences, shared apartments and even home stays. I opted for a private room with bathroom and shared kitchen. The location for my apartment was very convenient as both the St. James Hospital (where I was working) and the centre/Trinity College were approx. 30 minutes by foot. The rent was 180 euros per week which lands to approx. 3500 euros for the entire period. The apartment was decent considering the location and if there are minor problems regarding heating, water etc. you can contact the company and they help you. Having said that, there are cheaper options available if you are lucky enough to find them. Another website you can check out is 

Studies in general

For Biomedicine students in their last semester, we only do our degree project. In case of Trinity College, you do not have to take any other courses. I did my project in the field of Infection Biology (specifically tuberculosis infection) in TTMI or Trinity Translational Medicine Institute in the St. James Hospital. In my case, I fall short of words to describe how extremely nice my supervisors were and for that matter everyone in lab. They helped me settle down in the lab, work my way around, showed me the experiments and answered any questions I had. The initial weeks for me was getting to know and learn the procedures and later weeks are completely independent when I was mostly asked to design my experiments and time plan. 

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 6 at KI
Not Applicable in this case. 

Language and Culture

The language spoken in Ireland is English-so no problems there! As per say I don't know if there were any cultural clashes but yes people there are quite different from those in Sweden. Do not be surprised if some random stranger starts talking to you in the bus  because that is common! If you are looking lost in the road, people do come up to you to ask if you need help and in general are very lively, jolly and happy-go-lucky. 

Leisure time and social activities

As I mentioned before Trinity has a lot of events which you will know by following their Facebook. And thus, you get a lot of opportunities to make friends. With my group we made a lot of trips in and around Dublin and other parts of Ireland like Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Donegal, Killarney etc. Its a gorgeous country and obviously you should make most of your time there by visiting as much as you can. 
Apart from that, Dublin is a city busting with life not only on weekends but equally much on weekdays. It has to offer a lot of pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs and also museums and art galleries (most of which are free of cost). If you do not have a lot of pressure from your lab, which is usually not much in the beginning, its a very good idea to explore the city and get to know your way around. 

P.S- Please do not hesitate to ask me if you want help with making travel plans or want recommendations for pubs and restaurants! I will be happy to help :)
Cliffs of Moher, Galway


I had one of the best times of my life on my exchange. To say it in short, the 5 months were great fun! As a student, I thoroughly enjoyed my project, the techniques I learnt and how my thesis turned out. I made some great memories in the lab in form of experiences and had the pleasure of working in world renowned group in this field. My lab mates and supervisors definitely motivated me further to continue in science and my chosen field. 
Apart from that personally, I made some friends for a lifetime, went to a lot of places within Ireland and enjoyed most weekends with food and drinks. 
So, all in all I can just thank KI for providing me with this amazing opportunity and wish you all future exchange students very good luck!
A beach in Donegal