Exchange report - Student at KI
The coast of Slieve League, county Donegal, Ireland
Home university: University of Dublin - Trinity College Dublin
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2016/2017
Name: Emil Nygren
Email address:


As I study an international programme and always in been interested in new cultures, going on exchange seemed like an obvious choice. I have long been a fan of the magnificent landscape of Ireland, everything from the hills to the lochs, even though I had never been there before. Trintiy is also one of the leading colleges in neuroscience, one of the subjects I am fond of. So when I got the opportunity to go to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) I took it.

Once I found out I had been accepted to TCD, I got in contact with the Erasmus coordinator at Trinity. He asked what area of research I was interested in and got me in contact with one research group there. They finally accepted me in the lab and I was set to go on the journey.

Arrival and registration

When I arrived to Dublin Airport I was picked up by my landlord. He showed me around town and gave me all the information about the city that i needed.

Since I had an exam in January I missed the first introduction week at TCD, which was a shame because it made it a bit harder to find out about all the societies at Trinity, but once I found them it was easy to get in contact with them on Facebook and go to their events. I would especially recommend anyone who goes to TCD to join DUISS (Dublin University International Student Society). They arrange weekend trips around Ireland and parties for both international and local students, and is a great society to get in contact with new people. 


Ireland is within EU and therefore there were no additional costs like course fees, vaccinations or visa.

Housing in Dublin is quite expensive, around 750 and 1000 €/month. I was lucky and managed to get a room in house of an Irish couple for 500 €/month.

Commuting in Dublin is also expensive, they do not have a card where you can travel unlimited times for a certain time period. Instead you top-up your travel card (leap card) with money and pay per trip.

If you want to travel around Ireland make sure to always buy students tickets since they are much cheaper than full price.


I was able to rent a room in house of an Irish couple, it was located outside the city centre in an area called Beaumont woods, but commuting to school/hospital every day was no problem. I managed to get this accommodation from one of the TCD students that came to KI on exchange.

But TCD also helps incoming students with accommodation if you ask them well in advance, you can housing in both dorms, apartments and with host families. Also ISA ( ) helps incoming students with housing. Other places to find accommodation are or facebook groups like The Ideal Flatmate Dublin, but be aware of scammers.

I would recommend to live with an Irish host family since they are genuinely nice and welcoming, and it is a way to get closer with the locals and their culture. I had an amazing time with my hosts, Irish people are one of the politest folks in the world!

Studies in general

I only did my Thesis project (30 ECTS) in Dublin and didn't take any courses, so I don't know how their educations is. My project group consisted of one Italian professor, a Spanish PhD student, a Irish master student and three undergrad students apart from me. The lab group I worked with was very open and honest, and that was also the general impression i got from the other groups in the facility. There is no big hierarchy between the professors, PhD, masters or undergrads, and everyone was free to share their opinions about the project.

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 6 at KI
I didn't take any courses during the exchange, only Thesis project,  see Studies.

Language and Culture

Since I study in an International programme, where we only read and speak in English, there was no difficulty for me to study in Ireland.
The Irish accent can be very hard to understand depending on who you talk to, but you will get used to it after a while. Dublin itself consists of two accents, Northern and Southern accent, which are very different.
If you travel to the north west coast of Ireland there are parts where the folks only speak and the road signs are in Gaelic Irish. Otherwise Gaelic is not the common language.

The drinking culture is very different from Sweden and drinking during weekdays is something you need to get used to when going to Ireland. Otherwise from that and that people are very polite, the culture is not so different from Sweden's.

Leisure time and social activities

As mentioned before TCD have a huge number of Societies, depending on what you are interested in, everything from hiking to knitting, to photography to dance.  And the society I mostly would recommend anyone to join is DUISS ( Dublin University International Student Society). They arrange weekend trips around Ireland, so you get the opportunity to see the beautiful landscape of Ireland and many other festivities.

It is also very easy to travel around Ireland by yourself, they have buses that go everywhere, railways but it is also cheap to rent a car.


Going to Dublin and Ireland was the best decision I've made. I met many great people on my exchange that I will stay in contact with, both Irish and other nationalities. It also increased my professional network and I got to work in lab of my area of interest, neuroscience.  I might come back one day to do my Masters at TCD.