Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Technologiko Ekpedeftiko Idrima - Thessaloniki
Study programme: Physiotherapy
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2010/2011
Name: Alexios Fotiadis
Email address:

Arrival and registration

Coming from Greece, it is a strange feeling to realize that someone else has already thought of everything before you for you. To simply follow instructions instead of trying to find a way to solve the situation. Everything was great but it took some time to get used to remembering the multitude of instructions. Moving around, meeting instructions, door codes, electricity switches in the kitchen, rent payments, everything programmed and scheduled in advance. I admit that I was really happy to see when something went wrong, proving that nothing is perfect although one should keep trying. The introduction covered everything to the extent that I almost had no questions. But some people always have questions. The student health center was easy to find and so busy that the first impression was that I will spend the whole day there. But ever so efficiently, everything was suddenly done.


Jagargatan. Sixth (top) floor. Incredible view. The small room meant it was easy to personalize and keep tidy. Precisely what a student needs. Laundry, cooking, living room spaces... everything perfectly organized. Of course the spaces in the fridge and freezer were never enough but it was fun trying to find the frozen chicken wings after putting them into someone else's drawer. Cooking in the afternoons was also fun. So many different smells and dished... Chinese, Indian, Greek... And that was perhaps the best thing about student accommodation, having the oportunity to interact with people from countries all over the world. Stockholm in general was so multi-cultural I felt like I was at the junction of civilizations.

Leisure time and social activities

So many activities organized that could not keep up with the schedule! Had to miss some and eventually really missed them.


We are the sum total of our experiences. New expereiences allow us to grow. Living, studying and working in another country provides a multitude of opportunities for growth on personal and professional level. Luckily, study exchange programs have streamlined the avenues for such a decision, helping students to make the choice of going abroad, perhaps not always an easy one. Having lived, studied and worked in London for several years, I was tempted to go there again but Stockholm was more of a challenge. Language... why what I hear is absolutely not what I see on paper? Climate... how can a student pack clothes for a spectrum of 60 degrees temperature difference? Culture... mediterranean temperament in Stockholm... remain myself or change and adapt? From the professional standpoint, I knew how structured and organized the rehabilitation process is in Sweden and although I was eager to learn from it, I knew that those experiences would make me question my own professional adequacy. But really, the decision was an easy one to make since I trully believe that the greater the challenge the greater the reward.

Courses during the exchange period

AT1X01 : Community and Home Based Rehabilitation - Cultural Perspectives
Excellent course. Gained perspectives on healthcare and rehabilitation in many parts of the world. Better understanding on disability related issues and how to empower people with disabilities and their families.
SSVK13 : Literature Review
Gained better knowledge on structures research process.
1EE017 : Clinical rotation 1 for exchange students - physiotherapy
See "studies" section.
1EE018 : Clinical rotation 2 for exchange students - physiotherapy
See "studies" section.
1SY019 : Degree project in physiotherapy - Scientific work
Excellent experience both during the writing and the examination process. The supervision was essential for the completion of the project. Had to make major changes half way through the project and would not be able to complete it without the directions and advice of my supervisor. The examination was by itself an excellent opportunity to learn from the work of others and to provide constructive criticism in order to improve this work.


An overall great academic, cultural and personal expereience I would recommend to others.

Language and Culture

Took some lessons before departure and wanted to give myself some time to get used to the acousting stimuli, but eventually missed the dates of the courses. 

Studies in general

For the most part I felt at home. Everyone was friendly and approachable, fun to speak to and learn from. Even when someone was busy, they would always find time for you. Keeping records was certainly a challenge. Forms and a method for so many things I had read about but never used in practice. Definately something I took back home with me and will implement in my daily work. Another fascinating learning experience was the functioning of the team. Paralell organization, many meetings... it made me think how sad it is not to have a team around. Finally, the group exercise programs were both a challenge and a multi-seded learning experience. The patients were also great to work with, and although some did sometimes looked scary, I attributed this to my own insecurities.