Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Midwifery
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2009/2010
Name: Loyce Gloria Katusiime
Email address:

Arrival and registration

After a long 12 hour flight, the only  desire i had was to get some food and good sleep. "You brought the sun" told three global friends from KI who were waiting to pick us up from  Arlanda on request. We were very pleased and attempted to smile often, despite the tinging cold. "How could i have made it alone in the freezing cold and complex transport systems"i scaredly thought and thanks to those three students. I had a lot of questions on my mind; how do i get cheap tickets, where do i buy cheap food?. The introduction paid off all my pessimism. We received our cheques and would definitely be in control.The student health service only requires one to test for MRSA before accessing hospitals and a student union fee as well.


To be assured of a place to stay in Stockholm, one needs to apply for accomodation atleast 3 months prior to their stay lest u could part with alot of cash in hotel fees. Having little knowledge of the place, it was best to apply for accomodation via UAC. And when i reached my place, i thought,'the atmosphere is sleepy but it seems like a beatiful place.' I received my keys walked into a room that was much smaller than i expected but had a beatiful view, -the lake though still filled with ice.

It was also comfortable and secure, with other foreign exchange students to share times with.However, the cost was higher than i anticipated for it, but that was the least of my worries considering that i no longer had to pay someone to do my laundry and transport would be convenient for me. The kitchen was available and my favorite place-TVroom.It is best to arrive one week before start of course to organise oneself and get accustomed to the place.

Leisure time and social activities

The combination of few lessons and a somewhat realxing attitude towards our studies gave us oceans of spare time. I attended a few parties  at school and was impressed by the swedish humble traditions and many more outside school. Almost every week, a friend invited us out or to a home dinner and one had to get accustomed to having a healthy meal  of only  sallad/vegetables or fruit.


In Uganda, the midwifery profession is not readily recognised as very important by the local people. And so, i wanted opted for medicine even when i knew my passion was working with women and mothers.

But when i got admitted to University for the midwifery course, i reckoned' well let me give it a go, this may be my calling in life'.Boy was i right, the one thing i took for granted could add so much value to a woman's life-becoming a midwife.With time i grew to love the profession and knowing that i'd be part of the trinity that brings a new life into this world. It was then in my last year of study completion that i thought,'perhaps, it would be great to see how midwives work there...i've heard sweden has the lowest maternal mortality..and see stockholm too.'

The exchange program i knew would broaden my knowledge and expose me to a different world of sorts. And what better place than Karolinska Universitet at the heart of medical Research and Reproductive health.

The study coordinators soon sent information about  applying to the University and neccessary information about the exchange program.  One wasn't required to vaccinate or bring certificates per se though it's best to be on the safe side and not take chances.

Courses during the exchange period

2XX001 : Sexual and reproductive health in a global perspective
The course was innovative and looked at sexual and reproductive health in a broader sense enlightening me of the challenges nd successes in my home country and elsewhere.The content was ample for my learning benefits mostly with research facts and findings. With the knowledge from this course i feel confident and competent enough to say 'IAM A MIDWIFE' in Uganda.The examination couldn't have been any better since i had the choice of topic to my self and present it in form of a poster. This allowed me to think.
2EE089 : Antenatal care including fertility control, delivery, neonatal and postnatal care, theory and clinical education
The supervision was great since i had supervisors that made sure i learnt as much as i needed and even more. I learnt more skills and patient approach, saw how differently labour is managed in Sweden and came to appreciate the fact that no woman would die during or aafter delivery- a common scene in Uganda. Overall, it was a good learning experience.


Throught the course i learnt that even with the least resources available, we as future midwives can make a change" a little respect to human dignity is enough to start with.Taking a minute to inform the patient about what you are going to do can save her the agony and make you a better midwife".

The exchange program has opened up my eyes to a world of possible change and reality in sexual and Reproductive health. Thanks to the all the team players in this exchange program. Surely i'll be able to think outside the box.

The weather forecast is promising more sunshine , there is hope for a brighter  day tommorrow.


Language and Culture

I had two classes per week and the swedish course was going okay for me but one thing i found hard to let go of was the fact that alterring the pronounciation of a word determined it's meaning, and 'drag' in swedish means 'pull'. It was fun and sort of adventurous with a whole new vocabulary. 

Studies in general

"Time for business"-studies, an awakening realization. The course started off with clinical placements in different units in different hospitals and centers. The way midwives handled their clients was amazing. They fully exercised their rights as patients and healthcare professionals accordingly, treated their patients with dignity and organized work .

One mother asked us,"can you please massage my back ,am in pain?" to which the midwife immediately replied,"of course!".This was bery humbling considering that in my home country, there is not much dialogue between the midwife and mothers due to the resource constraints.This leaves a lot wanting especially in a world where a health worker is looked at as a 'small god'.

My supervisors looked out for my best interests and cared enough that i should see, practice and learn as much as i could.

The theory and clinical education were closely related. At my  home university the learning system is problem based learning and student-centred, so the lectures were quite challenging but bearable. The libraries are equally equiped with a lot of reading material and computer rooms. During my stay, i came to learn that education in Sweden is entirely free and the practice of midwifery is not only valued but also less challenging than Uganda's.