Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Otago
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2011/2012
Name: Zeyin Li
Email address:

Arrival and registration

I had arranged to meet with my supervisor on my first day and I didn't have any trouble finding the hospital etc. I found great information on the student health centre website about their opening hours and managed to get in to do my MRSA test on the first day during lunch time.
Kortautomat finns i T-banestationen Ferenc Körút


I stayed at Jagargatan 20 which is in the central suburb of Soldermalm and I really liked it there. The rooms and facilities are quite basic - everything you need and nothing you didn't. I think my room was around 6 square metres with a single bed, a desk, some storage and not much space otherwise. There were shared kitchen and bathrooms but I did have a basin in my room that I could brush my teeth etc in. I felt it was good value for money as the location was extremely central and convenient, a tunnel connecting to Soderhsjukuset, 5 minute walk to a bus station that takes you to KI Solna, 7 minute walk to the pendaltag station to KI Huddinge.

Leisure time and social activities

I didn't really get much information on organised social events except for the Global Friends ones which I unfortunately didn't get a chance to go to. I did however keep in touch with my Global Friends faddar and met some other Swedish students in my course.
Badet i stadsparken Széchenyi


As part of Medical School in New Zealand, we have a three months period to have placements overseas. I have always been interested in seeing parts of Scandinavia, both the sights and the medical system. Luck has it that my Medical School has an exchange program with KI so it was relatively simple to set this up.

At first it wasn't clear to me what my placement would be in. I had wanted to do one month of Anaesthesia at KI and from the information I got from the KI website, it seemed I should choose Surgery and then state my preference is specifically in Anaesthesia. When I received the acceptance letter, it had just said my placement was in Surgery. It was after I contacted my supervisor that I found out my placement was in General Surgery. That said, I absolutely enjoyed my placement and was glad I got to see some great surgery as I would be doing aneasthesia for the next two months anyway.

I really didn't have to do much paperwork compared with my other exchanges for Dublin and Canada. There was no immigration paperwork, no visa required and I only had to get MRSA clearance once I got to Stockholm.

Lastly, I was contacted by Global Friends long before I was due to arrive and was introduced to my faddar. We had enough contact to set up a meeting once I got to Stockholm and I felt I had someone to go for logistical advice in case anything didn't work out.

Redan andra dagen kom snön och det blev väldigt kallt.

Courses during the exchange period

ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
I was on a 4 week rotation in general surgery at Huddinge. This was purely a clinical placement and I was not required to sit any examinations but I was required to undertake a small research assignment in my area of interest. Although I did not have a strictly structured timetable, I thought that had its advantage of being able to participate in things that interested me which was seeing surgeries and other procedures. For example I wanted to see a liver transplant which is never a scheduled event and one morning there was one being done so I could just go along to it. I certainly found my placement both valuable and enjoyable. I saw many procedures that were either rarely or not at all done in my home university. The rotation has stimulated my interest in surgery and has made me seriously consider surgery as a future career. I think the biggest contributor to this was the attitude of the hospital staff who were usually very keen to explain things to me. They were also very accommodating and allowed me to observe procedures when I just turned up and asked. There was an environment in which I was comfortable asking questions to further my learning.


I had a fantastic experience over the four weeks at KI and I would gladly do it again.

Language and Culture

I didn't take any Swedish language courses and picked up only minimal conversational Swedish but I found the general population in Stockholm spoke very good English especially the hospital staff.
Valet av klinikskor var också något som skillde i Ungern

Studies in general

My placement was only for 4 weeks so there are many aspects that I did not get to experience. I spent my time mainly in the operating and endoscopy rooms. I very much enjoyed these and observed many procedures that are not done at my home University.

An aspect that made an impression for me was the attitude of staff in the hospital. Most doctors and all nurses I came across were willing to facilitate my learning and happy to answer my questions. I found the general atmosphere made me more comfortable than at my home university.

An aspect I found difficult in was language. This is something I expected before coming to KI as I don't speak any Swedish or any languages similar to Swedish. I found my attention wandering when conversations were taking place in Swedish, the two most common situations were in the morning meetings (my supervisor tried to get the local doctors to speak English but I think most understandably found it easier in their native tongue) and when interviewing patients. Occasionally a sympathetic doctor would translate for me but this depended on the person and I can see it wouldn't always be convenient or even possible.

On the whole my language difficulties were made up by the positive attitude of the doctors so that I very much enjoyed my experience.

Så här går det till när man gör rotfyllningar på Semmelweis