Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: University of Toronto
Study programme: Biomedicine (Master's)
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2017/2018
Name: Larsen Vornholz
Email address:


Karolinska Institutet has an excellent network of international collaborators. Providing the opportunity to go on exchange, allowed me to broaden my personal horizon and to get an international experience on how people work in science across the globe and how research is performed in different labs. Since the professor of interest for my master thesis was affiliated with the University of Toronto (UofT), I aspired to perform my master thesis at UofT.

Unfortunately, the paperwork that needs to be done for the exchange at UofT is rather extensive and requires the student to pro-actively communicate with KI and UofT. Both, KI and UofT exchange office tried to help as much as they could when I had questions. After I got nominated as exchange student from KI, I also had to apply to the UofT. After being accepted, I was required to submit an IVGS (international visiting graduate student study abroad agreement) form to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) at UofT. The IVGS form is needed to receive the final “admission letter” from UofT. Since there are several representatives from UofT and KI that have to sign the IVGS form, it took about 3 months to have the form finalized with all signatures. Once the IVGS from is submitted the “admission letter” was issued quite quickly and the journey could begin.

Arrival and registration

Since I was performing my master thesis I did not have any introductory courses, neither did I attend courses. Thus, I went straight into the lab which was located at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

Upon arrival, there were nevertheless some administrative things to do, for UofT on the one hand and for my laboratory at PMH on the other hand.

For UofT, I first had to pass by the SGS office to confirm the registration and activate my student account. With this activation I was then able to get my student email from UofT and my student ID. Afterwards, I also passed by another office to activate the mandatory health insurance (UHIP) which was paid on site (50 CAD/month).

For the lab, I had to attend the standard lab safety training and underwent some medical tests (TB, small pox, HepB).

After approval, I could start performing research.