Exchange report - incoming students
Magnolia från Nijmegen
Home university: Universiteit Leiden
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2011/2012
Name: Saskia van Diessen
Email address:

Arrival and registration

The arrival at Sweden was not really arranged that well for me. Together with some one else I had a flight that was delayed to the evening, which ment that we would arrive in Sweden at 11.30 pm. Because we arrived at an airport about one and a half hour away from Stockholm we arrived at the centrum of Stockholm around 1.30 am. At this time you are not able to pick up your keys for your room and you can also not use every entry to the metro. We knew before we came to Stockholm that this was the case and we mailed Global Friends about it, but we get the answer that they could not do anything for us, because we had no global friend, who wanted to pick us up at the centrum of Stockholm. We were lucky that some of our friends already were in Stockholm to pick up our keys and to let us into our student building and that the subtenant of the person I was travelling with was willing to pick us up. Otherwise we would have been completely lost. So my advice is that you make sure that you have some one you know in Stockholm that can pick up your keys and bring you to your student building, especially when you arrive at times at which the place you can get your keys is not open. And the chance is really big that you will not have a global friend, which can pick you up.


When I arrived at my room in the student building of the UAC I was surprised. I expected that the room was not as big as it actually was and I really liked the fact that you had your private bathroom, although I knew that before I choose this building. The only negative thing I experienced in my room was that I had a defect in the smoke detector and this was making a really annoying noice. But I did not know what it was, so I tried to sleep with it the first night. Eventually I figured it out and could fix it. The accomodation was fine and I was lucky to be on a corridor with only exchange people, so that was nice. Only I have one negative comment about the UAC. They have really strange opening hours, because they are mainly open at times that you are not able to go there due to lectures and at times you are able to go there to pay your rent, they are closed.

Kronenburgerpark - precis bakom vårat hus

Leisure time and social activities

Global friends organized some social activities throughout the semester. In some of this activities I participated, but for the rest I just did things with other exchange students. The organized activities were nice, but I liked it more to do things on your own with other students. Also I now know some of the Swedish students in our course and it was nice to meet them and to talk with them during breaks about other things than study. But you also have to make an effort on your own to get in contact with the Swedish people, because in the beginning they really had a wait-and-see attitude, but this changed after a while. This was probably also due to the clustering of all the Dutch students in the beginning, because we did not know what to expect. One thing you have to keep in your mind when you want to go out in Sweden is that you have to be 20, otherwise they will not let you in. I also had this in the first part of my stay.
Batavierenrace avslutas med camping på campus


There is an exchange programme between Karolinska Institutet and my home university for 10 years now. From the beginning of my study I knew I wanted to go abroad sometime during the study period. At my home university it was offered to the first year students to apply for a spot at this particular exchange programme for the first semester of the second year. I immediately wanted to go on this exchange when I heard about it, because I saw it as an oppurtunity to go abroad and meet new people and learn a different language and culture. Because I am only in my second year of bachelor right now, in which you normally cannot go on an exchange, I had no choice of the host institution. Only KI was offered, so that is why I choose for this university. When I heard I was choosen to be one of the ten students to go to KI I was really excited about it. The information we received form KI and my home university was good and it was really helpfull, but also contact with some former participants of this programme was. I had no trouble with arranging everything I needed to have to get to Sweden, but this was mainly a plane ticket and a special health insurance card, which I needed to be sure to get the right help when I needed medical treatment over here.

Courses during the exchange period

BIOX05 : BACH - Infection and Immunity
I really liked this course, especially the infection part. This was completely new material to me and I really liked learning it. Unfortunately I already had the infection part in the first year at my home university. So during this lectures it was a lot of repeating, especially in the beginning. I learned a lot during this course. The exam was good and the questions were not too easy, but also not that difficult. I also liked the assignment we had to make as final project, because this brought the infection and immunity parts of the course together and you had to make connections between them. One negative thing was that I did not find the practicals challenging enough.
BIOX06 : BACH - Integrative Physiology
This course was good, but I did not like it that most of the things we had to learn, we already had in our first year. Although I did learn some new things, I would have liked it better if I learned something completely new, in stead of just little parts. The course had a really nice schedule, because there were lectures most of the time only in the morning. This meant that you had enough time to study, but also that you had time to relax and do nice things in Stockholm and its surroundings. The exam was also good, although in my opinion it were few questions if you compare it with the material we had to study. The practicals during this course were really nice, because it had a little bit of the study medicine in them, because we had to do clinical tests on subjects, and I liked that.
Studentkliniken - ser nästan ut som hemma


Overall I really enjoyed my time in Sweden and it was a great experience. Although I had some negative points, which might seem the only thing in my report, there were also a lot of positive things and experiences!! Everything is well organized at KI and I really like that and when you need help with something, you can just ask somenody and they will always help you or tell you who you can better ask for the advice. So I am really positive about my overall period in Sweden and I would recommend others also to on an exchange, because you will really learn a lot form it.
Nya vänner!

Language and Culture

I followed the Swedish language course that was offered by KI. It was a language course of Studiefrämjandet. It started with a intensive course of three days and was then followed by one lesson a week during the following six weeks. It was really nice to learn some of the Swedish language and also their culture. It were nice lessons, although at the end I had the feeling that we were more speaking in English during the course than in Swedish. But I did learn the basics of the language, so you can understand it when you read something or if someone says something to you.

Studies in general

The main conclusion I made of the study at KI is that it is really different from the way I was used too. First of all, they have courses that take a much longer time than at my home university, where the average course takes about 4 weeks. Here the courses were twice as long. So that meant that you really had to know a lot for an exam and that you forgot things more easy, at least I had it. Also I was used to have meetings with other students to discuss the assignments we had to make and to make new assignments about a topic with each other. But this does not happen at KI. Here it is mainly lectures and sometimes a meeting of a subtopic, but you did not really have to make assignments for it. Sometimes I thought that we had a little bit too much lectures. But the final assignments we had to do with a group and presentate it to the rest were good and you really learned a lot from it, mainly also because everything from one course came together in that assignment. Then you had to make connections between the different subtopics. But the study environment in Sweden is very good. They have a lot of space for students to get together and to learn together. Their library was also really good and you had enough space to rent studybooks, if you want to. I also had some practicals, which were nice to do, but in my opinion could have been a little bit more challenging. 
Tre svenska utbytesstudenter, en från Idaho och vår käre koordinator tar en fika