Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: Universiteit Leiden
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2017/2018


I have always known that I wanted to spend at least aa few months’ time in a different country. To observe another culture, language and to see seasonal changes different from what I am used to. But also, because exchange studies can provide new insight and knowledge as well as be a nice merit.


I chose Leiden university since it is a highly ranked medical university and because I had never visited the Netherlands. It is an interesting country which is easy to travel within and explore as well as it being close enough to Sweden for friends and family to come and visit.  


The study abroad information provided from Leiden university and KI did not provide me that much additional help, mostly because I went on exchange to a country within Europe and in a country which is not very culturally different from Sweden. 

Arrival and registration

Since I went on exchange to do my final bachelor project work I did not have a lot of interaction with the university as a whole but with the researchers in my lab. My studies started according to the term set by KI and I arrived 5 days before to settle in and get adjusted. I think this helped me adjusting to all the changes and read up on the material I had been provided.


Since I went for my project work it was quite hard to meet other students at the university especially since Leiden university’s locals and faculties are very scattered all over the city. I later moved into a studio apartment building filled with international students to meet. For international students, there is an introduction week  which is a lot of fun and help bonding with other students, this is hard to take part in when working on the project work which is a 9 to 5 commitment but if there is time I would really recommend it. 


When applying for accommodation via the university the rents tend to be quite high, but it is almost impossible to find accommodation in lede otherwise (since the pressure for it is so high). There are several different food stores in Leiden and some are more expensive than others, the cheapest one tends to be which can be found just by the train station in Leiden and often have nice vegetables. One thats a bit more expensive but tends to have a broader assortment is and I really recommend getting a bonus card (without charge and which does not require any registration or anything)  to take part of different offers and discounts. 

And if when looking for kitchenware, washing liquids, toiletries etc. at a low price it is best to head to were one can find basically everything. 


I got my accommodation by the university, this tends to be more easy when applying for the spring semester as I was  since there usually is a greater pressure during the fall. My room was a studio apartment with one small room with high ceiling and the bathroom was in a room which looked like a black box and on top of it was the bed. All necessities came with the room which made everything a lot more easy. My room also came with a fold out couch (which was fantastic when friends came over and when friends and family flew in to visit) and with a door out to a shared balcony. 

It was not uncommon that a stray cat came in and wondered the halls of the building. It was very kind and affectionate however, when people left out food for it it tended to perform its needs in the halls which was not very pleasant. 

Moreover, the internet connection was great, all you had to do was buy a router and plug it in. The laundry room was shared and usually kept in a nice condition.

Studies in general

My environment was n to very different from any other lab environment. With weekly meetings and planning and execution of experiments. 

Although, I would have wanted a better communication between the Swedish course leaders at KI and my supervisors. 

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 6 at KI
I only did my Project work (30 credits)

It was a lot of fun and really educating, but I would have wanted more communication between my supervisors and the course leaders at KI.

I learned a lot about what it is like in a lab environment and a lot about pathology and endometrial cancer (which was my subject).

Language and Culture

I only studied in english as all of my bachelor studies so it was not difficult. 

The cultural differences were very slight, e.g. when people held presentations they did not end with an applaud from the audience instead it quickly went over to questions and it is not common to greet or say good bye with hugs unless you really know each other. 

Leisure time and social activities

There was the introduction week, weekly wednesday pubs (which were a blast) and other events from the There is a gym one can join, for a cost, where there are several group exercises. 

Leiden is a very cute and calm town. I never once felt unsafe even when walking home alone in the middle of the night. It is a family time at day and at night the student life takes over. There can be as much or little partying one wants. There are a lot of cosy shops as and a lot of cute bars as and (my favorites). 

Leiden university has a lot of different faculties and at the international events one can meet people from everywhere.


I loved my exchange and it will definitely be a great experience for both me and my working future (since I am striving for an international research career). 

It has allowed me to experience new things and meet people I otherwise never would have met. It was really hard in the beginning being away from all that is familiar but it later evolved into one of my best study experiences.