Exchange report - Student at KI
Home university: University of Dublin - Trinity College Dublin
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2017/2018
Name: Sebastian Blomé
Email address:


I chose to go on exchange because of that I want to experience research from more perspectives than the one I had from Karolinska Institute. I chose Trinity College Dublin both because of the research the different departments had to offer, but also because of my personal liking for Ireland as a country. As this was my bachelor’s degree project for Biomedicine, I did not take any extra courses but instead focused on finding a suitable research group.

There was no need to get any vaccinations in addition to the Hepatitis B that was given in the Molecular Medicine course at Karolinska Institute. Ireland is not more than a few hours away and with the youth discount on SAS (12-25 years), you can get a one-way ticket for under 450 euros if booked around a month in advance.

Arrival and registration

The term started mid-January and lasted until May. Upon arrival to Trinity College, I got well introduced to the insitute and where to go and when. Safety precautions were well assured of before initiating any laboratory protocols as part of their standards.
Packing... packing... packing.


The cost of living is completely depending on the budget you would like to have. Just like Sweden, stores like Lidl are giving fair prices for decent food. Technically everything is a bit cheaper in Ireland than it is in Sweden (with exception of rent), so you are sure to save some euros if you keep the same budget that you have in Sweden. I do recommend registering in as a student at Trinity College so that you can take advantage of student deals that include cheaper local traffic as an example.


If there is anything that I can not recommend about this experience, it must be the search for accomodation. Unfortunately, I arrived in the middle of a housing crisis which resulted in ridiculously expensive rents for shared apartments. I stayed my first month in a hostel with shared bedroom and a common kitchen. Starting on my arrival, I was desperately looking for accomodations and went on various viewings and interviews until I found one place where I decided to stay. I paid 450€/month for sharing a bedroom with another guy in a 3-room apartment that had no central heating and no isolated windows. We were four tenants in the apartment. Still, this was probably the best option available according to many of my colleagues. Fortunately, the accomodation was located very central with connecting local trafic just around the corner.

Studies in general

After a detailed introduction to the lab and equipment needed for the project. Methods of usage were taught and I got the oppurtunity of practicing until I felt proficient enough to start my project, it took about a week. Since the lab had three cell culture hoods that rarely stood empty due to a well developed booking system, I was always close to researchers that all were willing to provide help if needed. My supervisor and I kept close contact through messaging and mailing and she could always answer my questions if any. We had regular lab meetings every Tuesday where a person was always updating the progress of a project. My professor, my supervisor and I had meetings regularly throughout the exchange where I got the oppurtunity of getting a greater understanding in research overall, something I deeply appreciate looking back at it.
Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, located next to St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8

Courses during the exchange period

Courses corresponding to semester 1 at KI
During my time in Dublin, I did not take any additional courses but instead used my spare time to explore the city.

Language and Culture

The department I was in did only have native English speaking colleagues, so there was no major difference compared to the international bachelor programme in Biomedicine. No language courses were provided, but none were needed in my opinon. It did take some time to get used to the dialect however. 

The Irish culture is much similar to the Swedish culture I know. People are very easy to approach and befriend, and it is almost like "fika" could actually have been an irish thing.
Queen of Tarts had lovely pastries

Leisure time and social activities

Trinity College Dublin hosted various social activities for their students. The department of Surgery, belonging to Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI), was very welcoming and gave a very family-like feeling with many fun events happening in between the studies. 

My spare time was mostly spent discovering Dublin. it had everything from beautiful monuments and massive churches to the largest open park in Europe, Phoenix Park, that was located a kilometer away from my institute. There was no need for me to visit any museums or paying any entrances, Dublin had its core beauty on the streets and by the parks.
A spring walk by the Irish War Memorial Gardens


Needless to say, Dublin was great. I got to be part of a fantastic research group that inspired me to continue my studies in the future. Dublin is beautiful and I truly recommend to visit it even though it might not be for the degree project. If I would choose one word to describe my stay in Dublin, "time" would be the word. Time was well spent and sometimes unfortunately lost, but I am most sure that I would like to spend more time in Dublin in the future. 
Oh Dublin, my Dublin...