Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Study programme: Public Health Sciences (Master's)
Exchange programme: Erasmus Mundus Action 2
Semester: Autumn and spring semester 2011/2012
Name: Karlien du Preez
Email address:

Arrival and registration

Arrival at KI was greatly aided by Global Friends. They sent someone to help me find my way from the airport and to help me find my keys and apartment. KI also had two days of comprehensive information sessions. However, I feel the information regarding the library could have been more comprehensive. I often struggled when I tried to copy or scan something in the library. It would help if we were broken up into groups and taken on a tour in the library. I really struggled to obtain a library card and to figure out how to use it, as this system is very different from my home university's system. The staff at the library, were always very helpful if I had questions. 

Another problem we experienced during the exchange was receiving our money. In the beginning we had to struggle with cheques and then we had a lot of problems with Nordea bank. I had to go about three times to the bank and eventually the admin personel at KI had to sort it out. I suggest that another arrangement is made or something and that this is sorted out before the students arrive.

What was helpful is the fact that Karin when with us to the bank to open our bank accounts. Johanna Dell was also very helpful in sorting out our problems promptly.
Ulrika Liliemark i Oslo


The accomodation was sufficient. It was very close to the university (one bus ride) and close to the bus and metro stop. I stayed in Pax (Emmylundsvagen 1) and the size of the room and bathroom were very nice. The room was furnished and in a very good condition. 

On my corridor, however, people were not clean and many people stayed two or three people in a room, resulting in a dirty kitchen and corridor. Kitchen duty was a mess and the kitchen was not very hygienic. I bought my own plates and cutlery. 

The laundry in Pax worked perfectly and there is a booking system where you book the laundry ahead of time. All in all I liked my accomodation and liked staying with other students. 
Karta över Oslo. En ganska liten stad och man klarar sig bra med att promenera till det mesta.

Leisure time and social activities

Global Friends was very helpful in arranging a vast array of activities to participate in. My class was also full of people who were from Sweden as well as many other countries, and we constantly arranged different activities. Staying in Pax was also helpful in meeting people and making friends. I felt this aspect was very well covered and Global Friends is one of the most valuable organisations on campus. 


I decided to go on the exchange to learn about a country that is different than mine. Sweden has a very different climate, different language and different culture. KI was the only medical university that presented a course that I was interested in. I think the information was comprehensive and detailed. I knew exactly what to do and when, in terms of applying for the exchange.
It was a bit hard to find information specific on the global health course. When I was applying, the full range of subjects were not yet available, only Global Health and Research Methodology. However, any questions I had were sent via email and everyone replied very quickly to any email I sent. 

All in all the pre-departure information was enough for me to decide where to study, what to study and to help me through the application process. 
Ulrika Liliemark i Oslo.

Courses during the exchange period

3GB000 : GH-Global Health
Global health was a good course. It set the background and introduction for the entire 6 months. We had a range of different lecturers. I felt the exams were fair and the knowledge valuable.
3GB014 : GH-Health Policy, Management and Economics
The lecturer in this course was very knowledgeable in his field. It was a difficult course, but proven valuable. The exam was fair.
3GB016 : GH-Infectious Diseases - a challenge to global health: Clinical, social and preventive aspects (GH)
During this course I felt very lost. I cannot remember so much about the course. The knowledge was too complicated for someone without a medical degree. The lectures were given in such a way that there wasn't a lot of group discussion. Some exam questions were too narrow and asked out of context. Some questions were on parts of the course that we did not have to study for the exams.
3GB013 : GH-Maternal and child health in a global perspective
Maternal and child health was very interesting. I felt more time could be given towards the first group assignment. More time could have been spent in class on discussions and interacting rather than a lecturer just trying to pass knowledge to the class.
3GB015 : GH-Non-communicable diseases, injuries, natural emergencies and conflicts in a global health perspective (GH)
The lectures, to me, were not of a high standard. The lecturer was not always open to discussion and integrating the student's experiences. There are many people in our class with a vast array of experience, which he simply ignored. The group assignment and exam was very good. It was interesting and a great way of learning as well as being tested on your knowledge. During this assignment and exam I learned the most. The lecture by Dr. Roy was the best lecture I have ever been to.
3GB001 : GH-Research Methodology
This course was very hard, but the lecturer (Gaetano) was amazing. He was patient and incredibly knowledgeable in the field. He knew how to explain complicated concepts to students with little or no background. I sometimes felt the class work and assignments was too broad and too deep than what was asked in the exam. To do your field research and interpret articles it is not necessary to be able to have such a deep understanding of statistics and epidemiology and to be able to do complicated maths by yourself. I would rather focus more time on understanding the basics and what is needed to do your research, rather than doing maths. All in all it was a good course and Gaetano an excellent teacher.
Lärobok i Psykiatri


In conclusion, it was a very good exchange. The preparations were made very well, on all aspects, form ema2sa and KI's side. All activities were covered, from language courses, to orientation, to making friends. I was a bit disappointing in Global Health as a course, as I said before, and I felt I could have learned so much more from an institution such as KI. However, I loved learning about the swedish way of life, being in a country so different than mine, making friends, getting to know people. Simply for the social learning and cultural aspect it was very valuable to me. In terms of Global Health I also learned a lot from people in my class, during discussions and conversations at lunch and a bit during the different courses. The KI library is amazing and very well equipped. The only recommendation for the future is to sort out the monthly payment in advance, as this can cause a lot of trouble in paying rent and budgeting for future activities, when there is a problem with getting the payment.

Thank you for the opportunity and learning experience. It was a valuable and memorable part of my life and will hopefully contribute a lot to my future.
Ulrika Liliemark i Oslo

Language and Culture

We were given a free language course for the first couple of weeks. It was not the best quality and the teacher not always well prepared, but it did held to gain a basic understanding of how to get around. In Stockholm, though, most people speak English and you can get restaurant menu's in english. It is helpful to know the basic things though, like greetings, counting, understanding the transport system ect. I was very thankful for this course and opportunity. However, if the course were more structured and the teacher more knowledgeable in her field, it would have helped to learn the language. Some of my friends who had other teachers could learn the basics of the language and communicate a bit in Swedish, which I could not do. 
Naiv Super av Erlend Loe

Studies in general

I was a bit dissapointed in the global health course. I felt that there was such a large variety of people in the class with different backgrounds and experiences, most who have worked quite a bit in Africa and other countries, but they never made use of this great opportunity. Many of the lecturers were dictatorial, never asking the student's experiences and teaching us things we can find in journals or textbooks. One of the principals of adult learning is that you should find out the level of your students and build from their knowledge. This was severely lacking. Making more use of group discussions rather than just reading articles in class of lecturing, would have been very helpful. A suggestion is having us read an article or notes and discussing it in class the next day, giving our personal experience and opinion. 

A lecture I liked a lot was by Dr. Roy during the Communicable Disease course, on his experiences in working within public health in India. If more of the lectures could be like that, I would learn so much more. I was really a bit dissapointed by the quality of the learning experience and the attitude of the lecturers. When there is such a diverse group we can learn a lot about each other's experiences, especially in a course entitled "global health". I felt I never really had an opportunity to voice my opinion or experiences. The information that the lecturer wants to give the student should be presented within their framework and worked into their experiences. 
Grorud DPS, min kliniska placering.