Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Nanyang Technological University
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2011/2012
Name: Hanxing Gao
Email address:

Arrival and registration

Q: What were your impressions of the arrival arrangements and the introduction day?

A: Well, I arrived in Stockholm 5 days earlier than the introduction day. Hence I wasn't picked up by any local helper at the airport. I managed to get on Arlanda Expressn. Swedes were very willing to help me. So I didn't face much trouble getting to my temporary hostel. However, the taxi fee was way beyond my imagination! I took a taxi from the central train station to my hostel on Gamla Stan and it cost me 200 kronas. It is much more expensive compared with the taxi fee in Singapore. The introduction day was informative and relaxing. We basically learned everything we needed to know on that day. I especially like the afternoon session when the professor introduced a lot about the Swedish culture~

Q: How did the contact with the student health centre work?

A: I didn't really deal with the health center. Well, one of my exchange mates went there. I believe it was on the library building. 


Q: What was your impression of the housing arrangements?

A: It was very important that UAC almost guaranteed hostel residency for exchange students. I heard a lot of complaints from master and PhD students about difficulties in renting a flat in Stockholm. My single room was warm and clean. I could see a little bit of sunset from my windows. The communal kitchen wasn't so large but enough for a small party.

Q: What was your impression of the standard and cost of housing?

A: Of course it is more expensive than in Singapore. But thinking about other costs, I have to say that the price is still acceptable.

Leisure time and social activities

Q: Did you participate in any social activities?

A: I knew that there were a lot of activities held by MF and Global Friends. I didn't attend everyone. Instead, I had several personal parties with my local and international classmates. 

Q:  Did you make any Swedish friends?

A: Swedes are very easy-going. It was great time to talk and spend time with them.


Q: Why did you choose to go on exchange?

A: Because I wanted to experience a different college system, meet more students and of course travel around Europe~

Q: Why did you choose KI?

A: Honestly, KI is one of the best in my field. And it's in Europe!

Q: What did you think of the exchange information given by KI and your home university?

A: I have to say that our international coordinator was always available and helpful. The information provided by KI and Global Friends was comprehensive. 

Q: What did you think of the study abroad-information given by the partner university and by KI?

A: I read the manuals on KI website. They were useful. My home university provided attractive exchange reports from previous students. But I think the most important part is that I asked a lot of questions to my senior who had came to KI one semester before I did.

Q: Were you required to be vaccinated or to bring certain certificates?

A: I think vaccination was not required. I only used certificates for Residence Permit application. I believe that Singaporean students would have to bring their A-levels.

Q: What else?

A: I researched on accommodation and transportation before I left for Sweden. It was extremely helpful that I saved all the useful details on my Galaxy Tab. It was also useful to learn some basic Swedish.

Courses during the exchange period

BIOX07 : BACH - Neuroscience
I like the oral exams. They were an efficient tool for testing and improving our understanding of the content. It was very exciting to have access to preserved human brains during labs. It gave us a sense that we were not merely remembering those Latin names.
BIOX09 : BACH - Pharmacology and Toxicology
My major was not very related to medicine. But still I found the content very attractive as useful (in daily lives as well). The course labs were not as serious as they sound like. In seminars we worked on real life problems and deepened our understanding of the knowledge. I personally think the problem based learning part not very effective. The time was tight and we were merely piling up information.
BIOX08 : BACH - Tissue Biology
The content of tissue biology was compressed into less than four months. I have to say that the plan was a bit too tight especially when I had to travel for a lot time because the course was conducted on Huddinge campus. Although it was tiring to stare at pinkish photos everyday, all the different cells we saw and learned about were really cute. If I could re-take this course, I would love to spend maybe 2 more weeks on it. It was a pity that I didn't do well in the exam.
BIOX10 : BACH - Biostatistics
The course structure was very good. The professor was smart and patient. The content was easy and useful. However, it was not as challenging as I pictured. I hope the knowledge is sufficient for our future use.


Karolinska Institutet is definitely worth going on exchange for!

Please contact me if you want any more information (before I forget...)  ^o^

Language and Culture

I signed up for a beginner's Swedish course. It was not conducted on college campus but in a primary or middle school. So when we were having courses on Huddinge campus, I couldn't manage to go to the courses. It was a pity but I still picked up quite some useful basic Swedish expressions. I guess it would be more efficient if our Swedish classmates could be our teachers.

Studies in general

Q: Describe your studies at KI in general, e.g. your impressions of the Swedish study environment.

A: The block system for course schedule was very different. I didn't have any choice on the courses but had to take the same four courses as the local students. My home university uses the parallel system.  The class was small and professors were accessible.

Q: How did you experience the relationship between student and teacher/supervisor and between student and patient?

A: In lectures, most of the time we could interrupt and ask questions as we wished.  Experiments were casual, fun and informative. It was like communicating equally instead of teaching.

Q: What was good and what could be improved?

A: My favorite part was the demonstration of Neuroscience. We actually touch human brains! Of course with gloves on... It was a precious experience and helped a lot in memorizing and understanding the Latin-named regions. It was a pity that one course was split into too many parts taught by too many professors. It was very difficult for the professors to construct a well-structured course.

Synundersökning i Mahatma Gandhis hus