Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn and spring semester 2011/2012

Arrival and registration

The arrival at KI was made pretty easy due to the introduction week organized for the exchange and international master students. It provided us with a lot of useful information about living and studying in Sweden, important things like where to go when you are sick and how to open a bank account as well as interesting facts about the university you are going to spend the next months at. Furthermore, it gave the optimal opportunity to meet a lot of other international students and to make the first inter-cultural contacts. Quite helpful in that respect has also been, that I was granted accommodation in one of the student dormitories by UAC. I was so lucky to get a room on a floor with only exchange or international master students and by that had ample possibilities to get in contact with other students.
Moreover, all the administrative things like enrolling in the courses which will be taken during the exchange, was carried out quite easily and quickly in the framework of the introduction days.
I also really enjoyed beginning with the language course offered for exchange and international students during that introduction week as well as making the first contact with the global friends, which offered a lot of nice activities for exchange students throughout the year and gave the opportunity to get to know the Swedish way of life. They also helped me a lot in terms of getting the key for my student room. As I arrived late in the evening, I was not able to retrieve the keys myself. Global friends organized someone for me to get my keys and fetch me from the station.


I was very happy to have gotten accommodation in the student dormitory Pax in Emmylundsvägen 3 in Solna after applying for housing through the University Accommodation Center. It was really great living there. The rooms are quite big and nicely furnished and even with an own bathroom, the kitchen was well equipped. It was also a great opportunity to meet a lot of other exchange and international students as well as Swedish students. Last but not least, the location of Pax is great - in less than ten minutes you can go by bus to KI campus and hospital in Solna and in approximately the same time to the city centre of Stockholm via the tunnelbana which is also leaving not far away from the dormitory. Furthermore, behind the building, there is a nice piece of woods and a lake where you can go running, swimming or kayaking.
The cost of housing (in the student accommodation) is higher average - compared to the student dormitories in Germany, but to my mind adequate when compared to the living standard and the location in a capital. As I have heard, private housing is not only hard to get, but in general also more expensive.

Phi Rho Sigma, Mu chapter

Leisure time and social activities

Already during the introduction week, the first contact between the global friends and the exchange and international master students was made. The global friends offered a variety of nice activities for exchange students throughout the year in which I often gladly participated. Those activities were usually announced via email and included amongst others kanelbullar baking, visiting the Christmas market in Skansen and a welcoming dinner with traditional Swedish food at the beginning of the semester. This gave me not only the opportunity to get to know the Swedish way of life but also a lot of other exchange students as well as the Swedish host students.
Even though the global friends were not able to offer an extensive social programme, it was always really nice to join in their offered activities.
Furthermore, as an exchange student living in a dormitory student accommodation, you have the perfect opportunity to get in contact with a lot of other exchange or international master students as well as Swedish students. Another great chance to make Swedish and international friends was offered by the university courses which usually involve a lot of interactive seminars and group work. 


The choice to go on exchange in general was pretty easy for me, as I have always aimed to do so during my studies. I think studying abroad is perfect not only to broaden your academic but also your cultural horizon. Especially in natural sciences and medical research, it is - at least to my mind - quite interesting to learn about the approaches and methods applied by other countries and see everything in another perspective. But also the cultural aspect is quite important to me: going abroad helps you to improve on a social level and allows you to make a lot of interesting inter-cultural contacts. Last but not least it enables you to get to know a country of your choice in detail.
As I've always been pretty fond of the Scandinavian culture and landscape, I planned to spend my year abroad there. KI was the optimal choice for me in order to also benefit
the most possible on an academic level, since KI is one of the leading medical universities in the world and is well-known for its great medical research.
The exchange information given by KI was pretty good. Everything was really organized, the description of the courses you were allowed to take was very detailed and corresponded really well to the actual course content. As I planned on doing a practical training during my second semester of the exchange, I was looking for interesting research groups at KI and the associated hospital. The very well structured homepage of KI which is also kept in an exceedingly up-to-date state, helped me a lot in that. There I could find a lot of information describing the respective research projects of the different research groups associated with KI.
Also the study abroad information provided by KI in form of a booklet was very helpful in giving invaluable information on what to do before coming to Sweden and how to proceed after arrival. Actually there were not that many things to do for me, coming from Germany, i.e. no vaccination to take, no certificates to bring etc. The most important thing to do was to find accommodation and that was as well made very easy by KI. As an exchange student I was offered accommodation by UAC in one of the student dormitories.
Also very helpful concerning the first steps in Sweden was the introduction/welcoming week organized by the International Student Coordinators.

Pappersarbete innan avfärd

Courses during the exchange period

1BI012 : BACH-Molecular medicine
The course “Molecular Medicine“ has been exceedingly well structured and very interesting. The main focus was put on the important aspect of translational medicine. The module was unique as it integrated the basics of a variety of different disciplines (amongst others immunology, infectiology, oncology and physiology) in order to gain insight into the optimal clinical use of the knowledge achieved via research on a higher level. Advantages of the course were not only the broad lectures which were interesting and kept very up to date, but also the practising of the writing of a research proposal, which comes in very handy with regard to a future work as a researcher. The course outline was completed by an interesting seminar assignment as well as a hands-on session dealing with important methods in molecular biology. The content of the course was very well taught and the course administration put a lot of effort into making this course as interesting and enjoyable as possible for the students. I learned a lot during this course and would strongly recommend it to any student interested in biomedical research. The examination format was very well planned and assessed the students’ performance in a fair way. It maybe would have been great to have a stronger emphasis on the hands-on part, that is to learn more methods commonly used in molecular biology.
1BI011 : BACH-Molecular oncology and biostatistics
I greatly enjoyed the course "Molecular oncology and biostatistics", which was the first of the two courses I took during my stay at Karolinska Institutet. The course administrators succeeded in providing an optimal combination of clinical contents and tumour-biological background knowledge in a very well organized course. Moreover, the course was structured in an exceedingly interesting way: Next to lectures covering a selection of different tumour types as well as the most important underlying mechanisms leading to tumour development and progression, the course also comprised interactive seminars and problem-based learning sessions which helped to deepen the acquired knowledge and allowed to gain insight into the newest research in that field. The course outline was completed by interesting hands-on sessions in the form of lab rotations as well as by interactive lectures and exercise sessions giving an introduction into epidemiology and dealing with essential statistical methods which are not only crucial in the field of oncology. I really liked the concept of the course as well as its contents. The course was perfect to get a nice overview of the molecular oncology and the newest findings in this field, which is very relevant for my studies. I also found it very interesting to see the differences in the oncological therapy and diagnostics principles between Sweden and Germany. The examination format was very reasonable. The final exam aimed a lot at understanding the principles and putting them into use, i.e. transferring the learned information on new problems. I was very satisfied with the supervision of the course, the lecturers and course administrators did a great job and were very helpful with all kinds of questions and problems.


My exchange period at Karolinska Institutet was not only extremely beneficial in terms of my academic education but also for my personal development. KI is one of the world’s leading medical universities and offers not only a terrific level of education in the biomedical field but also a broad variety of courses with different specializations in that area and first-class research. Last but not least, Stockholm is a wonderful city, featuring not only extensive cultural offers but also a marvellous nature. I can only warmly recommend an exchange period at KI!

Language and Culture

I did participate in the Swedish language course offered by KI for exchange and international master students and taught by Studiefrämjandet. I was really happy to have been given the opportunity to do a Swedish language course. However, I felt that I did not learn as much as I hoped I would. The course was maybe a bit too short and the focus was put on learning vocabulary which did not really help in having a conversation. I would have preferred if the course had more strongly pursued the speaking component. Still, I do not want to have missed that course and really enjoyed participating, not only as it taught me a lot of nice vocabulary I wouldn't have learned so easily otherwise.

Studies in general

I very much enjoyed my studies at KI. The Swedish study environment is very pleasant, which is mainly due to the friendly and pretty close relationship between student and teacher. The lecturers were very interested in making the students understand and were always open to answer questions and to meet the needs of the students. I also pretty much liked the interactive way of studying pursued at KI. During my courses, there were a lot of seminars and problem-based learning sessions during which group work had a high priority and like that helped learning by discussing. During my studies in Germany, the focus was more on lectures; group work was not that common. But I think this interactive part is in addition to lectures very important, not only in order to learn how to do proper teamwork, but also as by discussing you easily apply, critically rethink and broaden the knowledge you have gained.
I also enjoyed the laboratory sessions in the framework of the courses I took. However, I was a bit disappointed, that you were not able to do so much on your own during those sessions. Because of working in groups and lack of time, you were only allowed to do some single steps; bigger methods like real-time PCR or Western Blots were just explained and performed by the supervisors. Anyhow, I am glad to have got to know a lot of different techniques - in theory and also partly in practise - during those laboratory sessions.