Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Universit├Ąt Wien
Study programme: Public Health Sciences (Master's)
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2011/2012

Arrival and registration

I couldn`t arrive in time because I still had to do some exams at my home university. So I couldn`t join the introduction day. The day of arrival was propably the most exhausting day in my life. It was difficult to arrive in time at UAC to collect my keys and then walk through snow and darkness to find the bus and further on the student appartment with all my luggage. I really suggest to ask for someone to pick you up. The next day I went to the institute to see the exchange coordinator, there I got all the information needed, about Stockholm, my courses, KI card.. 

Acommendation

I applied for housing through UAC. It was very easy to apply and a few weeks later I already got an offer. The rooms were very nice, everything you need was there. But the costs were quite high.

Leisure time and social activities

I got to know about social events through people on my floor. There were social events like coffee hours, dancing classes, and watching football (and probably many more) organized by students from KI. I didn`t make a lot of swedish friends (actually only one - not from KI) international students were maybe more interested in getting to know new people than swedes. And as I said before we didn`t have classes at the campus so I didn`t really meet many other students. I have been in Stockholm only for a few month, I guess if I would stay longer I would get to know more swedes. But still getting to know people from all over the world was a great experience too.   

Pre-departure

I decided to go on exchange during my master studies because I thought it would be a "last chance" to live abroad for a certain period. I chose Karolinska and Sweden because the program was in english and the institute is very well known. I also had the feeling that everything including accommodation was very well organized. So the information given by KI was adequate. The information given by my home university was quite poor. There haven`t been many students at KI from my department yet, at least as Master students. There weren`t any vaccinations or certificates required.

Courses during the exchange period

4FH044 : EP-Collecting and organizing data
The course only focused on Sweden and the Swedish registers. It would have been nice to talk about other countries and other methods of data collection too, more than half of the students in the course are probably not going to work in Sweden. But the course was well- structured.
4FH045 : EP-Methods for outcome evaluation of public health intervention
I didn`t really know what it was all about at the beginning, it became clear for me in the end of the course. It would have been nice to get an overview of the whole course and clearly defined goals at the beginning. I really appreciated that we had different teacher comming from different fields of work.
4FH040 : EP-Statistics for epidemiologists
The course was very informative, the variation of theoretical and practical parts was very good.

Summary

Overall, it was a lifetime experience to live in Sweden. I wouldn`t like to miss it. I didn`t expect such an international atmosphere, it was great and very interesting to meet people from all over the world.

Language and Culture

I participated in a free course for beginners. The course took place every tuesday from 6 to 9. I think 3 three hours at once was too much after a whole day of lectures at university. I quitted the language course after a few weeks. It was also a bit confusing that we had a new teacher nearly every week. I didn`t really like the course, I haven`t had the feeling that it was very useful for my short stay in Stockholm. Maybe I have been a bit unlucky with my course, many other colleagues liked there courses a lot.   

Studies in general

The university system is different from my home university. At KI it is very much like a school system. There weren`t possibilities to choose the single courses, everyone in the program takes the same courses in the same order. We have been a small group of students (about 20) always in the same class room. Because of construction work or any other reasons we didn`t have classes at the campus. So unfortunately I didn`t get to know campus life.
The whole program is very well organized, I guess everybody can finish university in time. Since we have been such a small group and spent nearly every day together I soon got to know the other students. The relationship with teacher/supervisor was very good, I got a first impression of the "swedish equality system". Teacher in my home university are more authoritative.