Exchange report - teacher at KI
Home university: Turun Yliopisto (University of Turku/Åbo)
Study programme: Biomedicine (Master's)
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2013/2014
Duration: 2
Name: Rachel Fisher
Email address:



I flew from Stockholm Arlanda to Turku/Åbo airport from where I took a local bus into central Åbo (ticket cost of €3). From there the local organisers at Turku University had arranged bus/boat transport out to the island of Seili (in the outer archipelago) and the Archipelago Research Institute. Full board and accommodation were provided (at a good standard). The local organisers made excellent arrangements and provided all necessary information in advance.

Language and Culture


All teaching was in English, which functioned without any problems. All the students were at Master’s level and were used to working in English (both orally and in writing). In general the atmosphere was excellent and the students from the different universities integrated well.

Leisure time

The summer school, which was residential, was held at the Archipelago Research Institute, beautifully located in the island of Seili. Lectures about the history of the institute and the local wildlife were held after I departed. Social activities were included in the programme, and while I was there a barbeque for faculty and staff was held on the Monday evening.



The trip was a generally enjoyable and rewarding experience, which stimulated new ideas for use within my teaching at KI.

Other activities


I had discussions with other NordBioMedNet members of faculty present at the summer school regarding the future development of the NordBioMedNet network. In particular discussions focused on a follow-up meeting to evaluate the inaugural summer school and discuss the completion of the course by the students during the autumn term, plans for 2015 and beyond, and funding for the network.



My visit to the University of Turku was within the framework of NordBioMedNet, a collaborative network involving the universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Eastern Finland, KI and Turku. The inaugural NordBioMedNet summer school, "Omics in Drug Screening and Discovery", was held 10-15 August 2014 on the island of Seili (Själö), at the Archipelago Research Institute, which belongs to Turku University. I participated in the first two days of this summer school (10-12 August) with role as a member of faculty and as a discussion partner/advisor for the students when preparing their course assignments.

Formation of the NordBioMedNet consortium was initiated in 2013, and planning for first summer school was performed via a series of meetings in Bergen, Turku and Stockholm, all of which I attended. The goal of the network is to promote exchange at both student and teacher levels and the development of joint educational activities with a focus on the use of e-learning and communication.  The NordBioMedNet consortium was funded by NordPlus in the spring of 2014.



The summer school marked the formal start of educational activities offered within the NordBioMedNet network and as such was a pilot project, which will require analysis and review. Our first follow-up meeting is planned for October 2014 in Åbo. Discussing educational practices with students and colleagues from Bergen, Turku, Kuopio and Copenhagen is stimulating and enlightening. In particular the use of ICT by the students for performing their project work will be extremely interesting to follow and I hope to see how such practices can be incorporated into teaching-learning activities at KI. The use of such techniques will support the future development of new activities with other universities throughout the world, thereby promoting the internationalisation of education at KI.



The course, entitled "Omics in Drug Screening and Discovery", focused on the use of new technologies in drug identification and development. Invited speakers covered different aspects of the drug development process – from target identification to drug development, financial considerations and ethical issues. Presentation techniques (oral and written) to different audiences were also covered. Lectures were often in the morning/early afternoon with time assigned to project work in the late afternoon/evening. Students worked in groups of five (with one student from each of the participating universities). Their assignment was to put together a plan for drug development, which included a project description, business plan and ethical considerations. During the autumn term the students will complete this assignment working at a distance from one another and communicating via the internet (ie the course promotes the use of information and communication technology, ICT).

Teaching hours


I arrived in Åbo in the early afternoon of Sunday 10th August and returned to Stockholm in the early evening of Tuesday 12th August. Throughout this time I functioned as member of faculty and provided general support for the organisation of the summer school. On the Monday I presented the project work to the students and spent time on the Monday and Tuesday discussing the assignment with the different student groups, functioning as a sounding board for their ideas. On the Tuesday I also participated in giving feedback to each group following presentation of their initial project outline. In total I participated in at least 8 hours of teaching.