Exchange report - teacher at KI
Home university: Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Study programme: Public Health Sciences (Master's)
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2013/2014
Duration: 23
Name: Zarina Kabir
Email address:


I had booked transport from TISS to be picked up from the airport. Since it was my first visit to the city, I felt it was the most convenient way to find my way from the airport to the guest house. I stayed at the TISS guest house which is located on campus. This was very convenient in avoiding the famous traffic of Bombay city. Meals are available at the guest house if one chooses to opt for that. Although the WiFi was supposed to be functioning, this was not so. However, internet connection through cable worked fine.

Language and Culture

At TISS, the medium of instruction is English which made interaction with the students and faculty members smooth and unproblematic. The academic environment at TISS is very dynamic with both students and teachers very engaged and committed to learning. Students are responsive and enthusiastic in class room settings as well as when passing by in corridors, on campus etc. Many students live on campus which made environment of TISS very vibrant, and always very friendly. Such friendly and approach is very different from what we see in Stockholm. 

Leisure time

Although the university arranged a city tour, I decided not to take it. I went around the city myself during my 3 weeks stay there. I found the city to be safe and taxi services to be reliable.


This has been a very positive exchange. However, in order to ensure continuity of the collaborations that have been discussed, it is important for the exchange to continue in the future.

Other activities

There was much interest at TISS to discuss possibilities of research collaboration with Karolinska Institute. Some of these discussions have already taken concrete shape in terms of joint publications. Some discussion has also taken place in developing course for older persons at the Centre for Lifelong Learning. Following are the researchers with whom research collaborations were discussed:


Professor and Chairperson of the Centre for Study of Social exclusion and Inclusive Policies.


Prof Yesudian, Dean of School of Health Systems Studies.


Dr Sivakami Muthusamy, Associate Professor at the Centre for Health and Social Sciences, SHSS, TISS.


Dr. Hemal Shroff and Dr. Shoumitro Ghosh at the Centre for Health and Social Sciences, SHSS, of TISS


Prof Siva Raju, Professor and Dean of School of Development Studies.


Prof Nasreen Rustomfram, Professor and Chairperson of Centre for Lifelong Learning.


Dr. Sumit Mazumdar of the Institute of Human Development and Dr. Papiya Mazumdar of Teri University who came from Delhi to discuss research collaboration.


Dr. Subharati Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work at TISS.


Prof Shalini Bharat, Professor and Chairperson of the Centre for Health and Social Sciences.


Obtaining a visa turned out to be time consuming but worked out well at the end.


My experience of the exchange is very positive. We have discussed a number of collaborations that I hope will take concrete shape in the future for the outcome of this exchange programme to be productive.


I conducted the following pedagogic activities during the visit to TISS:

Assessment of power point presentations by Master’s level students in Gender and Health course, as part of the final assessment.

Assessment of the written assignments of the students of the Gender and Health course.  

Verbal feedback to students on their written assignment on Gender and Health course.  

Lecture on Ageing and Health in a course titled 'Public Health across Lifespan' as part of the Master's of Social Epidemiology programme.  

Lecture on mental health problems of older persons for about 100 Master's level students as a research seminar.  

Lecture on Mental Health of Older Persons for students of Diploma of Gerontology at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, TISS.  

Guidance to Vibha Singh, PhD student at the Centre for Lifelong Learning in data collection procedure for an exploratory study on further education needs of older persons in India.

Teaching hours

Average time per week spent on teaching was around 12 hours depended on the schedules of the courses. The first two weeks were particularly intensive due to assessment of students' presentations which were part of final assessment. 90% of this time was related to teaching/assessments and the rest in supervision of students. Discussion on research collaborations at different departments of TISS also took a major focus due to their interest in collaborating with Karolinska Institutet.