Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Physiotherapy
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2011/2012
Name: Otaala Joshua
Email address:

Arrival and registration

Friday morning found us at Arlanda Airport, and one of our lecturers was there to meet us. She was really happy to see us, and made us feel welcome. The five of us headed out to KI Solna, where we were officially welcomed and briefed on what to expect as well as what was expected from us.


I and my classmate had to stay in a hotel for three nights, as we waited for our student rooms to be ready. We had applied for accommodation at Solna, through UAC. The next three months were spent at Strix, Västraskogen, with other students from different walks of life.

Leisure time and social activities

Our lecturers took us out to many different places. I got to see the Accapellago (I hope that is the spelling), went boat riding, met other Ugandans, went sight-seeing and got to eat food that I had never heard about. I and my classmate also attended several meetings with students from different countries, and talked about the differences and similarities in education back in our home countries. it was always fun to hear about other students' experiences and expectations in life.  I love music, and I love God. While in Sweden, I got to play drums and keyboard for two different churches, and was fortunate to make a number of friends.


Every year, two lucky students are selected from my school, to go to KI, sweden. I and a friend of mine were the fortunate pair this year. I had never travelled outside Africa before, and had always been within easy reach of friends and family. The thought of going overseas to a country where I did not really know anybody was both exciting and scary. Exciting because of the promise of adventure and the element of the unknown, but scary because of the absence of the security that friends and family offer when close-by. We were joined by two other friends of ours from a different school, and left Entebbe Airport on a Thursday evening, ready to brave the “world out there”.

Courses during the exchange period

AT1X01 : Community and Home Based Rehabilitation - Cultural Perspectives
this course unit was done in a classroom setting, and allowed for free expression of our different views. It was interesting to have different educators from different parts of the world teaching us. At times, some of the lectures felt repeated.
1EE020 : Literature review
I had never done a literature review before, so I was a little scared about this particular course unit. However my lecturers gave me more than ample time to learn, were always an email or phone call away, and were extremely patient with me. Having access to the online KI library was very helpful during this course unit.
1EE082 : Clinical rotation for exchange students - physiotherapy
I had the opportunity to go to a children’s rehabilitation centre and a hospital, for a period of four weeks. I learnt a lot, but did not get enough “hands-on” experience because I spent only two weeks at each location.


The three months in Sweden were a most welcome experience for me. I have learnt so much, and see the world through different eyes. Perhaps the greatest lesson I learnt is that despite the colour of our skin, and different languages that we speak, we are all human, deep down.  

Language and Culture

Everybody spoke Swedish, even those I thought were Africans like myself! I was fortunate to attend Swedish classes, and picked up afew words.

Studies in general

We started out with clinical rotations in two different settings, spending two weeks at each location. Our supervisors were always willing to explain to us, and kept encouraging us to ask questions. This was very convenient for me especially because there were a lot of things that I was seeing for the first time. The next five weeks were spent in a classroom at KI Huddinge. At first the lectures dragged, but after the first week the monotony of class was broken by group discussions and presentation. My fondest memory of class was the curtains that were closed and opened using a switch in the wall! It was also really nice to have so many nationalities in the same room, and to be able to learn from each other’s unique personalities. I loved being in a multi-national, multi-linguistic class. All our assignments were handed in via email. This was new for me, but by the fifth week it felt normal.