Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Malta
Study programme: Nursing
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2009/2010

Arrival and registration

As it was not my first visit to Sweden, I was already familiar with Stockholm and did not require any arrival arrangements. Unfortunately I missed the introduction day as I came later on in the semester. It would have been good for me had I been able to attend the Introduction day. The nurse at the student health service was really nice and very helpful, and provided me with all the necessary information I needed had I to come in need of their services. I was very satisfied.


I had friends living in Stockholm and was lucky to be able to spend the entire 3 months at their place, which helped to reduce my accomodation costs substantially.

Leisure time and social activities

As I was detached from the student accomodation I was cut off from any social activities unfortunately. I had a study placement and did not attend any taught courses which made it even harder to make friends. However I did meet some Swedish nursing students at the wards who were very nice and extremely helpful. I was enrolled with Global friends but never received any information for upcoming events. If there were any events, I was not aware of them. It would have been nice to attend one of their events.


Karolinska was my one and only choice and I was lucky enough to get placed there. I wanted to learn from a world-renowned University and hospital as I felt it would be extremely beneficial for my education. Scandinavian countries are well-known for their advances in the healthcare system. The information provided online was very good and useful for incoming students! I was not required to be vaccinated however an MRSA test was taken both in my home country and on my arrival in Sweden.

Courses during the exchange period

SSK003 : Emergency care - Clinical education
In the 2weeks I was at emergency care I managed to practice and improve on my skills. Again my mentor was very kind and helpful and gave me a lot of indendence. He constantly challenged my knowledge by asking me questions which helped for me to learn! I was very satisfied with my placement. I only wished it was longer.
SSKX01 : Somatic nursing, medicine - Clinical education 1
I was placed at an Infection ward which we do not have in my home country so it was nice to see the different methods in isolation and the care taken in the transmission of infectious diseases. My mentors were all very nice and helped me a lot in my learning. The staff on the ward were not entirely welcoming however, but nonetheless my experience was a good one and a learnt alot about disease I had not really heard or learnt about.
SSK001 : Nursing of the elderly - Clinical education 1
I was impressed by the care given in geriatrics in Sweden. In my home country I must say that geriatrics is nowhere close to what it is like in Sweden. I was in a stroke rehabilitation ward and was amazed to witness patients walking and talking after strokes. The teamwork was extremely evident and was probably a major factor in the provision of such great care. The nurses were all so caring and dedicated to their patients. I was extremely happy at the ward. My mentor was very knowledgable and gave me a lot of responsibility. I felt that my knowledge expanded a lot during my time at this ward. I really have nothing negative to say about my placement here.


My overall experience at KI was amazing. It made me grow both personally and professionally. It helped me to become more independent, confident and assertive at work. I have learnt so much in all my work placements and was happy in each and every ward I was placed in. Everybody was welcoming and helpful. I felt part of the team which I do not really feel in my home country. It was definately a worthwhile experience which I would recommend to everyone to take!

Language and Culture

I did attend a Swedish language course. Due to my study placements I was unable to attend for the majority of the lessons which was a pity. I had many clashes. The course was very beneficial, and helped us to understand some of the basics of Swedish. The course also helped for me to get around Stockholm better as I was more familiar with certain words and phrases.

Studies in general

The Swedish study environment aids a lot in giving students resources and equipment needed to improve in their studies. I was impressed by the training ward for health professionals. I believe that every University should have such a ward as it would help students to gain independence and take decision on their own accord. The library is full of resources and study rooms which are great for group work! I think all in all the environment is very condusive to learning!!


Lecturers and supervisors alike all seem to come down to the students level. They do not intimidate students or, in the case of supervisors, leave them out on the ward. Patients were all very nice towards students and I never had any problems to carry out procedures on patients. All were very nice about it and gave me a lot of encouragement and praise which was very nive to hear!


Theory is definately applied to pracitce in Sweden and most stick to what was learnt in theory. People in Sweden stick to the rules which was very apparent in the wards. People did not tend to take shortcuts or slack in their work. Most things were done by-the-book, as it should be after all! In Malta people lack discipline which is apparent at hospitals. Rules are taken as seriuosly which has its consequences on patients and healthcare workers. I think that Malta has a long way to go to achieve the high levels of care in Sweden, but we're slowly getting there. From my experience I can take a little back to Malta and apply it to practice. Hopefully just a tiny effort from my part may help to achieve a slight difference. I hope that one day we will achieve what Sweden has achieved, but it will be hard to change people's attitudes.