Exchange report - teacher at KI
Home university: Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences
Study programme: Physiotherapy
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Autumn semester 2014/2015
Duration: 21
Name: Maria Hagströmer
Email address:


When I arrived in India I spent the first day in Mombai, exploring the city. After a six hour horrible car ride to Loni, together with the exchange students from Sweden we arrived at the hostel. The other exchange teacher Kristina Kindblom met us and she showed us part of the college and we had dinner together. The next day the international coordinator met us and showed us the college and the history of the college. We also met the dean of the Physiotherapy department and most of the students.

I stayed at the International hostel (same as the students and the other exchange teacher Kristina). The room had a balcony, a large bed, a desk a TV, wardrobes, a toilet (took me a week to understand that I had to turn on the heather to get warm water in the shower) and a simple kitchen with a refrigerator and a sink. I could pay for internet access, which was good, but very slow. My plan to work during the evenings did not work fully, due to the slow internet. The price for the hostel was 350 USD per month and I paid for a month. The only problem was that I could only pay cash and in the cash machine in Loni one could only get 5000 rupis per day, i.e it took quite many days to get enough money. Glad I started early (I also paid for the car from Mombai to Loni to the Pravara).

Language and Culture

All teaching was in English.

The culture is of course different but I did not find it difficult. One of the best part was the availability of fresh nice fruits and vegetables. As a vegetarian it was perfect. All restaurants had mainly vegetarian food. The only bit tricky thing to handle was the view upon time, i.e. if something is said to start at 9 am it could start at 9.15, or 10 or 11 or the next day.

Leisure time

Loni is a (in an Indian perspective) small village. Every Wednesday there is a market that sells everything and was totally crazy.

Every morning me and Kristina took an hour morning walk. After a while some of the other teachers started to join us, which was a very nice way to get a chance to know them better.

The first Saturday afternoon the exchange students, Kristina and I rented a ritcha and went to the holy city Shirdi. Kristina and I also bought Indian Swim suits and went to a Swim centre, that are open for women only one hour a day. The second Sunday Kristina, I and two teachers rented a car and went to Aurangabad, a larger city about 100 km north of Loni.

The second week all international students at Pravara was invited to one of the teachers for dinner. Last week we (all international students and teachers) were invited by the head of the Hospital and College to an evening party, outdoor.


I have no further comments more than feel free to contact me for tips.

Other activities

I participated in journal club and PhD students research discussion (once a week). I also did a clinical rotation the first week, to see each Physiotherapy division, the hospital and patients. The last week I participated in the community health program and for example did a study visit to the Sugar factory.

We have started to discuss future collaboration in teaching and hopefully research.


I applied for the exchange program to learn about how Physiotherapy is taught and practiced in other countries/cultures. I am very interested in different teaching and learning approaches. I also thought that my experiences, skills and knowledge fit well with the goals of the Linneus Palme agreement between Karolinska and Pravara University, i.e. health promotion.

I have never been to India before and very few times to Asia. I have positive views of India, i.e. nice and friendly people, diverse nature, easy to get vegetarian food. I also think that it is less organized and structured than Sweden and that the weather is too warm for me. I preperad myself by reading about the country and area as well as the Pravara Medical College. On top of that I talked to Kristina Kindblom who initiated this exchange program and has been there several times. It was quite smooth to get the certificates needed for the Visa application and to get a visum. The dean of the Physiotherapy department at Pravara and the international coordinator was very helpful.


In general I am very happy and humble about this exchange. We are at the moment planning for the Indian teachers and students visit in Stockholm spring 2015. I also hope that the division and me myself will continue to have contact with the college.


The Physiotherapy education at Pravara is 4,5 year as basic education and two years master. The students pay for their education and live at the college, in boys or girls hostel. They attend the clinic from 9-5 Monday to Friday and 9-1 on Saturdays. It is also very common with peer learning, i.e older students teaches the younger students. The education is also the clinic, so both students and teachers treat patients daily. In Sweden we have more active Physiotherapy, i.e the patients are active and involved in their treatment compared to at Pravara where they mainly use passive treatment.

The Physiotherapy program at Pravara is quite young and they do not have a strong research base for the subject Physiotherapy. The theoretical knowledge in Anatomy, Physiology and Medicine is very high, but their knowledge in Physiotherapy methods is based upon text books that are quite old and that they are never taught to be critical and reflective about the text.

The first week I took part in a clinical rotation, i.e. spent a day at each Physiotherapy department (Neuro, Cardio, Pediatrics, Orthopedics and Community) and took part in the PhD students research discussions. My own teaching was mainly during week two and three. I had three class-room lectures (Health Promotion, Pedagogy and Dose-Response Physical Activity and Health), almost daily short sequence of group gymnastics, and lectures in smaller groups on how to develop and teach group gymnastics. A group of master students wore a pedometer and accelerometer which was shown and discussed at on of the lectures. I also had lectures for master students and teachers on objectively measure physical activity and handle the data. I also had a practical session outdoor on how to use walking pools. The students were very enthusiastic and wanted to learn more.I also took part in the Debate that was arrange by the other exchange teacher. This pedagogical tool is useful to increase understanding and justification over specific situations and the students were very active.

Teaching hours

I took part of the teaching and activities full days during my stay. I had about one to three one hour lectures in seminar rooms each week. I also had practical sessions and supervisions one to two hours every day. On average I would say that my teaching was about 10 hours per week (including supervision).