Exchange report - incoming students
Genit ervan!
Home university: Universiteit Leiden
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration


I was very appreciative of the student who met me at T-Centralen and escorted me to my accommodation.  I do not think I would have been able to locate the building by myself, plus I found comfort in knowing someone upon arrival.  The introduction days were well planned.  It was nice to meet all the Erasmus students and to become acquainted with KI.  I also really liked the guest speaker on the second day.  He was very engaging and his presentation was interesting and interactive.

Jag och delar av min ISN grupp inför stadsvandringen som var endel av introveckan



The cost of housing was higher than I am used to, but I expected high prices in Stockholm after researching the cost of living here.  In the beginning I liked the housing arrangements.  It was nice to meet students from other universities and educational backgrounds.  The room was also a good size and I greatly appreciated that UAC and SSSB provided furniture and some of the bedroom essentials.  Unfortunately, bed bugs became a serious problem on my corridor near the end of my stay.  They even found their way into the common kitchen.  When I reported the presence of bed bugs in the kitchen, UAC was very helpful and allowed me to change rooms after proving I had rid my belongings of the parasites. 

Utsikt från vår bostad i studentområdet Uilenstede

Leisure time and social activities


I participated in a few events hosted by Global Friends and really enjoyed them.  However, it would have been nice to have the arranged activities a bit more spread out throughout the semester.  I attended the Skansen tour as well as the Thanksgiving dinner.  Additionally, I attended the mingle they hosted in the first few weeks of the term. 

I did not join the student union while at KI, but I did attend the “Bad Taste” sittning hosted for new students, which I greatly enjoyed!  Also, I attended the welcome gathering for exchange students and guest researchers at City Hall.  For other social activities I made good use of the booklet of coupons provided for exchange students in the welcome packet at the introduction days. 

The only Swedish friends I made while in Stockholm are from my corridor and do not attend KI. 
Broschyr med Zlatan på Ajaxarena inför landskampen mellan Sverige och Holland då vi förlorade med 4-1.



I wanted to study abroad for a number of reasons.  I was hoping to travel and experience life in a new culture.  Additionally, this program allowed me to gain experience in a research lab.  I chose my specific program based on the department that was offering a position.  The information I received about Karolinska from the website and from EuroScholars was good, but the research description was quite vague, and therefore the project I worked on was not what I had expected.  Additionally, I wish I had received a decision about admission into the program a bit earlier.  It was difficult to make arrangements with my employers and home university since I did not receive a response until the end of March.

Courses during the exchange period

IEE075 : BACH-Biomedical project for exchange students
BACH-Biomedical project for exchange students: I enjoyed my time in lab and appreciate the opportunity to experience work in this sort of environment. I learned a great deal of new information since the topic of research was quite new to me. One thing I wish I would have received before arriving is a more detailed description of the research projects I would be working on. Based on my academic interests as well as the project description and supplementary reading I received before arrival, I thought I would have the opportunity to learn more techniques in genetic or epigenetic studies. However, since the lab I joined is interdisciplinary, my project was focused more on toxicology. Though I did not learn techniques in the discipline I hoped to, I was able to learn a number of new and interesting techniques.
Två sjuksköterskor kontrollerar att pappersjournalerna stämmer inför överrapporteringen till eftermiddagsskiftet



Overall, I greatly enjoyed my semester in Stockholm.  I was able to meet wonderful people from all over the world and gain hands-on experience in a research laboratory.  Stockholm is a beautiful city and I found it quite easy to get into a comfortable daily routine here.  I felt very safe while here, and had a wonderful time experiencing some Swedish culture. 

Roddare på floden Amstel på vägen till praktiken.

Language and Culture

 I participated in the intensive language course offered.  I enjoyed meeting students in the first few days of the course, and I found our instructor to be very patient and helpful.  Some students from my course who will be staying the full year even decided to continue studying with the instructor after we completed our 9 beginner’s courses.  I do wish I would have received more worksheets though, as they help me personally learn and practice a language. 
Lycklig innehavare av Lonely planets holländska fras-guide

Studies in general


My study environment was a bit different from the majority of the other undergraduate students because I was only researching in a lab during my stay.  However, I greatly appreciated this experience.  I had to adapt to the new study environment, and though I found it difficult, it was very good for me.  Since the topic of my project was quite new to me, I spent a great deal of time reading.  I shared an office with four others and had to learn to focus in the presence of conversation and other distractions, unlike my usual silent study environment.  My supervisor was very helpful in introducing me to new protocols and answered any questions I had. 

Min arbetsgrupp med den färdiga och godkända slutrapporten!