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 2014/2015
Duration: 26
Email address:


Those at the International Relations Office are very keen in organizing transportation from and to the airport. They use an official TISS vehicle for this purpose. The driver would be waiting at arrivals with a signboard with the visitor's name. They are also very helpful getting you a place to stay at the guest house. However, it is important to contact them a few weeks in advance to make sure there is availability. At the guest house it is also possible to get meals at your convenience (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Very close to the guest house there is an ATM to withdraw local currency.

Language and Culture

Nearly all academic activities involving international visitors are run in English, so there is no real language barrier. One major cultural difference in terms of academic teaching compared with Sweden is the respect and admiration Indian students show to their teachers. Sometimes it can almost be uncomfortable, as one is in use to a more horizontal teacher-student relationship. Yet, they are curious, eager to learn, and are not shy at all to ask questions and to express themselves.

Leisure time

Indian people are very friendly and generous. I was invited to have lunch or dinner several times by colleagues, and even by students. I enjoyed eating traditional local food at restaurants, but mostly at their homes. Going out was more difficult as I traveled in the middle of the monsoon, which meant that it was raining constantly and profusely during most of my visit.


It is important for students and teachers to be aware about the best time to visit the city of concern (Stockholm or Mumbai). For Indians, traveling to Sweden during winter time would not be the best option. Similarly, traveling to India during the summer or monsoon season might not be the right timing.

Other activities

I was involved in personal meetings with various faculty members of the School of Health System Studies to promote their participation a thesis supervisors and examiners within the Master's Program of Global Health that I coordinate at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Public Health Sciences. At this stage, Professors Rakshase and Sivakami were interested and agreed to host one or two students each from our program to be involved in their reserach projects. Students will travel to Mumbai to work on their thesis under their supervision from February 15 to April 30, 2016.


Make sure you get in contact with the International Relations Office before traveling. They are very helpful in organizing transportation from and to the airport, and getting you a housing place at the guest house. Prof. Madhushree Sekher and her team, especially Jennifer Mujawar, are very friendly and service oriented. Please visit for detailed information.


I had a very pleasant experience. This exchange opportunity served to strengthen the ongoing collaboration between the KI's Department of Public Health Sciences and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Next academic term a student from TISS will be coming as part of the Linnaeus-Palme initiative, and in February we will be sending 2-3 of our master’s students to Mumbai to work their research projects under the supervision of TISS colleagues.


Main activities at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences TISS included the following (July 16 to August 7, 2015):

-        Course of 20 h for M. Phil. – Ph. D. students on Quantitative Research Methods (Mondays and Tuesdays, July 20, 21, 27, 28 and August 3, 4).

-        Participation as facilitator in the study visit done by the Colombian delegation of the Externado University and TISS International’s Office (Monday, July 20, from 10:00 to 12:00 h).

-        Lecture of two hours to advanced master students on Randomized Clinical Trials within the course “Advanced Epidemiology” run by Prof. Harshad Thakur (Thursday, July 27, from 11:00 to 13:00 h).

-        Participation in Roy Nobhojit’s Research Group Meetings at the School of Habitat (Thursdays, July 16, 26, 30 and August 6, from 17:30 to 20:00 h).

-        Seminar of two hours to junior college students on Scientific Research (Monday, August 3, from 10:00 to 12:00 h).

-        Attending Faculty seminars (Wednesdays, July 22, 29 and August 5, from 15:00 to 17:00 h).

-        Faculty seminar on “Use of medications and the risk of injurious road traffic crashes among elderly drivers” (Wednesday, August 5, from 16:00 to 17:30 h).

-        Personal meetings with various faculty members of the School of Health System Studies to promote their participation as thesis supervisors and examiners within the Master Program in Global Health run at the Karolinska Institutet.

Teaching hours

The average lecturing time per week without preparation time was 10 hours; for seminars and presentations it was 5 hours per week; and for relevant meetings with faculty members another 5 hours per week. Namely, 50% lecture time, 25% seminars/presentations, and 25% appointments with TISS researchers.