Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
Study programme: Public Health Sciences (Master's)
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration

I really liked the Pick-up service, offered by KI. I had a very nice first contact with a Swedish student and we also waited for another German student so it was two of us going to the same apartment area, PAX and STRIX. I don't know if it was by chance but I was happy to know at least one person to do my first grocery shopping with. I also appreciated, that our contact student told us during our way to the student apartments, where to go for grocery shopping and gave other useful tips concerning public transport to and from KI and the city.
He brought our keys so that we didn't have to go to the UAC office to pick them up ourselves with our luggage. The introduction days were nice to meet other students from the ERASMUS programme. However, it would have been nice if other, Swedish students from different courses would have been there to ask them questions.
It was also very kind to have those lunch-vouchers as there is little other opportunity to get food around KI. The contact with my international coordinator was nice. She helped me with all questions regarding organization of my stay and - of course- filled out my certificate of arrival. She responded very fast to all of my emails, a fact that I didn’t recognize from German coordinators and I was really surprised about that - in a good way!
Additionally, the first introductive "lecture" about sports, health Centre and KI rules on the first day was nice to orientate myself.

The only thing to mention is that it took ages to make pictures for our KI cards. Maybe that could be arranged better (f. ex. with a "schedule" for all persons on different days!?)


I applied for housing after the confirmation of KI. It was quite easy to apply through the UAC webpage and I got the answer that I could get an apartment in PAX, which was my first preference of the housing areas. I tried to get a private housing also, in case that I wouldn’t be accepted for one of the student apartments, but there are a lot of fraudsters in the internet that I was afraid to get a room, which does not exist in reality. I was very happy when I finally got the room in PAX, 9th floor. I had a beautiful view on the park behind the houses and my room was comfortable with my own bathroom. I had to share the kitchen with 8 other students. For that, I would have really appreciated to have a fixed cleaning plan from the UAC office, because standards are different in different cultures. But after one self-organised kitchen meeting with most of the inhabitants in my floor we arranged ourselves with cleaning. That was ok.

I heard from the very high prices for accommodation in Stockholm and depending on the currency exchange rate, I felt that the rent was very high. But compared to other students with private accommodation, the price was lower so I can’t complain about that. It’s just a higher level of prices in Sweden in general than in Germany, which makes me feel the living costs are so expensive.

The sauna and the laundry was very well organized in the PAX houses. To book them with your key chip and then having two laundry machines and two tumbler/ dryers were quite comfortable. The only thing to mention is that the sauna area was everytime a bit dirty, maybe there can be an additional inspection more often. I also didn’t know, who was responsible for cleaning the sauna area. If it should be the people living there, there should be signs with some advices in there!

Leisure time and social activities

The student union offered so many opportunities of activities and I participated in some of them. It was great to meet so many other students there. I also participated on a welcoming dinner of global friends at KI and with the students from PAX and my class I explored Sweden by doing trips to Kiruna or going canoeing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make swedish friends, I only know the swedish, very nice colleagues from my class.

But in total, I did a lot of activities and really enjoyed my time in Stockholm!


When I chose to go on exchange, I wanted to improve my chances for a job later-on and my English language skills. I wanted to go either in a native-English speaking country or a university, where my studies would be in English. So my choice was to go to KI. When I informed myself more about the potential programs, I also had the feeling that it would fit into my study field nutritional sciences and would also broaden my horizon in this very international programme.
I didn't get a lot information from my home university, but the information given on the webpage of KI was helpful and enough to decide to apply for the Master in Public Health Sciences. Except from the information on the KI webpage, I didn't need to bring an English language certificate, because I was an ERASMUS student. And neither was any additional vaccination required, the standards in Germany and Sweden seem to be pretty much the same.

Courses during the exchange period

4FH004 : HEPM Introduction to Public Health Science
A very broad course with a bit chaotic teacher but she wanted to give us an overview and a good introduction. It was a bit unnecessary to give a group of 6-7 students two projects to write assignments about. I would have appreciated groups of 3-4 students and then one assignments. That would make the communication easier. Also, we had to apply for an extra communication platform. That could have been easier by using google documents or something like that. Then, the teacher could have seen our working progress, too. Anyway, the other students were very nice, but as after the course we were separated into the economics and epidemiology track, I didn’t see them that much afterwards. Maybe, there could be a meeting between those two tracks one day in the semester to discuss different topics and course contents. That would be very interesting! I liked that so many lecturers came from external fields and could give us all those practical views and advices.
4FH051 : HEPM-Health systems and policy
The course was on a very high learning level. But all teachers were nice and the studying environment pleasant. I learned a lot during the course and got new perspectives.
4FH052 : HEPM- Financing health and medical care
The first teacher from Bangladesh was quite difficult to understand because of his strong accent. He also couldn’t teach economics very well. I had economics in my Bachelor courses as well so I knew the content from there, but in the practices I recognized that there were a lot of difficulties also for me but mostly for students without economic background. Additionally, the practices weren’t commented so we never knew if we did it right. That would have been helpful for all of us. But after those two introductive weeks in economics, the course was quite interesting and our assignment was based on the things we learned. We worked with the course book ‘Economic Analysis in Health Care’ and I found it very helpful to have the advice for reading certain chapters before the next lecture to be prepared.


I really appreciated my whole stay in Sweden, Stockholm and at KI! I met a lot of awesome people from all over the world and got an idea of the swedish winter. I used the lightroom to relax and get some light and really felt happier afterwards (Maybe also because its the perfect place to chat with others) KI was a good experience for me, the lectures were interesting and writing so many assignments improved my language and writing skills, which I'm grateful for. All people in Sweden and especially at KI were so open-minded and nice and it was so easy to communicate in English. That made my time very pleasant. I'm really looking forward for our self-organized re-meeting with some friends.
I liked the evironment in the university and outside, the only thing is that even the cafeteria lunch is so expensive (compared to Germany) that I always brought my own lunch. I know that this is quite common in Sweden, but maybe there could be a special offer or a low-price menu in case you don't have time to cook yourself some days.
As I said, I felt welcome by using the pick-up service at the beginning and integrated into the social life by participating in some activities from the student union, global friends and also those very delicious meals in the beginning of every course. A perfect opportunity to get to know your teachers :-)

Thanks for all your support, making my stay as wonderful as it was!

Language and Culture

I did two language courses before my stay. Unfortunately, there was no course offered in the beginning for students who were not beginners. We were told not to apply for the course in case we have already done a language course. It was a pity that I didn't apply because of that because it would have been a perfect opportunity to meet my new colleagues! Please, offer also advanced courses the next time!

Studies in general

The study environment at KI has a higher standard than at my university. I booked the group rooms several times to meet with my groups for writing assignments. We used the beamer there to correct our paper together and the whiteboards to do brainstorming. The only thing I have to mention here: If rooms are booked and confirmed, but no ones in there, there should be a regulation that others can use the room then.

The contact between my teachers or supervisors was quite good most of the time with one or two exeptions. In general I felt that the contact is closer but that comes also from calling everyone by his first name. But all responded very quick and friendly to my emails and were open for questions during courses.

I didn’t figure out how to use the printing system only with my free copies (which was very nice to have them) so I  had to create an account for paying and so on, which was a bit difficult. I think it would be easier to pay at lyktan (especially for short-time staying students) to get more copies.

I also missed the schedules in advance of the semester. It would be much easier especially because we were a quite international course, to have all schedules for one semester at least two weeks before the start of the semester to be able to book our flights early enough!!!