Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Universidad de Chile
Study programme: Physiotherapy
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2012/2013
Name: Myriam Deborah Gutiérrez Villegas
Email address:

Arrival and registration

My home country is more than 18 hours away from here. In fact, I traveled a 21 hours trip by plane. It was very easy since I just had one stop at Paris. On January 14th I arrived at Stockholm, I took the airport coach bus Flygbussarna with my online ticket bought a week earlier (I loved online system), and headed to Cityterminalen, where a girl was waiting for pick me up! We went for a fika –my new cultural word and then to my department. Since she had already picked-up my department key, it was very easy for me, I think I really would have lost in the Tunnelbanna!

My first day at KI was on January 17th for my MRSA screening at the Health Centre and on January 18th went for the Introduction Day, both days by using all the information given in my Students Guide and from a Swedish friend. All arrival arrangements, people in contact with students were very friendly and polite, and fika was everywhere! Definetly the best impression of KI just for starting. I also loved buses and tunnelbana! So punctual. Global friends and Medicinska Föreningen made my stay more comfortable and fun, meeting many students from all above the globe, having dinner after dinner with students and teachers was unique. The only thing I missed is that I didn´t meet my Global Friend contact because of her exam but she was in contact with me by email.

Trinity college


I made housing arrangements through the University Accomodation Center (UAC), now Karolinska Institutet Housing AB just on time. They offered me a very comfortable room in a corridor with a private bathroom and a common kitchen. Affordable price, wide furnitured clean room, really a good place for studying. Our corridor kitchen was very well organized in the cleaning duties, my neighbours in general were very friendly, optimistic and inclusive, was fun to get to know them and their dishes at the kitchen!!

Never had a problem in the corridor. Internet connection may be the only thing I didn´t have for the first 2 weeks, so this was stressful for communicating with my family. Tragicomically, my computer plug adapter wasn´t compatible with the wall socket, so no computer and no internet. As soon as I asked a colombian girl at the building where could I buy a plug adapter,  I started using Tunnelbanna and fixed my pc. And thanks to the remarkable help given by KI International Coordinator I could acces to KI card before introduction week so I talked with my family by internet from the library.

I missed a gym!!!

Vanlig syn i Dublin

Leisure time and social activities

So many  social activities, I think I missed many, specially from friends I met during KI Introduction week, but I enjoyed having dinner with GF and MF students, SG and AT teachers, going out with Erasmus boys and girls, my neighbours, my pick-up friend, and all the pasta/pizza/shopping/fruits/sports/chocolate/cake/juice/fika I shared with so many people in this journey! Specially with my really really good friend from Stockholm... AA I can´t say her name =) but she´s the best! Miss you already!
Uppladdning inför St Paddy's Day


At my home university there are 5 clinical rotations: intensive & respiratory care, primary health, traumatologic & orthopaedic rehabilitation, neurorehabilitation and one elective rotation. For neurorehabilitation I had chosen exchange at KI. In the end of last year many classmates had the chance to go for exchange internships to Barcelona, and applied during the end of April. As them, I was very interested in learning to use different evidence-based approaches and definetly wanted to try something really different from Chilean health context. So, although it was economically hard to access to KI (there are no more scholarships for applying to Sweden) I felt I had to take this amazing chance for exchange.

As a good Chilean, I did not realise I was out of deadline date to apply for a clinical rotation at KI during October 2012 with the rest of my classmates, but afortunately KI International Coordinator informed me that there were vacancies for a clinical rotation during January – March 2013, so on June 5th of 2012 I was glad to submit my application form and send all my papers. Lucky me, on September 2012 I finally got my acceptance letter. On that day I immediately applied for accomodation at SSSB, accepting my offer of accomodation on November 2012. That same week my parents bought my air tickets and I paid for my insurance. Started to feel already so excited, so I had few preventive medical check-ups (specially for MRSA screening) and lucky me I did not need to be vaccinated.

Int he same line, exchange information by my home university was not exactly opportune, there is few posters around the corner, but a PT teacher who went for exchange to KI many years ago did the conctact with KI International Coordinator timely enough for passing me the responsability of getting more study abroad information, wich was taken from KI website (very complete!), mails by KI International Coordinator, online forums, a Swedish friend who came to my country for exchange and the Welcome package. I consider myself quite organized so KI help was very convenient. Later on, I started to get in contact with my clinical supervisors, and I was very glad to read a letter in Spanish! I started to relax a little bit, because I saw pictures of the hospital where I was going to be everyday and asked my supervisor many questions related to the clinical rotation and studies, so I had an answer for everything I needed.

Wicklow mountains - Underskön natur precis som jag föreställde mig Irland

Courses during the exchange period

1EE020 : Literature review
I didn´t really made it... I´m sorry!!! What was I thinking when I took this course? It was really crazy to give myself in both courses, as soon as I had some free time I tried travelling around... But I did research for this review, I just never sent to my guide teacher the draft I wrote because I never modified it. By the time I got home I started classes so fast that I didn´t have enough time to finish it.
1EE016 : Clinical rotation 2.1 for exchange students - physiotherapy
Although it was really hard in the begining to adapt to doing things with a teacher by my side all the time, I learned a lot about Swedish equal health system, how to solve things in a simple and efficient mood, and I had a great time experiencing a more technical and instrumental clinical assessment. My PT supervisors were very considered in giving me space.
Snart dags att assistera Professor Stassen


Summing-up, the encourage of a teacher and the optimistic efforts of my family made possible this opportunity of meeting the advanced Swedish health developed  neurorehabilitation programs and the funiest. So the journey was real, and it was full of expectancies, thinking a lot about how would daily life be while being far away from home, family, friends, boyfriend, judokas... !

I want to come back to KI,  miss already the friends I made, feel already I want to stay longer... I definetly have to come back, for sure for a Master (in a couple of years).
En av skrivningssalarna..skiljer sig lite från KI

Language and Culture

I learned some Swedish before I came and during my stay!! I got a dictionary from my friends´s dad, and some YouTube tutorials were my teachers. But no, I didn´t participate in any Swedish language courses. Not that I didn´t want to, but because my exchange was just for 2 monthsI didn´t have the change to get the free KI lessons. Anyway I loved the accent!
Folksamlingen utanför vårt college då Barack Obama var där för att hålla tal

Studies in general

Swedish study environment is pretty well organised and modest. Sjykgimnast school and library was really good environment for studying and doing sports, I missed training Judo, but I enjoyed the free Gym with my KI card

The relationship between my supervisor and me was good, horizontal, they both were very dedicated.

I enjoyed the relationship between me and patients, although some of them didn´t understand English or couldn´t get my explanations because of their condition.

Relationship between theory and clinical education is evident, there are lots of evidence-based methods used in here, but I missed more theoretical explanations from inside the clinical rotation program. In this aspect there is big difference with neurorehabilitation rotation in Universidad de Chile, definetly shoud be improved.

I learned more about solving problems with technology and instrumental assessment, and to get on time with the schedule!
Dublin Dental School and Hospital