Exchange report - incoming students
Jag och koalan Glenn i Cairns
Home university: Medizinische Universität Wien
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration

I was not able to join the introduction day, but my student coordinator was very quick to give me all informations about the arrangement for the MRSA screening, and made an appointment with me to complete the outstanding administrative work. I received diverse welcome presents, my student ID, my "personal number" for insurance issues, and probably other things, I don't remember anymore.

Coogee Beach


The housing situation in Stockholm is terrible.
Without UAC it would have been almost impossible to find something different than a hotel or a camping site. It is no secret, that Stockholm is an expensive city if you don't come from Scandinavia, and expensive was student housing in my impression. The Erasmus scholarship hardly covered my monthly rent.
I lived in Solna, a place at the border of the city, known for roundabouts, undercrossings, huge construction areas and probably plentiful wild rabbits. I am very happy, that I brought my bicycle, since bikingtracks to the city are really beautiful.
Anyway, I would have preferred living inside the city, what is possible in other european cities of comparable size.
Mitt hem

Leisure time and social activities

I did not participate in any of the social offers from KI.
Nevertheless, I met very nice people in my student house, at my work and while going out.
Jag matar kängurur i Cairns


After my first exchange programm in Germany I definitely wanted to gain more experiences abroad.
Since I'm in favour for northern countries and scandinavia is known for a efficient medical system with a adequate life-work balance I applied for Stockholm.
From the very beginning, I experienced the exchange programme at Karolinska institute as extremely well organised, but nevertheless, several bureaucratic barriers aggravated the application process:
Strict schedules, late announcements and no evidence of flexibility were needed to be overcome. Here I want to thank Magdalena Palmquist, who was overwhelmingly friendly, helpful and incredibly quick in answering emails throughout my whole application process and stay at Stockholm.
KI offered me sufficient information about all necessarities, city maps, vouchers for various activities, ... in Stockholm.

Jag på Seven Miles Beach i Booti Booti National Park

Courses during the exchange period

ELA002 : Neurology 1
vvDiplomathesis.+ supervision, invasive investigations, friendly people, - lots of administrative work, mostly stroke patients, small department, limited possibilities for exchange students
ELA004 : Paediatrics 1
+ supervision, introduction, seminars, "own" patients, big department, stimulating discussions
ELA001 : Dermatology and Venereology 1
+ surgery, supervision, incredibly friendly people, stimulating atmosphere, good department - no other students
Jag och en krokodilunge. Bild tagen i Cairns


At expected, my exchange programme was an invaluable and astonishing experience. I'm simply impressed by the swedish concept of work-life balance and other values, smooth hierarchies and friendly, openminded people.
For art- interested people Stockholm offers a few great galleries and museums, especially Artipelag (I was there 7 times during 3 months), Magasin 3, Bonnier's Konsthall and some more, which I really appreciated.
I would have appreciated to do my neurology rotation at a bigger neurology department (e.g. Huddinge), where I guess is a better infrastructure and bigger patient collective for neurology-interested medical students. Still I'm happy to have met all the great neurologists from SÖS, which were extremely friendly and always tried to show me interesting cases.

Redo för snorkling vid Stora Barriärrevet

Language and Culture

I did not attend any language course, but after a few weeks I understood approximitely 70% of what people have been talking. For german speaking people I advise to read a swedish book (e.g. Henning Mankell) before your stay, moreover the audiopodcast from, where you will find grammar lessons until level A3 and lots of vocabulary. Although most of the older (swedish) patients understood english, it was really existential at the hospital!
Jag och i bakgrunden Flinders Ranges

Studies in general

I worked three months at Södersjukhuset in three different specialities.
On my first day a senior physician guided me and three other international students two hours through the hospital, including a free lunch at the 8th floor with view over the whole city. This would have never happened at my home university! The relationship between students and supervisors is extremly friendly, hierarchies couldn't be smoother, and most surpisingly, most of the doctors I met seemed to be delighted by your simple presence. This was truely a unique expirience for me which will definitely positively affect my entire future behaviour as a doctor.
Two of the three months at SÖS I was the only student at departments which usually don't offer clinical rotations. From a medical point of view this certainly facilitated my study progress, nevertheless, here and there it would have been nice to meet other students, especially when your on an exchange.
I was allowed to execute smaller operations and invasive investigations under close (but friendly) supervision of a senior physician, examined "my own" patients, discussed treatment plans and often discussed the happenings of the day at the astonishing lunch-buffet with the whole team.

Middag med labbet