Exchange report - incoming students
Fian Hussaini Thyg T4
Home university: Nanyang Technological University
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration

The international exchange coordinator has arranged for a friendly student ambassador to accompany us and guide us to our accommodation area on our day of arrival in Sweden.

There is an orientation program before the start of the school for international exchange students from Bachelor, Masters, and Doctoral courses. Introduction by the President of KI, the President of the student union, Medicinska Föreningen, and talks by various facility providers such as library and accommodation will be held during the week. The program list will be available on the first day of orientation. But basically nothing much for the orientation, other than the enthusiastic exchange students you will meet along the way.


Students can apply for accommodation in the host country right after submitting the application package. Accommodation is rented out by Karolinska Institutet Housing AB ( You may register for an account and submit an application for a housing first, but the softcopy of the acceptance letter has to be uploaded (in the website) before your application for the housing can be processed. An email with the accommodation offer will be sent out within 2-3 weeks of uploading the acceptance letter.


There are only two accommodations that students going to KI can apply for, Pax Emmylundsvägen 1-3 and Strix Armégatan 32. It is just a short walk of 5 minutes between these two accommodations. The pricing and size of these two accommodations are slightly differently. Other information regarding rent, room size, facilities etc can be found on the website.

Leisure time and social activities

Various activities are often organized by the student council group throughout the semester. Activities like sports, party celebration and also scientific conferences are held throughout the semester.

Apart from the activities, I have met various Swedish friends during the classes.


Karolinska Institutet is one of the leading medical university in Europe. Its student-centric undergraduate education and the heavy emphasis placed on biomedical research are what drew me to choose KI as my exchange university. The reason why I went for exchange is to experience what schools in other countries or cultures have to offer in terms of education, and also research. And I must say, I have not regretted at all.

The information found on the KI website is comprehensive, though slightly tough to navigate around. The package received from the school has also provided necessary information regarding the school, and living in Sweden. In addition, more information was released during the introduction week, thus there was not a problem with understanding or adapting to a new education system.

Prior vaccination isn't required, but a proof of health insurance is necessary for the application of VISA for prolonged stay in Sweden as a student.

Courses during the exchange period

1BI012 : BACH-Molecular medicine
Courses explains the states of various diseases such as obesity and pancreatic failure, and possible research avenues to address these issues.
1BI011 : BACH-Molecular oncology and biostatistics
Course explains the physiology of different cancer types, and treatment and research on them. A brief session on statistics is also included.


The overall impression of the exchange was fantastic. Swedish people are really helpful and friendly, especially the students in the classes that I took, and also the course coordinators. The course coordinators have never failed to accommodate to the needs to exchange students, and have helped with various administrative issues with diligence. The school compound is beautiful, though it might get a bit rough when the rain gets too heavy and during heavy snow. I would strongly recommend potential students to choose KI as the host university for their exchange.

Language and Culture

Swedish is a native language in Sweden, and it is the choice of language in their day-to-day communication. Do not be offended if your course mates tend to converse in Swedish as they are generally more comfortable speaking Swedish with their peers. English is their second language, which they learn during their primary education. Thus, most Swedish people are able to communicate in English. You will probably not run into any trouble not learning Swedish, since you will only be there for at most 5 months.

There will be a Swedish language course offered by KI for exchange students for free. It will take place during your first week there (3 sessions), and subsequently once per week for about 8 sessions. If you wish to continue with the language lessons, you can make private arrangement with the language instructor at a fee. It is not compulsory for you to attend the language course though.

Studies in general

An opportunity for exchange in a foreign country out of the comfort zone, no matter which country it is, is always a privilege for an undergraduate. KI was my choice of host university because of its student-oriented teaching and engagement in critical discussion as I heard from my friends who have been there before. The students from KI are definitely more outspoken than most students in NTU, as challenging questions are always raised through the seminars and lectures. Through the experience, I have learnt to speak up during the sessions, raising questions and answering questions.

On top of the lectures, laboratory sessions and seminars, the class was brought on trips around the hospital facilities (the lessons are mostly conducted in the hospital near the school) on one occasion. I actually had the chance to look at the magnificent equipment for a radiotherapy session and a brachytherapy performed on a patient. The experience offered by the department seeks to help us understand how biomedical research is assimilated into clinical and bedside practices. The department also held sessions for us to interact with current Ph.D. students, to help us understand the nature of the job and research done by the graduate students. These are truly eye-opening experiences that you may not get in Singapore.