Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
Study programme: Dentistry
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration

A student from the KI Welcome Crew met me at T-Centralen and assisted with luggage and directions to my accommodation. He advised me on things to see/do in and around my local area, and helped arrange a transport pass. This was a great service, especially when your flight arrives late into the night. 


I stayed at Pax, which is near Västra Skogen T-bana. The en-suite rooms were large and warm. I shared a floor with a mix of friendly students and researchers from all over the world. We were told that affordable student accommodation is difficult to organise in Stockholm, however the University Accommodation Centre were extremely helpful in placing us, and dealing with any queries/ problems during our stay. 

Leisure time and social activities

The Dental Students Society at KI is very active and hosted many events during our stay - memories of Herrmiddag, The Spring Dinner and Friday Pubs will stay with me for ages. The International Students Society also organised events that introduced us to Stockholm, Swedish Traditions and other local students. 'Global Friends' based on the Solna Campus also organised regular events, which we were invited to. 


Having studied in Australia and the United Kingdom, I have come to realise the value of an international perspective. Studying in different environments exposes you to different cultures, languages, technologies and therapies which you will encounter in your personal, and professional lives. It strengthens your communication skills, heightens cultural sensitivities, broadens your clinical reasoning, and helps you to develop an international network of friends and colleagues. I chose to apply for a 3 month clinical exchange programme at the Dental Institute at KI because I was interested in experiencing first hand, how emerging technologies eg. Omnicam and the latest evidence base were integrated into clinical teaching and chairside practice. For example, Dental Amalgam has been banned in Sweden for some time, however, it is still widely used as a direct restorative material in the UK. This exchange introduced me to alternative materials and techniques (direct and indirect) for restoring teeth, where amalgam would otherwise have been indicated in the UK. 

I was so impressed by the efficiency of the International Relations department at KI. My contact person was incredibly welcoming and helpful, which made the transition to Swedish life and learning so smooth.

Courses during the exchange period

ETL001 : Comprehensive Care - with subject specific courses
Vux (Adult Oral Health) is divided broadly into four areas: Dental Emergency, Endodontics, Prosthodontics, and General Restorative/ Periodontology. I worked in all areas except Dental Emergency. We were given the option of attending lectures, however my Swedish wasn't quite good enough, so instead I was allowed to book extra patients in for treatment. All of my patients spoke very good english. The clinical tutors were excellent - they were interested to hear about how we do things in London, and proud to teach and expose us to different techniques and materials. We also didn't have to do any of our own lab work!! Treatment planning in Prosthodontics is done very well, however the Yellow 'Passport' Forms used across VUX is cumbersome. I do however appreciate that once a treatment plan has been devised, tutors do not attempt to change the plan unless absolutely necessary.
ETL002 : Child and Adolescent Dentistry - Odontology
The Orthodontic and Paediatric Departments were very welcoming. Paediatrics is run smoothly and was initially organised so we worked in pairs to assist with the language barrier, which helped greatly. I had the opportunity to use Caries Dissolving Dyes, Computer Controlled Local Anaesthetic delivery systems, and Patient-operated handpieces. In London, we are only expected to be able to take an orthodontic history and examination. Whereas, at KI, we had the opportunity to fit orthodontic appliances.


If you have the opportunity to undertake an exchange in Sweden... Do it! And if it's at KI - even better! You wont have any regrets, and if you're like me, you might even miss the snow and early starts once you leave!

Language and Culture

We were given the option of joining a Swedish Language Course at the Vasa Real School. Registration was inexpensive and the teacher was engaging. 

Studies in general

The Dental Hospital at KI is akin to 'Dental Disneyland'! The facilities are modern and well maintained. Material selection is wide and students have experience in using resources that we at Barts only read about in dental magazines! 

The nurses are very friendly, and clinical tutors are exceptionally helpful! At the welcome day, we were told Sweden is an egalitarian society, and this was certainly evident on clinics - students and staff socialise together and refer to each other by their forenames. It took me a while to adjust to dropping the titles of 'Dr' and 'Professor', but in doing so, it created a more welcoming and non-threatening teaching environment. One difference that I noticed was that at Barts we are frequently quizzed about the case we are working on, eg. we would be asked about the composition of the dental materials we wanted to use, dental relevance of the medical history, and evidence base for the treatment(s) we propose.