Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Universiteit Leiden
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration

When we arrived in Stockholm we were picked up by a couple of KI students, this was extremely handy! They explained us how public transport worked and what the cheapest SL-card was. They brought us to our accomodation, so we had no change of getting lost. The information days at KI were good as well, we did get lost a couple of times on campus (even though we had maps), but you'll learn your way eventually. Everybody was very friendly and most Swedes speak perfectly English, so it was very easy to ask for directions. The seminars and lectures which were given were good most of the times and it was very nice to meet other foreign students. Global Friends were unfortunately not very active during the period I stayed at KI. They offered to couple me to a Swedish student, which was good, though not very necessary after three months in Sweden ;).


I applied for housing via UAC, due to some delays in Leiden I applied quite late. I ended up living in Jägargatan, which is a appartment building which just international students. It was a very nice place to live! You don't have your own bathroom (as in Strix and Pax), which causes you to often meet your corridormates. I spend so many evenings in the kitchen just having fun or cooking together. And one of the best things, there's a cleaner! So it doesn't get to messy :). I heard that the roofterrace has been opened again recently, so Jägar is a very nice place to stay! It is located on Södermalm and it takes about 45 min. up to an hour to get to KI Solna, KI Huddinge might be a bit closer. Södermalm is a great place to stay, lots of things going on there!

Leisure time and social activities

I made many friends in Sweden! Most of them I met via church, I found a very nice international (english speaking) church. They offered bible study once a week, but also organized  retreats or dinners together. With other friends we always had Sundaylunch and played nice games. There are many social activities organised as well on K by MF, like social dancing or volleyball. You can also follow courses like Ballet, Fencing, Pilates at studiefrämjandet. When you want to try other things, it is usefull if you can speak or read some Swedish, cause most courses are in Swedish. 


The University of Leiden and Karolinska Institutet have this agreement that 10 students are allowed to go on exchange in the third semester of their studies. (The first semester of the second year). I had always wanted to study abroad, and this was the oppertunity!! Since it was an exchange, many things were done for you in advance, housing was provided, all the forms you had to fill in were provided and a lot of information was provided by both universities in advance. Especially the study abroad-guide from KI was very usefull! Since the Netherlands and Sweden are both Schengen coutries, there was no need for a visa and I didn't had to be vaccinated either. 

Courses during the exchange period

BIOX05 : BACH - Infection and Immunity
Infrection and immunity was an okay course. The Immunology part was good, a bit chaotic from time to time, but the lectures and lecturers were good. The Infection part was not that good, since there was just a new coordinator it was really chaotic. Lectures were kind of mixed up. First we had the advanced lectures, followed by the basics. All dutch students passed the exam though, so no worries!
BIOX06 : BACH - Integrative Physiology
Physiology was a good course! I didn't really like the books they prescribed, but there are many books in the library, so I just used others. The course was very clear, it was very clear what was expected of you and what you had to and didn't have to do.


My stay at KI was great! I learned many things, ofcourse in university about Immunology and Physiology :), but also on how to study and how to live in another country. I made many friends in Jägargatan, KI and church with whom I still keep in touch. Studying abroad is a great experience, and I would definitely recommend Sweden as a place to go!

Language and Culture

I followed the beginners Swedish course by Studiefrämjandet. It was really really usefull! We had a great teacher and she told us much about Swedish culture as well. Swedish is quite like Dutch when you have some knowledge about the language. And doing to course greatly improved my knowledge, it was incredibly handy and I would advise everyone to do a course!! (If you can apply for a personsnumber you can also do free Swedish courses)

Studies in general

The Swedish study environment is quite different from the Dutch. You only have lectures, not as much seminars as in Holland. And you're expected to learn the facts, not the way things work. Especially in the beginning studying was challenging, but I learned how to study more on my own. So in the end, it was a good experience! The relationships between students and teachers are much more informal! When I send my prof in Holland an email, it is always like "Dear Sir Lakke," while in Sweden I wrote "Hello Jonas, " Sweden is in general more informal than The Netherlands. I liked it when I was there, though I had to pay attention when I got back, that I became more formal again.