Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Toronto
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2012/2013
Name: Anne Marie Pawlik
Email address:

Arrival and registration

I had a global friends student pick me up from central station in Stockholm and this was really helpful. He picked up my keys and showed me to my room, and also answered any initial questions I had about living in Stockholm. 


KI sent an email several months before departure about applying for accommodation through UAC so I did this right away, and it was no problem to get a room. I stayed on a student floor in Strix and the accommodation was clean and nice, and it was good to share a kitchen with other exchange students. It was also close to the subway station and the university so this was very convenient. 

Leisure time and social activities

Global friends organized tours of tourist attractions in the city and this was a good way to get to know the city and also meet other students. They also organized dinners and regularly sent out emails about social activities so this was nice to be informed have options of things to do. Also, there was almost always something to do since many of the exchange students lived nearby in Pax or Strix, however, I did not make many Swedish friends. 


I wanted to go on exchange to be able to live in a different country and experience a new culture. I've never been to Scandinavia and although Sweden is in some ways similar to Canada, it is also very different. I decided to go to Karolinska Institutet because it had a program similar to my program at home with which I can transfer credits, and it is a well reputed medical and research institute and I could learn a lot during my time there. 

Courses during the exchange period

IEE051 : BACH-Biomedical project for exchange students
I did my research project in the physiology and pharmacology department and there were many opportunities to learn. The lab group was very welcoming and helped me in learning new protocols and how to do research and there were also open lab meetings and journal article discussions in which I
1BI012 : BACH-Molecular medicine
The material was interesting and most of it was well organized. The teachers and supervisors were very helpful and there was enough time for independent study. This course was relevant to my studies back home because it combined many topics from previous courses in my degree to a practical setting.
1BI011 : BACH-Molecular oncology and biostatistics
The course had several different components; the lectures, a lab, group study, and patient interviews. Although some of the patient interviews were in Swedish, it was interesting to be able to hear about the clinical aspect of cancer from patients undergoing treatment or some who were already treated. We also did a small tour of the oncology ward in the hospital and the labs were relevant to the material, and it was good to learn more than just the theoretical aspect of cancer. The bio statistics component was scattered throughout the course and at times it was confusing, but the lecturer was helpful.


I'm really happy with my study abroad year at Karolinska Institutet and I couldn't have asked for a better year. Karolinska Institutet is a good place to study and Stockholm is a great city. There is always something to see or do and I hope to return there someday. 

Language and Culture

 I participated in an intensive Swedish learning course offered by KI through SFI. There were three full days of class upon arrival and then one class a week for seven weeks. It was good to learn some basic phrases and numbers but it would have been good to continue the class. The groups were separated by native language so I was able to meet other students from English speaking countries. 

Studies in general

I did a semester of courses and a semester of research and I was very happy with both. The material we learnt in courses was interesting and well presented. Unlike at home where most of the lecturers are professors, most of the lecturers for both courses were clinicians so they were enthusiastic about their topic and linked theory to practical use. This gives studying more purpose and it was also interesting to have classes at the hospital. The lecturers were also approachable for any questions and class size was small. I did two courses, both of which were two months.