Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Monash University
Study programme: Nursing
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2012/2013

Arrival and registration

Prior to departure I was required to register as a KI exchange student online. A student ID was given and I was sent paperwork to accept the offered exchange position. KI offers a social student exchange club. They host meet and greets, activities (such as ice skating) to get people involved in student life and the Swedish culture. They were in contact offering the opportunity for a KI member to meet and assist me to my accommodation upon arrival in Sweden. 

A couple of days after arrival we had an orientation day with our Exchange Contact Person at Karolinska Institutet Huddinge campus. She showed us around the Institute, answered any questions we had, we then participated in a health screening for MRSA. The course Coordinator met us to answer further questions, completed paper work, received clinical appraisal tools and a starter pack with information about Sweden. We received a student card, which also gave access to the student library. Our contact person traveled with us to the hospitals and ward we would undertaking placement on and kindly introduced us to the Unit Manager. The Unit Manager gave a unit and hospital orientation, I was introduced to my preceptor and given my roster. 


I requested accommodation online for the duration of my stay in Stockholm through Karolinska Institute Housing (UAC) approximately 3-2 months prior to arrival. I was participating in the exchange with three other students from my University. We had the choice of shared accommodation (apartment) or individual accommodation with shared facilities. There was an apartment available in beautiful Sodermalm. We accepted this option. The accommodation was behind  Sodersjukhuset  (Jagargatan) and close to public transport, walking distance to supermarkets, shops, restaurants & Gamla Stan!

Prior to arrival we were given 2 pin codes. One to access the building and another to collect the apartment key from a pick up/drop off box. Individual mail boxes were supplied for each accommodation.

The accommodation through UAC was very affordable. The apartment we rented contained a kitchen (with cooking items, utensils) a bathroom, living area (with a sofa bed, table TV) and a compartment with a king single bed & wardrobe. We purchased our own towels and linen. The apartment was very cosy, comfortable and by chance had a beautiful view. 

Leisure time and social activities

Exchange students have supportive services from KI nursing faculty, the Student Health Services Unit, preceptors whilst on placement and the KI student exchange club.  


I chose to go one exchange because I'm extremely interested in learning about other cultures and countries health care models. I enjoy learning about the functionality and practices of other countries health care systems in comparison to the country I come from. I had read that Sweden and some of its hospitals are advanced in various medical research and practices. I wanted to gain an understanding and experience the nursing practices, protocols and skills utilised within the Swedish health care setting.

The exchange information and study abroad information gave a good understand of what to expect upon arrival in Sweden. In addition to information about KI and daily life in Sweden, I was advised I'd need to have an MRSA screening on campus before commencing placement. 

The university I attend in Australia has a policy that students must be vaccinated, have a valid Working With Childrens & Police Check prior to working in hospitals. I took this information with me just incase I was asked for it. 

Courses during the exchange period

1EE055 : Somatic Nursing
The placement I participated in at KI was extremely relevant to the Bachelor I was undertaking at home. It enabled me to implement existing nursing knowledge, theory and skills into practice whilst learning new ones. The environment in which this took place was supportive and encouraging.


In conclusion my exchange was a fantastic and exciting experience. I would have loved if the program went for a longer duration! It would have been great if the program was also offered over the Swedish summer in addition to the winter period. If given the opportunity, I would definitely do it again!  

Language and Culture

I didn't participate in the Swedish language course that was offered because the dates clashed with my roster. 

I speak basic conversational Swedish and didn’t find the language to be a great barrier. I tried to speak Swedish where possible. The majority of Swedish people speak English. Preceptors, staff and patients would explain things in English if I didn’t understand. I learnt some more of the language from my preceptors speaking Swedish to me. 

Studies in general

The exchange program I participated in was clinical practice. We did not undertake learning on campus at KI, although we had the option to borrow research materials. I undertook a Nursing Practice Placement at Sodersjukhuset. The duration of my placement was 6 weeks. Three weeks in the Emergency Department and 3 weeks on the Neurological/ Stroke ward.

I thoroughly enjoyed my placement on both of the wards/unit I worked on. My preceptors encouraged learning and the opportunity to integrate nursing knowledge and clinical skills into practice. I found it extremely interesting the similarities and differences between practice, operation, facilities and functionality of the units within the hospital compared to the country i'm from. From my observation, KI (and the hospital I undertook placement at) appears to encourage a holistic approach to healthcare where all multidisciplinary teams are encouraged to learn, work, communicate with one another to obtain the best patient outcomes and ensure continuity of care. 

Half way through my exchange, a representative meet me at my exchange hospital to discuss how I was going, if I had any questions about my placement.