Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn and spring semester 2013/2014
Name: Zsofia Bittner
Email address:

Arrival and registration

After my arrival to Skavsta, I took the bus to Stockholm, where at T-Centralen a KI student welcomed me and brought me to KI housing. Luckily she went to KI right after, so I joined her and could take a first look at the Solna campus. I felt quite lonely before the introduction week started where I met a lot of nice students and also got to know my corridor mates. The introduction week was really helpful, although a little shocking with all the new information and rules. I didn’t contact the student health centre during my exchange year.


Luckily I got a room in PAX 3 a couple of month after sending my application to KI housing.  The housing conditions, namely the room and bathroom were nice, clean and comfortable in size. The common kitchen, an essential place, as there doesn’t exist an affordable student cafeteria at this university, was kept clean by all floor members and the housekeeping supported us with common supply. The KI housing support and students care was great. At minor or sometimes major problems I could rely on them completely.

Leisure time and social activities

During my stay in PAX I made a lot of international friends from all over the wolrd. Luckily, I started with the courses and not the project, so I met a lot of swedish students and became really good friends with two of them. Most common was however, that students that came from the same country or same university stuck together. The student’s association group for all KI exchange students organized very nice programs. A tour to Skansen, playing laser-tag or bowling within an international group was amusing and helped making friends. It was also a good balance besides studying or being in the lab. They enabled me to do activities which otherwise would have been financially limited for me.


The bachelor program for molecular medicine in Tübingen demands two exchange semesters in a foreign country. I chose KI because of its reputation, and I always wanted to visit Sweden. I had to rely on the exchange information by KI, because my home university didn’t provide any. I didn’t need to bring certain certificates except my ID and health insurance card.

Courses during the exchange period

BIOX05 : BACH - Infection and Immunity
Infection and Immunity was really interesing and I enjoyed it a lot. The main focus was not on facts but on the function of the immune system and on the understanding of the cooperation between immune cells. The seminars gave an overview with the help of examples of what happenes in the body during an infection.
BIOX06 : BACH - Integrative Physiology
The best way of studying during this course was to pay attention during the lab days. They were really explanatory and one could reconstruct the function of the body by conducting the experiments. The discussions also helped a lot. The lectures were not as self-declarative as those in Infection and Immunily. Reading the course book was crucial for passing the exam, which had some quite surprising questions.
IEE073 : BACH-Biomedical project for exchange students
I really enjoyed my project in the field of immunology. I learned a lot about concentration, conducting difficult experiments, responsibility, drawing conclusion, being flexible, communication with colleagues and patience. I am now able to execute these kinds of experiments on my own and could do them also in a different lab. At the beginning it was really exhausting to keep in mind all the new informations and techniques but i got used to it and I know how much I benefit from this experience.


I think this year at KI was very important for my career  and shaped my view on studying biomedicine and working in research. At the beginnig I had to get used to some major lifestyle changes, such as every-day lunchbox preparing or living in a big city instead of a little university town. I met a lot of people and however I lived in Sweden, I got to know way more than one new cultures thank to my corridor mates from all over the world. The winter was really dark and sometimes depressing and I wish I had more ideas to do during that periode. I am really glad that I was a student at KI, this year had a vital part in my professional and personal growth.

Language and Culture

I attended a Swedish course for ten weeks at “Studie främjandet”. These lessons took place in a school at Odensplan and provided a basic Swedish knowledge. I learned to read confidently and to talk a little in every-day situations. I wanted to attend Swedish lessons from Swedish students at MF during the second semester, but I was so engaged with my project that I didn`t have the energy to study some more swedish.

Studies in general

I really enjoyed the Scandinavian way of teaching. It was more interactive, offering the students to think and work with newly obtained concepts, than I knew it from my German university. In Germany, there are several courses in paralel during the whole semester, not only one intensive course for weeks. These block courses enable to concentrate on only one topic at once and fully deepen it, however it is sometimes nice to have a little change. In Germany, I have never bought a course book, because we are able to borrow the books from the library for 30 days at least. Here in KI the books are available for only one day or a week, so buying them instead is really common. The relationship between student and teacher is more informal and complaining about the lecture is more common and not a big deal, it is rather welcome. The examinations differ from those in Germany, where multiple choice questions with a lof of facts have to be answered instead of essay questions, where explaining a process is more important. That’s why I found the exams quite difficult and exhausting but after attending the lectures feasible. The pressure to pass an exam is higher in Germany, as students are not allowed to repeat exams that many times. Also the grading system is different, in Germany there is no Fx, and the grades go from 1 (the best) to 5 (fail).