Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse occidentale
Study programme: Occupational Therapy
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2013/2014

Arrival and registration

An introduction day was organised by KI, but as I arrived in March, when the semester had already begun, a special meeting was organised with all the international coordinators. It was a very warm welcome, very pleasant to have. It was also useful because I had informations about the students card, the library, and also an introduction to the courses and clinical placement I had to follow. I had also at that moment the informations concerning the KI email adress and the swedish temporary ID. Basically, I think it was necessary to have those meetings. I went directly also in the library to make the KI card. The coordinator explained me where to go and what to do. I can advice to directly ask at the library to activate the card for printing, it's all that done for later. In addition, I had planned an appointment for the MRSA screening. I fixed it myself before coming in Sweden, and people there answered quickly and were flexible about dates and hours. It' could maybe be a good idea to not have all the appointment the same day (with all the coordinators + MRSA + going to the library to make the KI card), because it's a lot of informations at the same time, espacially if english is not your first language.

An introduction dinner was also organised for several international students. It was very nice, and it was a good opportunity to know other students. There were also some swedish students. I find that the idea to meet swedish students is very good, but according to my feeling they didn't really do a lot to help us. None of them took my contact or proposed things we could do, see, visit, etc. I excepected more about this opportunity.


I found an accomodation with KI housing. The main thing you have to be careful is to that your demand is automatically canceled if there is no accomodation free, and you're not inform of that. So two months before your arrival, time when you're censed to have an answer from KI housing, if you don't receive anything send an email to remind them that you're looking for an accomodation. It happened to me, and they were able to propose me something else. However, it was more expensive that the accomodations I applied for, and located more far from the center of Stockholm. But the room was very nice and quite big, and the building is finally not so far from Huddinge campus. It takes around 20-30 minutes. When you're looking for an accomodation, keep in mind in which campus you will study, and apply as quickly as possible to have more chance to find a room.

I have found also helpful to have a student from KI who came to meet me at the train station and help me finding the way and take the metro. I think also that it's good to directly buy the SL card and an train/bus/metro abonnment, and not just a single journey ticket.

Vy från lättillgängliga Bastillen

Leisure time and social activities

It is possible to engage in many sports activities with the university. For example, there is a gym nin the buildings, or salsa courses for free, etc. There is also a bar directy in the university (campus Solna) with good prices and possibility to have thematics discussions. Global friends is also an association who propose different activities for the exchange students. It's principally some visits of the town of surroundings, and this is a good way of meeting people and discovering Stockholm, principally because all international students are in the mail list.

To meet swedish student, you have to make more effort, but the MF bar is a good way.

More generally, Stockholm is a city with a lot of things to do and discover. There are many museums, you can walk, run, cycle, kayak in the town, to cruises or boat trips, going to concerts... The university gave me some discounts for certain museums.

Some parties are also sometimes organised with people of the same accomodation.

Finally, I think that to get some contacts you have to make some efforts at the beginning, but there is a lot of possibilities for motivated people.

However, as I had no courses in common with swedish students, it was quite complicated to make swedish friends. I met another OT student in placement, and I have kept contact with her!

Skidåkning i Le Deux Alpes


I wanted to go on exchange because it represented for me the opportunity to discover another health care system and another way of practicing occupational therapy. Linked to this, I wished to improve my understanding of the healthcare system of my home country and develop a better critical point of view. Coming to the Karolinska Institute was not really a choice, regarding the fact that my university has a partnership with KI and that it's the exchange proposed for the last year of the bachelor level. However, Sweden was a very attractive country for me, because I had the idea that the health care and social systems in the nordic countries are quite good.

Concerning the pre-departure exchanges and informations, it started with a little bit of trouble. I had fullfilled the online registration with one of my teacher, but when I contacted the international coordinator of KI I was apparently not registered. Hopefully it was just a misunderstanding and it was corrected quickly. The guide I received was very helpful, because it contained in a easy way all the informations about what we had to do before coming (applying for accomodation, MRSA, etc.). My home university just gave me a basic informations about the dates and which modules I had to do, with a few words about the contents of the course. I didn't have more detailed informations about the courses by KI before my arrival, what wasn't so problematic for me because I started by a clinical placement. Informations about the placement arrived quite late, but the coordinator gave me regularly some news, so I was informed of the advancement.

As I did a clinical placement, I had to do the MRSA screening at my arrival, but nothing else was necessary for me.

Courses during the exchange period

AT1X01 : Community and Home Based Rehabilitation - Cultural Perspectives
It was very interesting to meet people from other countries and other professions and to share about our experience. Concerning the content of the course, I realised that It was for me a lot of repetition of topics I had already seen in my cursus. I appreciated very much having different presentation from different foreign teachers about the home and community-based rehabilitation in their countries. It was good also to have workshop, but sometimes I felt like not having enough time to really do a good job. Some teachers were sometimes not very flexible when the subject was already known, and that had lead to some tensions in the class.
1EE083 : Clinical rotation for exchange students - Occupational Therapy
I appreciated very much my placements, the supervisors were very open and friendly, and we had a lot of discussion. I was however unable to practice really because of the language barrier and because a big part of the work is more about talking and giving advices. Because of that, it was good that the placements were not too long (2 and 3 weeks).
EAR004 : Analyses of literature from an occupational perspective
This wasn't the most good course, because I had to write my bachelor thesis at the same time. However, as the topic was free to choose, I could deepen my knowledges in a subject that I have a special interest on. The major difficulty was that it's not a long paper, so we need to fine a topic specific enough to not have too many pages.


This exchange was a very good experience for me. I think that now I'm more conscious of the strongeness and the weakness of my home health care system, and it will probably help me to have a practice more adjusted to my values. I will also probaly have more arms to argue for certain prestations and changes. It has also allowed me to take some distance with the rythme of work, and I will try to find a better balance when I will start working. I think finally that I will be more able to deal with people with different culture than mine.

Language and Culture

The course at KI were in English, which isn't my native language. The level was good for me, but it's a little bit more complicated to express and defend your point-of-view in another language. The supervisors at the placements were speaking English with me but Swedish with patients, what was quite complicated for me at the beginning. After a few days and with the context, it was possible for me to understand and guess a few things about the discussions, but I was unable to speak directly in Swedish. The university offer some swedish course, but they started when i was already in placement, what was finally not so useful.It was also very intenesive courses, twice a week and 2.30 hours each time. With the journey time, it took a lot of time. In addition, it was for me quite complicated to follow the teacher, as she started directly to speak in swedish. In addition I was in a very big class, so it was complicated to really participate.

Studies in general

The professionels I met during my clinical placements were very friendly and very open to discuss and show me things. I felt good very quickly in my both placements, and it was good to be able to discuss so easily. Supervisors took the time to explain things and translate. However, because of the language (swedish was spoken with patients), it was difficult for me to really practice. As the placements were short (three and two weeks), this was not too frustrating. I saw a lot of differences of practice between my placements in Sweden and those in Switzerland, concerning the relationship with the supervisors as well as the way of practicing occupational therapy. In a few words and very generally, in Switzerland I felt more under judgment by my supervisors, and OT are doing much more training than in Sweden, where it's more advices and talking.

I was in a small class during the course and with other international students, what was very excited and really good to discuss and discover more about several countries. Concerning the relationship with the teachers, I experimented generally that they were friendly with us and envious to discuss and share experience. Sometimes however, the discussion was complicated and it wasn't easy to give and receive feedbacks. The good thing about that is that we had an open discussion at the end to see what could be improved in both ways.

Concerning the teaching methods, we had to do a lot of workshop, much more than I was used to di in my home university. Generally I find good to have things to work on during the course, but sometimes I think that we hadn't enough time to do a really good job. I experimented also a new kind of assessment method in KI : students have to read the paper of another student and give some critics to help improving it. This is interesting, but it hadn't been well introduced and a lot of international sudents had some confusions about that.