Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Eastern Finland
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn and spring semester 2013/2014

Arrival and registration

I had already been in Stockholm for several times and had my father helping me with the move so I managed to find the apartment and get the keys on my own.
The introduction days were divided into two days in the autumn semester. They included general information about Sweden and KI, a tour at the campus, the MRSA test etc. You also received the contact information of the student health centre and you were shown where they were localised. Over all, very informative days, full of practical information. And at the same time you got to meet other exchange students.


I applied for housing through KI housing and was lucky to get a room in the autumn semester. It was a room with a bathroom but I shared the kitchen with other students at my corridor. The building was located in Västra Skogen, Solna which was really close to Karolinska Institutet and sjukhus (the hospital) in Solna and a tunnelbana ride (or two) from other hospitals near the centrum of Stockholm. I was really pleased with this accommodation. I had to leave my apartment in December  because I didn't know whether I was going to get a course for the spring season or not. When I received the news of my spring course, I asked my friend whether she could help we with an accommodation.  So for spring season I arranged for private housing. I lived with a Swedish girl which improved my everyday Swedish a lot. But getting an accommodation in the private markets is usually quite expensive in Stockholm.

Leisure time and social activities

In the autumn semester I didn't attend the social events organised by KI. I attended events I found e.g. on Facebook and made friends at those events. Most of the new people I met were other international students. I thought it was easy to hang out with them because they could relate to my situation. 

In the spring semester I got to know Swedish people more. My Swedish roommate became a good friend of mine. 

"KI friends" is an organisation of KI students and they organise different kinds of events: a welcoming party at KI, trips around Stockholm and other hangouts (including movie nights, a trip to the amusement park etc.) There were also parties and a student pub every Friday at MF's club house at KI.


I chose to go on an exchange because I thought I needed a change of the scenery. I had already studied for four years in Finland and thought that I needed to see what Sweden had to offer. I wanted to improve my Swedish (I had only studied Swedish at school and it was years ago.) I chose KI because I knew I could thrust the Swedish level of education and that it wasn't completely different from the Finnish education system. I also had visited Stockholm many times and thought it was a beautiful city with lots of things to do and see. 
Most of the information regarding my exhange I got by emails or on KI's website. I also had an information day at my home university before the exchange. With more personal/spesific questions it was easy to contact the coordinators at KI (or at my home university). I also got an information letter from KI (with the invitation letter) before the start of my exchange. 
I wasn't required to be vaccinated because I already had the required vaccinations. But I did go for a MRSA screening/test at KI on my first introduction day.

Courses during the exchange period

D10X01 : Clinical medicine-emphasis on reproduction and development
I had my gynecological/obstetric part of the course "Clinical medicine-emphasis on reproduction and development" at Danderyd's hospital. On the first day we had an introduction lesson and on the first week had classes every day. After the first week we only had lessons on Fridays, the other days consisted of clinical practise and group works. Every Thursday we had a seminary with a spesific topic. It was useful that we had had most of the basic lessons before the clinical part of the course started. That way you were able to apply your theoretical knowledge into practise. The clinical practise was divided into three different topics. The "childbirt" days included day and night shifts with midwives, one day with an obstetrician and one day doing ultrasounds with a doctor/nurse. They were quite intensive days, specially with the night shifts. But you got a first hand experience. The second part of the clinical course was hold at Women's health care centre. It included policlinis with gynecologists and midwifes, doctor's appointments at primary health care and spending time at ER. Here you got to do quite a lot: ultrasounds, take different tests, examine and interview patients. The third part included work at the gynecological department. You took part in rounds, wrote disharge papers, followed doctors at their receptions etc. All in all it was a course full of practice. I had my pediatric part of the course at Södersjukhuset. This course was divided into approximately 6 different weeks. The first week was again full of lessions. And the lessons continued after the first week every Friday. On Thursday afternoons we talked about theoretical cases in groups. The other weeks included two weeks at the pediatric department where you were able to take part in the doctor's rounds, examine patients and discharge them. One week at primary health care and one week at special health care where you followed a doctor's appointment. One week at the ER of children. And one week was devoted to pediatric surgery where you took part in operations, spent time at the ER and in the afternoons you had theoretical cases. The course was quite hectic and it was really important that you took the course seriously from the beginning. Over all I liked the whole course a lot. It was full of clinical practise. The groups of students consisted only of 4-5 people so the teaching was quite individual and you were able to ask a lot of questions. The theoretical cases were educational and you got to hear different ideas when you went through the cases in groups. There was a pre test after the one week of lessons in both parts of the course. The pre test tested how ready you were for the course. The final exam was at the end of the course. It included a practical and a theoretical part. The practical part included an examination of a child and 5-6 practical gynecological/obstetric cases. The theoretical part was a written exam including questions about pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics.
D2XX01 : The healthy human 2
I got the course "the healthy human 2" for spring season because KI had no other course to offer me and I was determined to stay in Stockholm the whole academic year to learn (medical) Swedish. It was a pre clinics course which meant that it consisted mostly of lessons and group works. But it also included histological practises (a.k.a. working with microscopes), dissections, a few days at a health centre, clinical examinations of the other students etc. The course was divided into three parts: "Blood, immune system, skin, cirkulation, controlling the temperature and breathing", "Urinary tract, body fluids, endocrine system and reproduction" and "A human body in movement". It also included lessons about ethics and studies. The lessons were well organised and improved my Swedish a lot, specially my basic medical Swedish. And I really liked the ethic lessons. The course had some exams in the middle of the course which was a good thing because you had a lot to learn (although I had had a similar course already in Finland - but approximately 4 years ago). The exams recapped what you already had learned. And at the end of the course (and during the course) it was nice to realise how much I actually remembered about physiology etc. But I also got some "heureka" -moments when I realised something new.


Generally speaking my exchange period at KI was a positive experience. I was really pleased with the quality of the education. All the personal was friendly and helpful. My Swedish improved a lot - I was able to work in Swedish during the following summer. I made new friends which I still meet quite regularly.  And last but not least - Stockholm is a really beautiful city full of stuff to do and experience. 

Language and Culture

I participated in a Swedish language course organised by the students at KI. It was quite a basic course and mostly a social event for me. But it made my Swedish even more fluent. 

Studies in general

The Swedish study enviroment was really open. The professors attended to group projects and sent "good luck" messages before the exams. The students were always able to contact the personal via email. The teachers and doctors seemed genuinely caring and wanted you to understand what was happening. The patient understood that they were in a teaching hospital and treated the students as soon-to-be doctors. It was important for the patients that the student told them how the examination would go and when the doctor would join them. 
The theoretic education was often optional; you could attend the classes or study on your own. The classes were very informative and contained the most important parts of the topics. The teachers explained things by telling examples,  writing or drawing on the wall. They also had example patients or cases with them. It made the theory feel more concrete. Most group works were compulsory. Some of the group works were hold by foreign PhD students and sometimes I found it a bit difficult to all of the sudden change from Swedish to English, specially if I had prepared the homework in Swedish.
The clinal education included meeting patients, attending to clinical rounds, following a doctor at the hospital/health centre and overall taking part to the health care system. It was on your own responsibility to take part in the clinical education; you had to know where and when you were supposed to be. And sometimes it was a bit difficult to understand the schedule. But luckily it was easy to contact the personal or ask help from the other students. Often we didn't have any list of attendance. I wasn't used to this because at my home university we have to get a signature from the doctor that we've been there during the practice.