Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2014/2015

Arrival and registration

On the introduction day I got contact to a lot of the other students and we were welcomed with a KI- school bag which was very usefull during my studies.
We had interesting lectures abaut intercultural experiences and where to go if we struggle physically or mentally during our stay (which I did not need).
It was a long waiting in the queue for the KI student card, and the administrative system is a bit complicated. But they do not push you to get your card a the first days (what I did not know) and the staff at the information point helps out with every step of registration.


KI housing offers accomodation to exchange students and as soon as I got my letter of acceptance I applied for a room. I chose Strix, a student dorm in Solna from where I could reach the Northern campus within 15 minutes by bus in the morning. In my opinion we paid a lot of money for sparse furnished rooms. The bed did not provide good health to my back so I decided as some others to get an extra madress. The money is around 1000 Swedish crowns MORE than not KI students have to pay for the same unfurnished room in this house monthly. The organisation and hygiene in the common kitchen ( i.e. keep an eye on others and check cleaning) was a lot of work but we managed to introduce our own system in the corridor.
I was very unsatisfied with the stripes of tissues called "curtain" in our rooms since there is a lot of light in the night from the parking place and in August (and summer) sun goes up in the night and I could not sleep well even more. On the other hand the lights in the room are very weak, although there is almost no sunlight in Sweden in the winter time. Since noone is allowed to leave bought stuff for the next tenant or make permanent changes, I would like to get some better equipment on things related to healthy sleep and some better control and organisation of hygiene in the kitchen.
But, since there is no other way to get accomodation without a lot of stress in Stockholm, I was happy to get offered accomodation.

Leisure time and social activities

Since the courses a very small, everyone has the same schedule and there is a lot of group worked it was not hard to become good friends with some Swedish students. Sometimes the student union organized a international dinner and I considered the Swedish course as a social activity. Beside this I was doing some trips on my own but there are also Erasmus organisations or student organizations offering friday pubs and other activities. During my project time there was some "Glögg drinking" and christmas party or chrismas dinner. At this time we have been on the chirstmas marked or iceskating several times.


I decided for Sweden because I like the Scandinavian countries and the open minded society of Sweden. Stockholm has a lot of intercultural influence and I felt realy well and warmly welcomed as foreigner (without speaking any word of Swedish). I went on exchange in order to improve my skills in English and I heard that Swedish people speak it perfectly and do not hesitate to communicate with me in this suitable way, immediatly.
KI is considered as on of the best medical universities and therefore they have a big focus also on my field of studies, the Biomedicine. A lot of leading research is done there in order to improve health in the future.
The university gets a lot of money and as a student I benefited also from the investments. Infrastrucutre, atmosphere, well feeling enviroment,support and advising are wonderful.
The information about what to do and what will come to me on the exchange is beautifully described on the KI webpages.
After admission I got emails and letters about how to find accomodation etc.
Before admission some things were not clear to me, e.g. if I need, as stated on the webpage, language certificates. This was decided by the coordinators and I learned in Sweden that I can just asked all my questions if I'm not sure and will get fast answers, even if I don't not the people yet. Not every indiviudal issue can be pre-answered on a page but I really propose to look for the responsible of the page or any study-related person/coordinator and you'll get help and answers.

Courses during the exchange period

IEE073 : BACH-Biomedical project for exchange students
I had to find a supervisor before my arrival. I did not know yet that I can write everyone in Sweden easily and there is not a lot experience requested. So I looked for some groups that sound interesting and was happy to find a place. At KI then a lot of people ask for interest in some project. So there is absolutely no problem to find a project supervisor. Just look for a group leader and ask. In my work in developmental neurobiology I had to work several times in the night and a lot of weekend time was occupied. Weeks of 50+ lab hours were normal too me. It was a short time yes and results are nice when you get them but on the other hand it was a Erasmus exchange and I thought to have more time for experience beside university (I already worked a lot at home before going to KI). For example in language courses or cultural trips. But I had to much work to realyenjoy that beside.
1BI012 : BACH-Molecular medicine
ERROR: BACH- Molecular Oncology(Not molecular medicine) The course was a mix of lectures, seminares, problem based learning and practical courses in the lab. The requested knowledge in my course was not very high and nothing was graded than the final exam. For this we could learn with old exams and I orientated on "best solution" answers from a student from last year. Anyway, compared with my university nearly all students would have failed or had a grade not to be proud of. Here in Sweden they told me this is quite normal and considered at least "okay performance". This was kind of shock for me because I studied hard and did as requested in former years. But many questions are not right /wrong questions but more like "be creative" or "write your opinion". That was new to me and maybe I would know better what my teachers want if I knew them longer.


I recommand everyone to do a study abroad. I heard this to often before my departure but it's true. If this will be your first experience of living in an intercultural environment and far away from home take the chance and enjoy your horizon getting bigger.

Language and Culture

I did not have to learn Swedish but I did , just for fun. I absolutely never needed it for anything at university.
In the beginning a free intensiv course (3-4 days) was offered for exchange students and I liked this one. The student union offered another course for free (Language at KI) and we had a very good teacher (another student) and I learned a lot.

Studies in general

I liked the study environment a lot. At home we have many different modules and noone cares about what else the student has to do beside the rest. At KI the study was scheduled completely. The same for every person of the small (30 persons) class. So not a lot of free time for private studies but everything fitted together and the people in the practical courses knew what was done in the lecture etc.
If there was some timing overlapp issue the responsibles worked out together what is the best for the students.
The commnunication between students and teachers is very informal, more like collegues or friends and I liked that a lot.