Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Malta
Study programme: Physiotherapy
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2010/2011

Arrival and registration

The arrival arrangements were appropriate and everything ran smoothly with regards to my MRSA screening at the student health centre. I was unfortunately unable to attend the Introduction Day as I arrived in Stockholm a couple of days after it took place, however the international co-ordinator at KI organised a very informative orientation meeting for myself and the other Physiotherapy students.


I applied for housing through the University Accommodation Centre (UAC) and stayed at Pax 3. Accommodation is known to be difficult to find in Stockholm, however these arrangements proved to be affordable, practical and well-suited to my needs. Aesthetically-speaking, my first impressions of the residence were not the best, but I soon warmed up to the place, largely due to the cosy and amicable atmosphere created by my corridor-mates and others lodging in the building. 

Leisure time and social activities

Life in Stockholm was fantastic as there were heaps of activities to engage in such as outdoor ice-skating, live music concerts, football and ice-hockey matches, canoeing, nightclub parties and a huge gala celebration of the 200th anniversary of KI. The people at Global Friends organised a number of fun activities which were ideal for making new friends and experiencing typical Swedish culture. 

Coming from a small island like Malta and being brought up in such a sheltered environment made the thought of living alone in a foreign country pretty daunting. However, upon taking up the challenge, I soon discovered the many perks of being independent and the consequent self-development which I would not have attained otherwise. The fact that my accommodation was a University residence made it easy to meet and integrate with students from all around the world, so while I got to learn about the Swedish lifestyle from an insider’s perspective, I also gained insight on an array of global cultures. In that convivial environment, my friends became my family away from home and the many intercultural dinners, parties, trips and adventures we shared paved the way for life-long friendships.

In addition, I got to visit friends in Finland and Denmark, and grasped the opportunity to perform at a number of gigs in Sweden & Finland, as well as meet international stars. Thus my experience there helped me grow personally, professionally and artistically.


Practically every student at the University of Malta has heard about international exchanges and the unparalleled experience they provide one with. In fact, I had my heart set on participating in an exchange program at KI ever since we were presented with the opportunity early on in our Physiotherapy course. My reasons for choosing KI ranged from my knowledge of it being a top medical and health care University renowned for awarding the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine annually, to recommendations from past students in terms of the quality of education available and the overall experience of living in Stockholm.

Little information was provided with regards to the exchange by my home university, but the KI website and the KI staff handling the exchange were very informative and covered almost all of the aspects involved.

Upon arrival in Stockholm and prior to the commencement of my clinical placements, I was required to undergo an MRSA screening test.

Courses during the exchange period

1EE017 : Clinical rotation 1 for exchange students - physiotherapy
Orthopaedics & Sports Rehab (Outpatients) - Karolinska Hospital, Huddinge
1EE018 : Clinical rotation 2 for exchange students - physiotherapy
Activa Rehab - Private Musculoskeletal Clinic
1EE019 : Clinical rotation 3 for exchange students - physiotherapy
Acute Spinal Cord Injury Rehab - Karolinska Hospital, Solna


Despite all the hype that surrounded the prospect of an exchange, little did I know what an incredibly enriching and enjoyable experience it would turn out to be. I’m extremely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience and would recommend it to anyone!

Language and Culture

I participated in the Swedish language course arranged by KI during my exchange. It was great to learn the basics of the Swedish language, but the 2.5hr lessons may have been too long and unappealing after a day working in hospital, also taking into consideration the traveling time involved and the activities one would have to miss out on in order to attend these lessons. In addition, the lessons were not as stimulating as one may have wished. I eventually learned quite a bit of Swedish by listening to and speaking with patients and supervisors, and the language lessons which I attended did in fact come in handy at times.

Studies in general

I was enrolled in clinical placements at hospitals and a private clinic through KI. Swedish education is student-centred and I grew fond of the informality between students and supervisors as it encouraged better communication and greatly enhanced my confidence in my practical abilities. The amount of trust which existed between students and supervisors, and the response from the patients I dealt with, together with their treatment results, were a huge boost to my morale.

Throughout my clinical rotations, I was given the opportunity to work as a physiotherapist while being given enough time for research, so as to maintain a focus on evidence-based practice. Thus I learned how to apply my theoretical knowledge in order to provide optimal care for patients and help them to achieve maximal treatment results.

The sole aspect of my academic experience at KI which could possibly be improved is the amount of communication between the home and host universities so as to enable better understanding of the expectations and targets to be achieved during the placements.