Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn and spring semester 2014/2015
Name: Timo Engbarth
Email address:

Arrival and registration

The arrival arrangements were excellent. Especially the pickup service, managed by Global Friends was extremly helpful in the beginning. As I arrived a couple of weeks before the official introduction, I called the student health centre early an d got an apppointment for my MRSA test before the introduction week, that made things a lot more smoothy. The introduction week was a good way to make new friends here in Sweden. As I felt pretty well informed before, it was more of a socialising and administrative thing for me. I didn't take part in the offered language course though, because my skills were already on an advanced level. KI only offered a beginners course, which I thought was a bit sad. 


I knew from before that the housing situation in Stockholm is quite hard. So I applied for accomodation via KI Housing which was pretty easy and no problem at all. The standard was okay and the costs if you compere them to the rest of Stockholm were also quite good. 

Leisure time and social activities

Well it would take a while to list all the social activities I took part in, but Global Friends events are a good way to meet new people and to discover Stockholm and its surroundings. I took part in MF-events and events organized and managed by my class as well. But my main leisure time I spent with my international friends who I met in my student dorm. 
Holmenkollen, skidarena strax utanför Oslo


Since the beginning of my university studies I wanted to go abroad, because I didn't manage to do so after my highschool graduation. As part of my extra curricular courses in my hometown I chose to pick Swedish as a foreign language. After a few semesters I realized that my university has a partnership programme with KI. My faculty back in Heidelberg has pretty set rules for an Erasmus application, so I was well informed about all rules and regulations concerning my exchange, Iguess every university/country has its own methods to deal with those. As we have an international coordinator as well, everything was well organized from the beginning. After I got my letter of acceptance from KI, i got an information package and some useful links as well. i didn't have to bring any extra certificates, except a negative MRSA test which I did upon my arrival in Sweden. 

Courses during the exchange period

D8XX01 : Clinical Medicine - Surgery
I did my surgery course in swedish at the Stockholm Southern General Hospital (Södersjukhuset). The course was one of the best I ever had during my studies. All People were nice and the supervisors knew our names after only a few days. One of the best rotations was of course KUA, where you run and manage an entire othopaedic surgery ward as team consisting of medical, nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students. Another great module was anesthesiology, where you were taught to intubate and kkep a free airway by yourself. All in all you could assist in surgeries quite a lot an even manage to take own patients in the ER and on the ward.
D9XX01 : Clinical Medicine - Neuro, Senses and Psyche
This was actually the first course i took here in Stockholm, as well in swedish. During this course I rotated a lot through Stockholms different hospitals. I started with ENT at Karolinska Huddinge, which was a very good start in my Erasmus-year, everybody was nice and Patient, we did a lot of practical training and took own patients. Same for ophthalmology at St.Eriks Eyehospital which was my second module. My third one was neurology at Karolinska Solna, where i got a broad insight in the whole neuro-field including neurosurgery. I had placements on the stroke unit and the neuro ER, as well as in the outpatient, which was the best part of the course, because we got time to take care and diagnose our patients on our own and then present them to our group and the supervising doctor afterwards. i never diagnosed a patient with ALS before. My last Rotation was psychiatry at St. Görans Hospital which was also a very good course where I learned a lot.
ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
My programme in Germany requires a few months of extra practical training, as our studies have a strong Focus on theory and research. so I applied (pretty late) an got a spot at the upper-GI surgery department at Karolinksa Huddinge. The first two weeks I was mainly in the OR and assisted in complicated liver or pancreas surgeries. I also took part in multiprofessional tumor conferences during that time. during my last two weeks I was placed on the intermediate care unit of the department. where I saw lot of different types of post-op complications, like pain, liver failure, fluid/electrolyte derailments or infections. It was a perfect combination of surgery and anesthesiology.
svk:2 2015 : Svk
This one was a 2-week student selected course at the end of my surgery semester. It wasn't mandatory for exchange students but I'm glad i took it anyways. I learned a lot from different types of advanced suturing (including with the help of a microscope), treatment of burnvictims and reconstruction after for example tumor surgery.


I would definitely recommend to everyone to go abroad to study for while! Karolinska is a great choice!

Language and Culture

As I said before I didn't do the KI offered courses, because the advanced coureses weren't funded.
I had already organized an advanced course for the begining of august via Folkuniversitetet which was excellent but expensive. Moreover I took part in the advanced course by Language@KI organized by MF. 
17 mai tåg

Studies in general

Studying here in Sweden is very different to what I was used to from Germany. There's actually almost no hierarchy at all, which was really pleasant. I was always welcomed by both supervisors and patients and always felt that my opinions were important. Even though the theoretical and research input was much lower than at university, i really liked the focus on practical training. Moreover you're much more responsible for your own education an what you actually learn. In Germany every course or module is precisely regulated with almost no space for independent learning. So I guess what I learned most, is how to become more independent in all fields of the medical profession.