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

Arrival and registration

KI's pick-up service made my arrival as smooth as possible. Although I arrived late at night, I was picked up at T-Centralen and I was given a SL card for the subway as well. I believe I would have had difficulties to find to my student accomodation at PAX without help on my first day.


I was living on one of the international corridors provided by KI housing. This is how I made lots of new friends from all over the world. I have never been living in such an international environment where I could make friends with students from every continent before. Furthermore, I didn't expect to find a room in Stockholm that easy. I only had to upload my personal data and my learning agreement on the website of KI housing and then I was given a room 10 minutes away from central Stockholm. I can only recommend living in PAX or another student accomodation in order to snap up the ERASMUS spirit.

Leisure time and social activities

KI offers an extensive pool of opportunities for its exchange students. Global friends organize for example ghost walks, kayak tours or trips to the archipelago or to Tallinn. You only need to sign up as fast as possible since spots are limited and in demand.


All the experience reports about medicine at KI I read were more or less alike: clinical studies in Stockholm are much more practical compared to clinical studies at my home university in Germany. Since this sounds a bit corny, here are some examples. During my surgery semester at Södersjukhuset on Södermalm every student had to do at least one night shift at the emergency department. I did two in order to see more during the night. This is why I could make stidges at a patient who injured himself due to suicidial intentions. Put simply, at night the doctors at the emergency department had more time to explain and let me do more things than during day time. Furthermore, I was placed at an orthopedics ward run by students for two weeks. Nursing students, physiotherapy students and medical students had the responsibility to take care about a usual ward. This is something we can merely do during the first years of our residency in Germany.
I visted Stockholm already a few years before I had to decide for my ERASMUS destination. Apart from obvious pulling factors such as Stockholm's attractiveness and beauty, I always wanted to live in a northern country where the sun almost never sets and you have access to free wi-fi in every café. I got most of the information I need for my stay in Stockholm through the experience reports from other medical students of my home university. Besides, the reports of KI's global ambassadors are extremely valuable to get to know more about student life at KI. I didn't need further vaccinations apart from the usual onces that were demanded in German hospitals. I only had to do a MRSA screening before I was allowed to enter a Swedish ward.

Courses during the exchange period

D8XX01 : Clinical Medicine - Surgery
AAI took
D9XX01 : Clinical Medicine - Neuro, Senses and Psyche
What I liked most about this course is the opportunity to meet as many patients as possible. Compared to my studies in Germany, the theoretical inputs I got in the lectures in Stockholm was lower whereas the partical skills I aquired outweighed this disadvantage for me. In psychiatry, a doctor was released from work for one afternoon just to meet one patient together with me. I never got such an extensive feedback on how I can improve my anamnesis with a psychiatric patient.


I would always do it again. I only regret that it is alraedy over but I am sure I will come back to Stockholm and that I made friends for my lifetime.

Language and Culture

I took all my courses in Swedish and I would absolutely recommend this. I already started learning Swedish three years prior to my exchange but I believe I learnt most of what I know today during a two-weeks extensive language course at folksuniversitetet in Stockholm. Doing all courses in Swedish, I could read and understand the comments in the comupter system and I could write them myself. Moreover, patients prefer to talk to a doctor in their mother tongue. Along with 2 other students from my home university, I was the only exchange student in my surgery course. This is how I got to know some Swedish students which would have been rather tough in an international course. Apart from this, I still had the international community in my student accomodation.

Studies in general

I did two semesters at KI. First, I did the neurology, psychiatry, ophthalmology and othorhinolaryngology course. All modules were really practical and well organized. I was extremly fascinated by the outpatient care run by students. For example in neurology I met a patient who agreed to be treated by a student for one hour. In this time I did an anamnesis and a clinical examination. After this, the senior physician and other medical students came to my room and I had to present the case to them. This is something I never did before during my entire studies in Germany. Moreover, I met the same number of students in my 2-weeks othorhinolaryngology course as in my 10-weeks course of internal medicine in Germany. In my second semester i did the surgery course at Södersjukhuset. Every student was obliged to do a nevus operation. What is more, on the first day in the hospital pictures were taken of every student. On the second day, the pictures were distributed to all the wards and outpatient departments in the hospital and our course coordinators recognized us immediately when we met them in the hospital. This was also a striking difference to my previous experiences in Germany where more than 100 students sit in the same lectures together and no one of the physicians knew my name even on the last day.
In general, I rotated through every surgical department in group of 4 or 5. This is how we got private instructions most of the time.