Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2014/2015
Name: Immaculate Akullo
Email address:

Arrival and registration

We arrived as a group of three students and were promptly picked from the airport by a student representative who escorted up to our final destinations and ushered us into our rooms.

The introduction day was very good and we were introduced to all the relevant authorities and facilities. This made clinical work at the hospital smooth.


I applied for accommodation through KI housing and was given a single self contained room however, with a shared kitchen in Pax Emmylundsvagen one of the student hostels affiliated to the institute. The room I was living in was spacious and clean,  and of good standard . The environment was quiet too which is very unlikely in student hostels especially in my home country which is a good thing too.

Leisure time and social activities

I arrived during summer time where almost all students and some administrators were off for vacation hence I did not participate in any social activities at KI. However, I enjoyed a number of events in Sweden including trips to other cities, boat rides and the famous Midsummer Eve festival!


Karolinska Institutet is a world class University. It is one of the best medical medical universities in Europe and worldwide, it is also the best medical University in Sweden. In addition, Karolinska is renown for its intensive research in diverse medical fields. The prestigious Nobel Prize is also awarded at Karolinska Institutet! I wanted to experience this  and that is why I chose Karolinska Institutet out of the seven other collaborating universities. I also imagined Europe as a very organized as a very organised place with a rich history and a diverse culture and indeed I was not wrong as Sweden turned out to be one of the most organised places even in Europe itself.

The exchange information given by Karolinska and my home University is good but lacking since there is so much to Karolinska than what is said. More information should be given to students both by Karolinska and my home university since this acts as a tool for marketing an institution.

Indeed screening for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) was mandatory and this was done both at my home university and Karolinska Institutet . Yellow Fever vaccination was also a prerequisite and this was also required as an airport pass.

Courses during the exchange period

ELA005 : Internal Medicine 1
While at Sodersjukhuset Hospital I rotated on Haematology, Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Cardiology wards and all the supervisors were very resourceful. I attended ward rounds including rounds with the nurses, discussed different cases with the specialists and residents. While on the wards I was allowed to participate in the physical examination of the patients. I even attended and witnessed different investigations like bone marrow biopsy, Ultrasound of the heart, coronary angiography, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) among others. I was also able to attend out-patients' clinic , radiology and pathology conferences sometimes. I learnt professionalism, different medical cases and what an ideal health care system should be able to provide. All in all the supervision was excellent and very enriching however, the time was very short since I had only one week on each ward and yet there was so much to learn and get acquainted with! Language was also a limting again since I could not freely interact with the patients or follow them up on computer without teh help of a translator which in most cases was a taxing job for the supervisor and/or resident to attend to the patient and I concurrently. Translated patient information should be made available for exchange students.


All in all the experience in Sweden was thrilling,  enriching in both cultural diversity and clinical exposure,resourceful and worthwhile. I hope other exchange students enjoy their stay as much as I did!


Language and Culture

I did not participate in any Swedish language course since the time was too short( just one month) for me to do so.

Studies in general

The Swedish study environment was good but I was able to attend only the the clinical courses for a month where  I was allocated to a hospital and attended a number of ward activities. Unfortunately, I did not attend any theoretical course, neither did I interact with any students from Karolinska since they were all away for summer holidays therefore I cannot make a correct and detailed judgement about the relationship between theoretical and clinical education. Nevertheless, the experience was worthwhile as the student/ supervisor interaction was very professional and enriching. The student/ patient relationship was good since patients were very friendly and cooperative, however, language greatly limited the interaction since almost all patients spoke Svenska and not English which am more familiar with. The differences in the Swedish clinical set up and that of my home university are quite many in that the wards are less crowded, spacious, cleaner and there is better patient monitoring since a health worker has fewer patients to handle unlike the situation at home. The similarity is that in both locations professionalism is maintained. Generally, my clinical experience in Sweden was good since the Swedish are very hospitable and professional people, however, it is hard to clerk a patient or even follow them up since all the stored information is in Svenska therefore patient data should also be made available in English as well as Svenska to favor both visiting and native health workers respectively.