Exchange report - incoming students
Jag är på tur med Tromsdalstind i bakgrunden.
Home university: Christian Medical College, Vellore
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2015/2016
Name: Vedavati Bandyopadhyay
Email address:

Arrival and registration

Arrival at KI

Since the length of the Exchange programme was cut short from 12 weeks to 4 weeks only, I did not have any formal Introduction day. Arrival arrangements seemed fine as I was picked up from Stockholm Arlanda Airport by the Student Pickup Service representative.

Student Health Centre

Initially, there was slight misunderstanding on my part due to which I failed to contact the Student Health Centre upon arrival. But, the issues were sorted out when Ms. Helene Jansson, the Administrative Secretary of the Upper GI Division contacted the necessary authorities on behalf of me and arranged for MRSA screening to be done.
En av de första kvällarna var det norrsken.



I absolutely fell in love with the housing facility at Pax (Emmylundsvagen, Solna) which I had applied through the University Accommmodation Center. Though it was expensive but the experience was worth it!
A plush single occupancy apartment with a spectacular view of cherry blossoms just outside and a forest path leading to Lake Malaren. Marvellous! The standard of the housing was high class, with very professionally maintained common areas like kitchen and laundry and an environment -friendly Recycling Room.

Leisure time and social activities

I did not take part in any social activities as the time was too short and I rather preferred to travel around than to hang out in a cozy little corner.
Jag och Micke på Kjerringöy. I bakgrunden Strandåtind.


Choosing to go for Exchange Programme

I chose to go for an exchange programme hoping to learn world class techniques from this programme which are usually not taught to the undergraduates in the Indian Medical Curriculum. At the same time I wished to learn to approach the patients in more novel ways which would have been more relevant to whichever set up I work in future-be it a multi-speciality tertiary care centre or in a mission hospital in a remote village. I also wanted to broaden my mindscape more than the myopic vision I had about my profession. I wanted to use this opportunity to learn how to work more methodically, and to remove the shortcomings I have. Overall, I hopeed to break through the barriers of caste, creed, gender, race, colour, religion, language, culture, community and country to serve God in His healing ministry for the betterment of humanity itself irrespective of any time and place.

Choosing KI

I chose KI to know what makes an institute worthy enough to assemble a board for deciding who gets the Nobel Prize in Physiology each year.

Information Given in The Package

Information provided in the package was quite comprehensive and sufficient.


No vaccination was required. But I was recommended to have an MRSA screening done from our home university, which due to some misunderstanding  from my part I hadn't  got done.

Så här vackert minns jag att Tromsö var sist jag var här.

Courses during the exchange period

ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
It was a marvellous course at Upper GI Surgery Division in Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge. No formal examination was conducted,. Though we were probably constantly passively scrutinized on our conduct, interest in the course, response to questions and skills mastered. The doctors taught us about the various protocols. On the first week we attended IMA ward which is a unique set-up here while we awaited the MRSA results. For the next three weeks we were allowed inside the Operating Theatre and even allowed to assist. In freetime we were given full access to the skills lab where we practised surgical sutures, knots and IV lines until we mastered them. Overall it was a unique experience and I learnt much beyond what I expected. I even learnt a bit of Anaesthesia by shadowing the anaesthetist.
Jag sitter i mitt bås på kliniken



I would like to recommend Karolinska Institutet to all my friends. There is no question about meeting my expectations as the experience was completely different from what I expected. The sheer expanse of the institute, the efficiency with which the system functioned, the mutual respect between the doctor and the other members of the healthcare team simply overwhelmed me. I learnt so much more, not only academically but also socially. In the end I have only one thing to say, that, I am ever grateful to God for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity to be in Karolinska Institutet and be a part of the healthcare team for 4 weeks. Tak!
Hoppkort på Renöya lite utanför Tromsö. Dit åkte vi med skolan efter bara tre veckor.

Language and Culture


Language and communication barrier is the major issue we faced there. I chose the option 'Course in English' from the website. Little did I know that, it would have no relevance once I land up in the hospital. Since, Swedish is the preferredmedium the doctors chose to speak in Swedish for the ease of communication during the surgery which worked very well for the team but not for an exchange student who haven't got a clue about what is being said! Of course the doctors would try and give a gist in English later on, but still it alienates the exchange student somewhat to be standing there ignorant and being of little use to the team (even when she has scrubbed in for assisting!) Anyway, I learnt a bit of Swedish(Medical Swedish to be specific!) with a little effort. But, I would be really grateful if future English -speaking exchange students are informed that they required to have a knowledge of basic Swedish to apply for the exchange programme. Then the learning would be more fruitful.
Jag i mitten tillsammans med mina klasskompisar Kari och Annelin på 17 maj

Studies in general


The time that I selected for the exchange programme was unfortunately the examination time for the Swedish students. So, I could just catch a glimpse of them here and there but never got the opportunity to interact with them much. I rather met some long -term exchange students doing internship with the department. But, from whatever I came to know from the Professors is that, clinical application is given more importance than dry didactic lectures.And, the onus of learning is on self. That is quite similar to what we enjoy in our home university.
I really appreciate the fact that everyone interacts in Swedish but I think being such a reputed institute, if KI adopted English as the official language for at least medical documentation purpose, the results would have been more globally accepted.
And, I would have really appreciated the fact  if I would have been informed that though I specifically chose a 'Course in English', a basic knowledge of 'Medical Swedish' was absolutely necessary to survive in the hospital. (since the entire medical education is in Swedish, contrary to my expectations that at least the medical terms would be in English)
Vi sitter i solen utanför Tannbygget. Den här eftermiddagen är det grillning tillsammans med de andra kurserna