Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Addis Ababa University
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2015/2016
Name: Abraham Genetu Tiruneh
Email address:

Arrival and registration

 Before departure from Ethiopia, pick up service was arranged by KI students. I had one person assigned for me, with whom I was communicating with email. I had already rented a room in Pax on KI housing website. The person who picked me up at the Arlanda Airport was keen enough to collect the key to my room in advance.

After I landed in Stockholm, I met with him. We took the flygbussarna to T centralen. He gave me important information on how to proceed, we bought SIM card, SL travel card and I got one leaflet about Stockholm for visitors. These were all helpful.

I went to my accommodation, and everything was all set.


I was able to rent a room from KI housing on website. I chose Pax for my own reasons. The price generally is costly, compared to price in my country. Broadband Internet, common kitchen and laundry were provided. The room and environment was clean and comforting.

Leisure time and social activities

I was feeling lonely for two days after I landed in Sweden until I attended the ''introduction day'' events, and the evening welcome party by the Global Friends. It was at that time, I really felt I belong there. After that, many options for social activities were being arranged by MF and Global Friends, like coffee hour at KI, Social dance, tours, dinner parties, ... There information needed to attend these events was out there for everyone mainly on Facebook. It was at these times I was able to meet some Swedish friends.


Hej! I am Abraham. I was an exchange student from Addis Ababa University(AAU), Ethiopia in spring semester 2016. I always wanted to see practice of medicine in other medical schools than mine. If I were to choose, KI would have been one of top three on my list.

My home university has been sending two of its final year medical students to KI for exchange study for about three years now. The selection process is based on highest cumulative GPA scores from the batch. I had one of the best scores, for which I was given the opportunity to have clinical rotations in KI.

I was delighted to go to KI, for many reasons. To mention a few: curiosity to see disease pattern difference between Ethiopia(tropical country) and Scandinavia, to appreciate the health care system in Sweden, as it is one of the best in the world, to see the medical teaching in KI, one of the top ten medical schools in the world.

The KI website provides lots of information for exchange students, almost every thing I need. International coordinators at KI were also very helpful in every step of the process.

I was not asked to get vaccinated for anything. I got vaccinated for yellow fever and Hepatitis B thou, just in case.

Courses during the exchange period

2EE044 : Clinical rotation Obstetrics and gynaecology
In my clinical rotation in Obstetrics and Gyynaecology I had to classmates from across the world. The first three days were dedicated for introductory lectures. By the time I started the rotation, I already had three months attachment in the same department in home university, so everything was pretty much clear and lectures were below my level. But some friends didn't had such kind of attachment before, so the class was a bit mixed up. We had to choose a project topic to work on for the 8 weeks while having the clinical rotation in wards. I worked on ''Prevention of pre-eclampsia with Aspirin''. The project was mandatory to pass the course and we had to present at the end of the attachment. We were supervised by professors on how to proceed with it. We also had weekly seminars on selected topics at different hospitals. Generally, the whole stay was great. I noticed huge difference about focusing on theory vs practice between Sweden and my home university. We tend to dwell more on the theoretical aspects, while Swedish doctors tend to go for practical aspects. I was able to see some modern technologies, including Robotic Surgery which are not available in my country. In the wards, we were following doctors and midwives. We had opportunities to attend and assist in Caesarean Section and major gynecologic operations. There were also schedules for OPD visits in which we worked with senior physicians. Everything was scheduled and went as planned timely. Everyone was helpful in showing us everything we wanted to see. It was also a great opportunity to understand different practices from different countries. The downsides were, most ward activities are in Swedish and there were not good books in English. You can make available standard English text books like Williams Gyn and Obs, Current Gyn and Obs.
2EE082 : Clinical rotation, Orthopedic Surgery
I had four weeks clinical rotation in Orthopedic Surgery in Sodersjukhuset. I had three classmates, two from France and one from USA. We had weekly seminars and attachments in OR and ER. The course were good enough to give us good highlights on common orthopaedic conditions. In the ER we worked with Swedish interns and residents. It was good opportunity to see emergency orthopaedics and discuss about cases.The OR schedule was rather haphazard in that there was no assigned responsible person to show us and take us in to different operations. The exam was multiple choice, we had to work in two groups. It was fun, we were completely out of the feeling of being on ''exam''. That was very awesome. It was kind of competition between the two groups we created among us.


Honestly speaking, it was arranged very well. One thing I wanted to see was to have a Swedish student companion in the wards or classes, to get the maximum out of our stay. Usually the Swedish students have their own classes and ward activities, which made the international students strangers. If you could devise a system to pick volunteer Swedish students to guide international students, I believe there is nothing more to add. It was a perfect time, thank you.

Language and Culture

I am keen to learn new languages all the time. I took Swedish language classes for 10 weeks. The teaching learning process was well organised and supported by books and audio files. We were able to read and understand basic concept of any paragraph by the end of the ten weeks. It is true svenska may seem difficult language to learn for most people, especially at the beginning. I had friends who withdrew after few weeks, but trust me if sustain a little more, you will love it and be able to communicate with it in school, coffee shops, bus station... So, as to me, the language class is fun and clearly recommended!

Studies in general

I had clinical rotations in Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Orthopedic surgery in Karolinska University Sjukhuset and Sodesjukhuset respectively. The Swedish study environment was different from Ethiopian medical schools in many aspects. We had case discussions weekly, which provided us with enough time to get prepared, while still working in the hospitals. The environment is comforting, not as stressful as my home university. The relation between teacher and students is something I will never forget in my life. The hierarchy is totally breached, while the respect for each other is maintained. It is like an ideal school, where you can talk about anything with anyone, whether he is a professor or junior doctor or a nurse... Nobody calls anybody with their titles. It creates positive environment, where you want to learn and work, wait for next day to come! Fika is almost everywhere, it was clearly helpful with the coldness of the Swedish winter. I have witnessed that, compared to where I came from, there is not much focus on theoretical aspect, and there is use of investigations more than clinical armamentarium. I feel like there should be more focus on teaching students on history taking and physical examination a bit more.