Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg
Study programme: Public Health Sciences (Master's)
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2016/2017
Name: Lisa Arnold
Email address:

Arrival and registration

It is very nice that KI offers a Pick-up Service. It means that someone will be your Pick-up person, who is a student at KI most often (I guess) and in my case I also got information about how to buy a ticket for the Flygbussarna (the bus that takes you from the airport to the city centre in Stockholm) etc.

The introduction days and also the 3 days laguage course, that we were offered, were  good possibilities to get in contact with both exchange students and other KI students. Also guided tours and some 'Information lectures' were helpful but in general you will learn everything you need to know during your first weeks anyway.


I applied for KI Housing and was very happy that I got an affordable accomodation because that was one of my major concerns since I am used to the accomodation situation/problems in Hamburg. 
I had my own room and my own bathroom, which were quite ok. The shared kitchen is for about 12 People and to be honest that is how it looked like- but it is feasible. I had some problems with broken stuff and also with the repair of it. I was a bit dissapointed about the social cooperation on my floor because I expected it to be a bit more about sociable meeting for example eating together etc.. In the end I just kept inviting my friends, who were living in the dorm as on other floors, for some cozy evenings. In general I would recommend not expecting too much from living in the dorms but I still think it is the best solution for exchange students. But still some more positive things: near by the dorm that I lived in (Pax) is a very beautiful path along the water where jogging or biking or walking is very recommendable. And also the way to KI is very short and I loved to go by bike to university :)

Leisure time and social activities

The organisations Global Friends and Medicinska Föreningen (MF) organise a lot of different activities. Among other things I took part in a trip to Riga, a laser tag game and dinner on a cruise. Sometimes you need to be a member of the student organisation MF to be able to take part or to get a cheaper price. They also organise a lot of different parties and pub crawls which are very nice as well and there is another organisation from Stockholm university that has some nice events. So there are a lot of possibilities to socialize and there is no time to be bored ;)
My Impression was also that the Swedes are amazingly friendly and helpful and hospitable. One of my swedish classmates for example, organised two bikes that another exchange student and me got for free from her friends, and they even brought us the bikes from outside the city. I also got to know a swedish woman- who I am happy to be able to call a friend know- who was incredibly helpful with any problems that all of us international students had. But not only the swedish students and teachers were helpful, also busdrivers and shop assistants were most often very happy to help (and of course they are all able to speak english ;)).


In my home university we have this map where you can see all the partner universities and from day one I wanted to go on an exchange. My wish was always to go to sweden because first I have never been there before even though it is so close and second sweden is considered to be a very modern country with a well developed education system and also a lot of beautiful nature. Of course the high status of Karolinska Institutet was one of the major reasons to choose Sweden-Stockholm as my destination. KI offers three different master programmes in english for Public Health students  and even though I was a bit scared of taking a masters course, I was able to join the programme and I was never considered to be different than other master students. KI and also my home university provided all the information I needed (accomodation, Pick-up service etc.) and there was also always someone answering my questions both at KI and at my home university.

Courses during the exchange period

3GB000 : GH-Global Health
It was an introduction course and it tried to cover a lot of different topics. I felt a little bit confused after the course because we learned so many different things but didn't deepen any topics except biostatics and epidemiology which was also the next course. I think that the course is very important but five weeks is definetely too long because this time would be better to have in some other courses, that deepened certain specific topics. Still we got a lot of necessary overviews for the next courses and so the courses built a very good basis. I really liked the group work that we were asked to work on during the whole course. I was working on 'Antibiotic Resistance' and got a very good understanding of this topic due to the intensive group work. The examination was fair in every course.
3GB014 : GH-Health Policy, Management and Economics
To be honest this course was a dissappointment for me. It is supposed to cover three very important and broad topics in only three weeks - and that is not feasible. We focused a lot on policy and neglected management and economics. Nevertheless the course could have been good in just focusing on health policy but the teaching was mainly disappointing as well. I still learned a lot due to good recommendations of literature and some lectures from external teachers, who had a lot of knowledge and teaching skills. The course also contained a role play with different political actors. This role play was one of the best things in the course and I really appreciate that it was included in the course.
3GB016 : GH-Infectious Diseases - a challenge to global health: Clinical, social and preventive aspects (GH)
We covered a lot of different diseases in this course and sometimes it was very clincial and therefore it bit harder for people without a medical backgorund. That is the only negative thing that I can say about this course because apart from that it was very interesting, most of the teachers were very skilled and able to present the diseases in a global health context. We were also asked to design a poster about different diseases, which taught about this disease and also about how to design a scientific poster.
3GB001 : GH-Research Methodology
This course was splitted into three parts - Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Qualitative Methodology. I had some basics in Epidemiology and Biostatistics but it deepened my knowledge a lot and made things clearer that I have actually learned before. This was due to a very good teacher. Qualitative Methods were rather new for me but I really liked the practical things that we were asked to do for this part (writing an interview guide and conducting the interview etc.).


I loved my time in Sweden and I am more than happy that I made the decision to do it. I got to know so many interesting people and made friends for - hopefully - a lifetime. I have never experienced such a group dynamic like the one in my 'Global Health' class and I am still full of the enthusiasm that they gave me. I learned a lot about other cultures, improved my english skills (and learned pytelite swedish) and I was able to spend time in and aorund the amazing city Stockholm. I took a lot of knowledge home with me from the studies of course but even more from the interaction with amazing people.

And I learned about Fika and this will also be in my heart for the rest of my life! #kanelbullarforever

Language and Culture

I took part in an intensive language course during my first week in Stockholm. The course was three days long and of course you do not learn that much swedish in such a short time but it was still very useful and we had a lot of fun. It was not only about language but also about the swedish culture.
During the semester I also attended the KI language course. It is for free and the teachers are swedish KI students. They offer three different levels and you can choose at which day (from monday-thursdsay) you want to take the course. I really liked the idea and I enjoyed the first lessons a lot but then at some point they cancelled the lessons twice in a row and after this our teachers did not appear anymore which was quite sad. But I know that this did not happen in the other courses..

Studies in general

I chose the program 'Global Health' because of the mixture of different courses and I never regretted it, especially due to the wonderful and inspiring group of people.

The relationship between students and teachers is very open at KI. You are asked to be critical and your opinion is very important. You are always welcome to ask questions and especially the swedish teachers are very friendly and polite even if you say something completely wrong - so no worries there are no stupid questions ;)

I really like the way the program was organised because you have one course at a time and then you write the exam about this course. At my home university it is different. We have all the courses that we chose for the semester once a week, during the whole semester and in the end we write all the exams in a so called feared 'exam period'. We also had a lot of group discussions and group work. which was in general very helpful. Of course not all the lectures were good and not all the teachers were good teachers but some of them were the best teachers that I have ever had. Those teachers and the interaction with a lot of people from different parts of the world (about 35 people from about 22 different countries)  made it an incredible study time.

Another good point: We got FIKA at every first day in a new course.