Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Nursing
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Autumn semester 2009/2010
Name: Rita Kisenyi
Email address:

Arrival and registration

On arrival, in Stockholm, we were received by a Global friends student from KI, who was efficient in  helping us settle in, register with the appropriate university departments, the bank, the library and  the accommodation center as well as touring some parts of Stockholm.
The whole process was well organised. We interacted with students from different countries on the introduction day; and got to know a little bit about different cultures.
The student health service was efficient in taking our MRSA tests and giving us feedback.


I applied for housing via UAC. We were advised to carry extra beddings due to the cold. Coming from a country that is warm almost all the year round to a country that is far up in the cold North, I realised  in time that this was a very important detail, and I had the UAC to thank for that.
Living in a students' hostel enabled me to interact with students from different countries, and exchange ideas with them.
The standard of housing was good. 

Leisure time and social activities

I participated in different social programs like diners, parties, seminars, tours of different parts of Stockholm and movie nights. They were very well organised events and the directions to the venues were well communicated in time.
These events were a means to meeting other exchange students as well as other Swedish students.


My country, Uganda's health sector is limited in terms of both material and human resources. This pauses a challenge to the country's population, as health workers and patients have to either improvise or completely do without the necessary resources. Also, the health workers have to deal with the high patient load and the patients have to go through the ordeal of not receiving adequate and  ideal care from the health workers.The challenge extends to the education and research sectors, considering that  the knowledge acquired by young, upcoming health workers and researchers might not be converted to practice. I therefore chose to apply for exchange to Karolinska Institutet in-order to experience what it is like to work in a health environment with adequate and ppropriate resources and therefore have a picture of what our country can work towards achieving.

The information sent to me from KI about the details of the exchange program was very clear and on time. A contact person was available to give prompt response to any clarifications that we needed to make. The welcome package sent to me before arrival to KI contained comprehensive information about the nature of my visit to KI, duration and the different activities that I would be involved in.

Booking for accommodation facilities was easily carried out online through the University Accommodation Center.
The KI support services were efficient and ensured that exchange students fit in with each other and  the Swedish environment, both socially and academically.

Courses during the exchange period

SSKLITT01 : Literature Review
The Literature review course unit entailed reading and understanding research articles and textbooks about any subject of interest, then drawing my own conclusions from them and writing a paper in my own words. This helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the process of literature review in nursing research.
SSKPED01 : Child and adolescents health care - Clinical education
This course unit enlightened me more about childhood cancer, the treatment options and nursing management that are not available in my country,especially bone marrow transplantation. It also exposed me to the completely different situations of HIV/AIDS in Sweden and my country. Uganda has thousands of children suffering from the this pandemic while statistics reveal that not only are there only 120 children with HIV in Sweden but that the condition is well controlled;almost no children proceed to the AIDS stage due to the availability of Anti-Retro-viral therapy and adherence to it.
SSK003 : Emergency care - Clinical education
I learnt more about the triaging process and the nursing care given to patients with different conditions at first contact. Given the fact that it was during the cold winter, the commonest disease condition was flu and colds. Swine flu vaccination was available to health-workers working in the hospital to reduce the chances of cross infection to their patients. However the time allocated for this course unit seemed too short.
SSKX02 : Somatic nursing, surgery - Clinical education 1
This was a very interesting course unit. Surgical patients received the ideal care in the immediate, intermediate and long-term post operative wards. I had the chance to witness a surgical operation.I also learnt more about antibiotic use and resistance, as well as nursing procedures carried out on surgical patients.


Generally, the exchange program was well organised to the last detail. I felt welcome and did not find find it much of a hustle fitting in.I would like to extend my gratitude to the organisers and coordinators of this program for all their tremendous effort and a job well done, and for making this a worthwhile and memorable learning experience.

Language and Culture

I did not participate in the Swedish language course offered but I learnt some Swedish from my supervisors and some Swedish students.English is also the second language of most people in Sweden, so I did not face many language problems.

Studies in general

KI had a conducive enviroment for studying and sharing knowledge. This was made possible by the wide assortment of literature and the always ready and easily accessible internet services that made studying and research a more interesting and easier experience.
During our clinical internship each student was placed under the direct supervision of a clinical supervisor. My supervisors did in praiseworthy job in helping me become accustomed to the Swedish hospital working environment. They managed to keep an approachable, friendly yet professional working relationship with their students. From them I was able to learn, perfect and finally perform clinical skills independently.For this, I remain grateful to them.
Given that the students were under direct supervision of an experienced personnel, there was a trusting and respectful relationship between patients and the students.
Although there is usually a gap between theory and practice in most resource limited health-care systems, like that in my country,  at KI, the gap between theory and practice was bridged by the availability of adequate human and material resources, as well as a positive attitude and good teamwork among the different health-care professionals.
The Nursing process was also put into practice among all patients. This was especially favored by the almost appropriate nurse to patient ratio. The picture is quite different in my country, especially in the Government hospitals, where the nurse to patient ratio is very high, and the nursing process is thus usually impossible to be fully integrated into nursing practice 

However, as an exchange student, I would have liked to interact more with Swedish nursing students at formal level, and share ideas about our education systems and nursing practice.