Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Università Degli Studi di Firenze
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Spring semester 2016/2017

Arrival and registration

My internship started in March, so I didn't join the introduction day. I had been clearly informed that I was going to undergo a screening test for MRSA since I was supposed to stay in close contact with patients. The test was easy to book, quick, and of course I hadn't to pay any fee. Also, the nurse who performed it was really kind and helpful, and that was really good since she was one of the first people from Karolinska I've met. Later on, during my rotations, I've been asked several times if I had had my MRSA test.


I applied for housing through the Karolinska Housing AB website. I received a house offer about two months before my arrival, and I was very satisfied about that: I could contact somebody who takes care of the applications and offers process and I was able to tell her my needs and concerns. All the information in the website was really accurate, and I got the accomodation I actually applied for. It was quite expensive according to the italian standards, mostly because it was rather far from the city and the campuses/hospitals, but the rooms were very spatious and well fournished. 

Leisure time and social activities

I haven't taken part to many social programmes, I've just partecipated to several ESN (Erasmus Student Network) activities, and of course I've had a really good time. I've made one Swedish friend, and I've hanged out with him quite a lot, but I've spent most of the time with other Erasmus students. Anyway, I can tell there were lots of activities for students and young people in the city and also in the campuses, and those were perfect occasions for making new friends. I'm really satisfied about my social life in Sweden. 


I've always wanted to spend some time of my medical studies abroad, and the spring semester of the fifth year was the perfect one, since it was an internship semester. I knew that Karolinska Institutet is one of the best medical universities in the world, and a centre of excellence for research, so it was my first choice from the beginning. Also, my study programme at KI was going to be in English, the international language in the medical field. Both my university and KI helped us students to fix our application for the Erasmus programme, so it was an easy and not time-wasting procedure. When I was accepted to the Exchange at KI, it was also easy to follow the steps to complete my registration and to prepare for the departure. I was suggested to bring my vaccination certificates with me by my home university, but I've never needed any of them.

Courses during the exchange period

ELA005 : Internal Medicine 1
Gastroenterology Clinic: I didn't have a daily schedule and I've hardly ever met my supervisor. Anyway, the doctors I've spent my time with were very keen on helping me, answering my question and involving me in the clinical activities. I've learned a lot, also I've attended several seminaries/conferences which were taken in English only to let me understand. I was very thankful for that Neprhology Clinic: my supervisor made me an accurate but flexible daily schedule, and she used to meet me every day, even if I used to rotate among different sections of the department. We've also taken part to many lunch-time seminaries together, all in english. I've had the chance to actively partecipate to the clinical activities, mostly in the outpatients clinic. So I'm very satisfied about my two weeks there, not just because I've really learned a lot about Neprhology but also because of the nice atmosphere. I got a final assessment with my supervisor
ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
My rotation was made of: two weeks in Vascular surgery, one week in Urology, one week of Anesthesiology. I was assigned to one tutor for each week, and I've spent some part of the days in the ward and the rest of the day in the operation room. I've also attended the outpatients' clinic some days. I've had some time for studies and to prepare my case presentation, which was the examination I've performed the last week. I think the activities were well-programmed an well balanced, but I found it a bit difficult to get to scrub for the surgeries most of the time. I also understand that, since I didn't have any experience of the procedures, so it was fine anyway
2EE090 : Emergency Medicine
I've spent the entire rotation at the ER, that is made of different desks: Emergency desk, Internal medine, Surgery, Cardiology and Orthopedics. I've had the chance to join the doctors in all the different desks, so it was one of the most intense and profitable rotations in all my studies: that's also because I used to have a weekly seminar about different topics (abdominal pain, chest pain, loss of consciousness) with my supervisor. So at the end of the month I've felt like I had really improved my theoretical and practical skills as a doctor-to be. I've been taught to do lots of practical things as well. I was supposed to join the different shifts of the ER, and I've had the chance to join evening or night shifts. I've had a case presentation as final exam.
2EE044 : Clinical rotation Obstetrics and gynaecology
I've spent about half of the time in the Obstetric Department and half in the Gynaecology Department. Obstetric Dep: some days I was supposed to follow one of the midwifes in the Delivery ward, and they let me help them in every different activity: the delivery itself (I've always actively partecipated), the first care of the newborns, and all the assistance before and during the labour. I've spent the other days with the gynaecologists and I've taken part to several Caesarian sections (I've always scrubbed). I had a daily schedule and every day was really intense. Gynaecology Dep: I had a daily schedule as well. I've spent some days in the operation room (I've always scrubbed) and some days in the outpatient clinic. I've done a lot of things, always under a careful supervision.


I'm really satisfied about my exchange period at KI. Since I've spent most of the time in the hospital, I wish I had learned more Swedish before the start of my internship. Anyway, I've managed really well speaking English. 

Language and Culture

I've taken part to a BBI Swedish course, it was a 10-lessons class, every thursday 17,30-19. We all loved our teacher, and she was really good at finding the best ways to give us the basis of the language, through speaking, reading, listening and writing activities. She's started speaking English with us, but then she's gradually tried to switch to Swedish, and she encouraged us to make some conversation. I've learned quite a lot, and I've made a lot of good friends. Also, the BBI office used to arrange several lovely get-togethers, for example on Easter Holidays or for Midsummer. 

Studies in general

I've really liked the relationship between doctors (in my case they were my teachers) and us students: they've always been taking care of us, trying to involve us in the clinical matters, and explaining things. In my case, they also had the extra work of translating from swedish to english, and that has been a bit exhausting at some points. I've noticed how the swedish way of learning and teaching is really practice-based, and sometimes I've felt a bit the lack of the basical theorethical knowledge. But I've also seen how much us students from my country lack the clinical practice skills! So I think that both of us have something to improve. I've also learned a lot about the doctor-patient relashonship: I really appreciate the way the doctor speaks, "at the same level" of the patients, in a simple, direct but empathetic way. I hope I will save this kind of attitude in my future profession, because I think it'is a really good one. I've been asked questions lots of times, and I've learned to think about clinical matters mostly in these occasions.