Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Latvia
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn and spring semester 2016/2017
Name: Anna Belska
Email address:

Arrival and registration

I have been arrived one day before the Introduction weeks start. 

I had not been using special arrival arrangement option from KI to get to my dormitory place, unfortunately I was too late to apply for it! But it is a great option that I would highly recommend for every new student here, it helps to save a lot of time and also nerves! :)  From my experience I am remembering that time when I just have been arriving at T-Centralen and was quite confused where to go! 

My introduction week started with three intensive Swedish language course days, that was very useful and I have been learned a lot during them! Also it was my first chance to meet new people here! Our teacher was fantastic and I enjoyed every day of this amazing class and my new company! 

During the Swedish language course days I also had appointment to student Health center, where I had my MRSA test, all people there were so kind and highly professional!

After that, there were two introduction days and it was a great chance to see all international students and also meet people from different university services, organizations and KI chancellor! 
It was fantastic time with a very interesting program, fantastic people, presents, coffee and amazing food! :) 


For my leaving place in Stockholm I have been applied for dormitory place using KI Housing and have been chosen cheapest dormitory option, it was my criteria for it! But I was so lucky with the place I have got! It was fantastic place on the island  that calls Södermalm, that is located next to old city and city centre! It is so beautiful place, with big rocky hills and amazing water side! Here I have started to go for my runnings and sportings even every day, I really wanted to see all this beauty every morning! 

I am so happy and thankful that I had a chance to see this beautiful area during all seasons and  in so different colours!

About dormitory inside: I have got very small room, with a bed, table, chair and cupboard! All other rooms were shared: bathroom, kitchen, laundry room! But for me it was perfect, because I had my small, but very cosy private room! Also there was big common room, where we had a lot of events and celebrations! :)

Leisure time and social activities

My social life in Sweden and at KI was very active! I tried to participate as much as possible in KI events: seminars, lectures, conferences, sport activities, symposiums, workshops, dissertations and etc! There were so many of them all the time and completely for free! 

KI was offering also great events from KI career service, like different medical company mingles and great seminars about CV and abstract writing. They were very useful and great events, I have learned a lot there! 

Also I had a chance to take a part in Nobel lecture and see Nobel laureates! It was big event  all around the Stockholm during december!

Different KI student organisation was all the time offering very interesting events, like sport activities, city tours, parties, holiday celebration and etc! I still am excited about autumn marathon all around the KI campus in Solna! :)

Also there were great chance to participate in student research experiments and get free cinema tickets as a price for participation in it! I have been participated in a lot of them, because I am very interested in research and also I like cinema!  That’s also was the way how I got my research part at KI for my spring semester! I was very interested in one experiment and wrote email to main researcher, then we had a meeting and I have got a place in his department for three months for my next semester, that’s also was the way how I got a chance to prolong my staying here for spring semester, because previously I was planned to be here only for one semester, but I really wanted to stay here as long as possible and was thinking about it since my first arrival day here! That was my way to stay here longer and participate in great research about eating disorders, that I am very interested in!

I also have been becoming a member of students dancing group ‘Dragplastet’, because I love dancing so much! I was so happy that I had a chance to be there, we were also participated in a lot of KI events and celebration parties! It was amazing and I have enjoyed every rehearsal we had! 

Also I was trying to be integrated in Stockholm’s social life and have been participated in ‘March for the Science’ as a volunteer! It was big and great marching event all around Stockholm!

Also I really wanted to get a job starting from the first day I have just arrived here, but without Swedish personal number and fluent Swedish language it was very difficult! First of all I was searched for something connected with medicine, but I had not any chance to get any place without fluent Swedish language and any medical care diploma. Then I have been searched in a lot of other places, I was up for everything, but it was unsuccessful for a long time! I had not lost a hope and continued to search and one day on one event I had met a girl, she have been working as a city guide in company ‘Free Walking Tours Stockholm’ and I was becoming very interested in this position and tried to do my best to get place there! After one week I have got a place and was starting to lead my own tours! I enjoyed my job so much!!! What could be better, I was having a city guide’s position in city I love so much?!!! I have been leading different types of tours, like: ‘City tour’, ‘Food tour’, ‘Subway tour’! Oh, it was so amazing time to meet new people from all around the world and show them this beautiful city! :) I have done around 100 tours during my working time in Stockholm!

After I have got my job I started to think more about travelling all around the Sweden and made several trips: trip to Kiruna/Abisko, where I had a chance to realize my dream and see Northern Lights and Ice hotel! Also I have been visited other cities: Vadstena, Lund, Malmö, Gotlands! It was so fantastic time and wonderful places, so great memories!

And all the time I have met so many great people on my way, got a lot of new friends from all around the world! :)


When I first time came to Sweden I was a little girl and it was a ferry cruise with my family, from that time I was getting so much in love in this place and understood, that I need to find a way to come here back again and it became for my dream!

Then a lot of time was passed and I have started to study medicine at University of Latvia, where I have got information about Erasmus exchange program to Sweden! 

I was very interested to study especially at Karolinska Institutet, because I have heard and read a lot about it before and I knew that it is fantastic place not only to study, but also to meet a lot of great researchers, best specialists in the world and to see newest technologies! 

Then I have started to search for more information about this option at home page and found this home page very useful! Also I have been contacted KI international coordinator to get more information about it, she was so kind every time and answered to all my questions! I am so thankful to her about everything! Also I have been contacted previous semester Erasmus exchange students at KI from my university and asked them about their experience! I was very keen in getting place in this program!

Afterwards when I had to apply for Erasmus exchange program, I was completely sure what to choose, because I was interested only in one exchange option, that was Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and my dream was starting to become for my future plan! 

Courses during the exchange period

ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
I had General Surgery clinical rotation at KI hospital in Huddinge! Where I have been mostly worked in abdominal surgery department and had a chance to see a lot of great operations and also participate in them!
LÄK100 : Plastic surgery
I had a Plastic Surgery course at KI hospital in Solna! I have seen and participated in so many interesting operation there, there were different breast reconstruction, skull reconstructions because of malignancies and even transgender operations! All medical staff were so highly professional and I have learned a lot! It was so interesting and so great new experience! I would never had a chance to see something like this in my city at all!
ELA005 : Internal Medicine 1
I have had Internal Medicine clinical rotation in Söder hospital, that was next to my dormitory place! It was so fantastic to have studies there during winter time, because I had a chance just to go there sprightly from my dormitory place even not to going outside at all! :) There I have been in cardiology, gastroenterology and emergency departments! It was amazing experience, with different seminars and very interesting clinical cases!
2EE045 : Clinical rotation - Family Medicine (Primary Care)
I have been started my studies with the Primary Care course and have been staying in Primary care center at Nacka, where I had a chance to work with several doctors also to see patients at home visits. It was so amazing time that I spent there, I have seen and learned a lot, all doctors were so professional and kind! There I even had a chance to have my own patient and examine them in my private doctor’s room! In the end of this clinical rotation I had to made video with one of the patient, it was very interesting way for evaluation, I even have got a camera to manage it and I enjoyed it so much! :)
ELAX20 : Inflammatory Diseases
I have had Inflammatory disease course at KI hospital in Solna. This course was mostly focused on rheumatology. It was also only one course where I had also student group and I lot of different and very interesting lectures! We even had special class which was leaded by rheumatological patient! I still remember that small lady, with a lot of joint deformities because of her rheumatoid arthritis, but with so beautiful and kind blue eyes! I have got not only a lot of knowledge from her but also big inspiration dose! :) It was so excellent course, our supervisor was doing his best all the time to make it wonderful as possible! We had a lot of Fika and amazing food all the time, but in the end of clinical rotation we had fantastic picnic all together!
ELA005 : Internal Medicine 1
I had my second Internal Medicine clinical rotation in Danderyds hospital, there I had courses in endocrinology, gastroenterology, pulmonology and nephrology! It was amazing experience with highly professional doctors and very interesting clinical cases!
DVPX03 : Research oriented project, 12 w
During my second semester I have had a research part at KI Psychology departments in Solna for a three months! I have been participated in research about eating disorders, particularly about ‘Anorexia nervosa’, where I had my own study part, where I was investigating effect of the visual stimuli on healthy participants, I even had my own laboratory for my study and have got a lot of knowledge about working in laboratory and how to use different statistical and data analyzing programs! Also we had a lot of interesting seminars and meetings there!


In conclusion I would like to say big Thank You for all peoples that helped me to get here and realize so many my dreams! I would like to say Thank You to my international coordinators, medical program supervisors at LU and KI, without this wonderful people help I will never had a chance to realize so many my dreams! Thank You very much, my dear people!

It is so hard to write conclusion part, so many emotions and memories! It was such an amazing year in my life, even I can say, that it was new life in an year! During this time I have had so many different experience, not only at my studies, it was a big life’s school first of all! I even have started to write a book, that I have named as a ‘My way to become Lagom’, where I have put my sought about the life and pictures from beautiful Södermalm side.

It is so hard to put on the paper all I would like to say about my exchange, because there were so many interesting things all around and all the time, but I tried to put the main of them here!

I would like to say Thank You also to all KI staff, to all my supervisors I had during this time, all of them are so amazing people! I am so happy and glad that I had a chance to meet and study from them!

I would like to wish for everyone to have a chance to go on exchange! It is so unforgettable experience that makes you not only get new study experience, see new places and find opportunities for your future, it makes first of all you to become a new person and find yourself!

Language and Culture

I have had Swedish language classes in my university some years ago, so for me Swedish language was not completely new one, but I still was beginner!

I really wanted to study Swedish language more and achieve good level in it to understand what is going on around first of all, but also I like this language very much!

I have had intensive Swedish language course from KI when I have been just arrived here. We were ten people group and it was all day long course. There were different parts during the day: reading, speaking, writing. It was very useful and our teacher was so amazing!

Then I have been having Swedish language course from student organization ‘’Global Friends’’ during my two semesters. It was Swedish language course which was headed by students from university! It was evening course, great time to meet new students, study language together and having ‘Fika’ in the same time, it was so much fun! :)

During my first semester I have been in beginner group, but for my second semester I was getting to advanced level group, where we had been reading Swedish books and discussed them afterwards! 

My language skills were getting better and better and now I am able to speak quite fluently in Swedish and I had a great chance also to use my knowledge in practice in hospital too!

Studies in general

When I got to the hospital side I was very surprised how welcoming and kind are everybody around: doctors, nurses, other medical staff and even patients! All the time when I have been there, everybody spoke in English only because of me, even doctors meeting and patient round were held in English! I was feeling very uncomfortable because of that, but appreciated it so much! :)

Also I was so surprised how much is allowed to do for the student here! In my city we are mostly theoretical students, but here I was able to see and do so many interesting and new things!

All hospitals are so developed, there are a lot of modern techniques, I was amazed every time!

During my exchange I had a chance to be in several biggest hospitals in Stockholm and one primary care center!