Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Universiteit Leiden
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2018/2019

Arrival and registration

I arrived 9 days before the university started. In the week before the real courses started, there was an introduction week which was really interesting and handy. I did an intensive language course (3 days) for free to learn a bit of Swedish. This was really useful for the rest of my stay and it is also nice to meet new people who are also new in Stockholm. The last two days of the introduction week were introduction days of the university with a lot of information about the university, studying here and other activities that the student association organises. This was a really nice week to meet new people and get to know the university. 

I also signed up for a buddy program, a buddy is a student that already knows the city and university. It was really handy to meet her and to have someone to ask questions about basic things in Sweden. 


KI housing

KI has a really nice accommodation system, but I’ve heard that you have to sign up early. I directly applied for a student room after I got my letter of acceptance. I applied for student housing in Solna (Strix) and I got a place in a corridor with 11 other international students. Strix is located in Solna, which is a 25 minute walk from the Solna campus or 20 minutes by bus. Most of the students in KI corridors are international students and that makes it really nice to live here. My room was pretty big (16 m2), was fully furnished and I had my own bathroom.  I had to share the kitchen with the 11 other students which was fine and it was never really busy in the kitchen. The kitches has all the stuff you need, so I didn't have to buy a lot of things myself!

If you want to take a look at KI housing:


Leisure time and social activities

I participated in the buddy system and became member of MF, the study association of KI. Global Friends, the international organisation of MF, organises a lot of nice activities for international and exchange students. For example I went on a cruise to Helsinki and there were tours on Gamla Stan. Participating in these kind of events, was an easy way to meet other people and explore the city and student life in Stockholm. You can also easily participate in sport teams, choirs or committees. There was a helpful event in the beginning of the semester where all the committees and organisations were present. You could ask them question and also sign up for some committees and organisations.



When I was younger, I always thought about living abroad and how that would be. When I had to choose an university, I chose one where there were many possibilites to go abroad. My home university (in Leiden, the Netherlands) has a special exchange program for students from the second year of the bachelor to go to Karolinska. Every year a group of 10 students goes to Sweden for 1 semester and there are also students of Karolinska coming to the Netherlands. This was the first option to study abroad and I really wanted to do that. My main reasons to go on exchange were the possibility to live in another city for 6 months, meet new international people and learn about another country and culture. Another reason was the opportunity to explore a new university and see how it all works there. 

Because 10 students of my year were going to KI and this exchange already exists for a few years, a lot of things were also organised for us which made it all a bit easier. We also didn't have to choose courses, because we were just going to follow the courses of the second year of Biomedicine. 

I made a list of things I had to organise myself, like housing and insurance, but also signing up for the introduction week and finding out if you need specific vaccinations. I would really recommend to other exchange students to make such a list, because a lot of small things have to be organised. I also got a list of KI of things I had to do before I arrived, that was really handy!

Courses during the exchange period

1BI043 : BACH - Biostatistics
This course was about the basics of statistics. Every morning we had 3 hours of lectures where the teacher covered all the information about the tests and other background information. She was really nice and good in explaining this. In the afternoon, there were labs where we used the information we learned that morning. This course used the program R, the exam was also about this program. This course was quite easy for me, because I already had statistics before. But I think that it is a very good basic statistics course.
1BI040 : BACH - Tissue Biology
This course was only 3 weeks and the focus was on learning the components of tissues and recognizing different cell types. We studied and analysed a lot of microscopic images of different types of tissues and we had to find out what we were seeing, e.g. which cells. Besides, we had to write a protocol for an experiment. This assignment was a bit unorganised, but in the end it all worked out and I think it is really useful to do that once.
1BI041 : BACH - Immunology and microbiology
This was a course of 8 weeks, and divided in several ‘themes’. We started with 4 weeks of microbiology which included bacteriology, virology and parasitology. I really liked this part, because we started with the basics of virology on Monday and on Friday we had very specific lectures about 1 virus and I was able to understand everything. After each topic we had a seminar. We also had 2 labs for bacteriology and virology, these were really interesting and I had a lot of fun in the lab!. Afterwards, there were 4 weeks of immunology. The teachers here were really nice and explained everything well. It was a lot of information, but almost everything was covered in the lectures. During these 8 weeks you also have to do a project with a group of 5 students. This is a really independent assignment and quite a lot of work. However, I really liked that we had to plan everything ourselves and that there was no perfect answer.
1BI042 : BACH - Neuroscience
Neuroscience was also divided in several ‘topics’. We started with the basics, which were quite boring but important. Afterwards we did 1 week of sensory systems, which I really enjoyed because the teachers were good and I liked that we learned a lot of details. We also learned a lot about motor systems, this part was quite difficult and the teachers had sometimes difficulties with explaining it properly. We ended with some lectures about specific diseases and higher brain functions, that was super interesting!


In general, I really enjoyed my exchange period at KI. I have met a lot of new international people, I did a lot of fun things and I got to know a new university and city. I had a lot of free time in the weekends, so I was able to explore the city with my new friends, hike and visit other places around Stockholm. All the students of my year were really nice and they always wanted to help me. The courses at KI were all great and I've learned a lot these 5 months. Besides, the housing is well organised and that really made it easier to have a great time and meet other international people.
I can definitely say that I had an amazing time at KI in Stockholm and if you're doubting, I would really recommend to study to KI and live in the beautiful Stockholm! 

Language and Culture

I have participated in an intensive Swedish course during the introduction days. I was in the beginner group, so we really started with the basics, like greeting and counting. I think these 3 days were really useful to get to know the language a bit and also learn some things about the culture, because the teacher also told a lot about the Swedish traditions and what you should not do in Sweden ;) 


Studies in general

Biomedicine bachelor 

At my home university, the education is a combination of some lectures and a lot of seminars. Here at KI, most of the information is given during lectures and I didn't have a lot of seminars. I also didn't have to read a lot myself, everything you needed to know for the exam was told in the lectures. Almost in every course, we had to write at least 1 project of lab report. That was different than at my home university, but I also liked this system although I would have liked to get some more assignments and seminars to practice. 

In a normal week, we had every morning 3/4 hours of lectures and sometimes lectures or lab in the afternoon. You can easily ask teachers questions during or after lectures and everything is really informal. They always like to answer your questions!