Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2018/2019
Name: Kimberly Kupinski
Email address:

Arrival and registration

I thought it was a very nice touch that KI offers to have somebody pick you up when you arrive in Stockholm (although I did not use this opportunity myself). The information from the KI exchange office, as well as the KI housing office, was very clear and instructions were easy to follow (including directions to the housing) upon my arrival at Arlanda. My orientation session with the international student coordinator was short and easy, but gave me all the necessary information. The only issue I had was being able to connect to the eduroam WiFi at KI and at my work office on Solnavägen. I emailed and met with the KI IT support people for quite some time, but none of them were able to figure out a solution, so I ended up using the guest WiFi at KI and using an Ethernet cord at work to connect to the internet. I did not have any contact with the student health centre for my particular program at KI.


The KI housing was really great! I was able to get my first choice, in Lidingö, which was lucky. It’s a nice, quiet part of town, so a little far away from the center of things. It was nice not to have to worry about furnishing my living space, or about bringing kitchen utensils. The only issue I had was that the pipes smelled, but it was still okay. The cost of housing was alright– comparable price to what we pay at school in New York, but for a much smaller space here in Stockholm. Still, I know that there is a housing shortage in the city, so I was quite pleased with getting my first choice for housing, and relieved that I didn’t have to try to find my own! The accommodation itself was also quite nice, a little nicer than the school apartments at my home institution.

Leisure time and social activities

My KI research group was based in an office off campus, where I worked full-time, so I did not spend almost any time at the KI campus itself. Because of this, and because of the fact that the people in the group were very friendly and eager to include me in social gatherings, I did not get to know any of my fellow KI exchange students or KI students themselves. Although I did not get to take advantage of their programs, I still really appreciated that KI has the Global Friends program that is so visible and active (like the trip to Tallinn, for example), and it seems that it would be so easy to get integrated with the general student body (if I had had the time!). On the plus side, I made quite a few Swedish friends from getting to work with them for so many weeks, and I know I will keep in contact with them after I leave.


I knew that I wanted to go on the KI exchange program from my first year of medical school, when I first heard about the program at my school during orientation week. I have always been interested in living and working in Europe, and it made the most sense for me to do so in a place that fits together with my chosen career path, somewhere exactly like Karolinska. I wanted to experience what student life and ‘normal’ life is like in an international city like Stockholm. I chose KI specifically because my school already had an established partnership with the institution (sending two students annually for several years), which I thought would make this a better experience, and because I had never been to either Sweden or Scandinavia before, and I wanted to experience a completely new country and environment. My home university gave quite limited information on the exchange, so I got most of my information from the KI exchange website and resources sent from the KI exchange office, including resources about studying abroad in general. I was not required to get any new vaccinations or bring any certificates to my KI program.

Courses during the exchange period

DVPX02 : Research oriented project, 8 w
I had a really amazing experience with my project at KI. I think the research group was a big part of this. They were very welcoming, helpful, friendly, and encouraged me to explore my own academic interests. The project gave me a very in-depth look at public health and public health research, which we don’t get very much of in medical school. I was actively involved in data collection in an RCT, including opportunities for fieldwork where appropriate. The knowledge and experience that I gained here are very valuable and will be useful as I start my career as a doctor in the next few months.


I had an amazing experience for the past two months at KI. All of it went very smoothly, and I will honestly look back on these past several weeks very fondly. I am so pleased with my experience here, even more than I thought I would be, and I am so happy that I could come here after hoping to do so for four years!

Language and Culture

I was not able to participate in any formal Swedish course during my time here because of how the schedule worked out, but I made it a goal for myself to practice Swedish every day for half an hour using the app DuoLingo on my phone. I didn’t end up practicing as much as I set out to do, but I think it was much better to practice with the app rather than not trying to learn the language at all. I understand a lot more Swedish than I did two months ago, although I still have a long way to go before I can hold even a basic conversation! Fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it), it was extremely easy and smooth to get by in Sweden with speaking only English.

Studies in general

I was fully involved in a research project, so I did not have any required lectures or attend clinical rotations. My research supervisor was wonderful about getting me to attend relevant lectures or seminars as fit with my schedule, so I had a great mixture of research work in the office combined with learning from lectures or seminars relevant to public health.