Exchange report - incoming students
Malta är oerhört vackert
Home university: Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Autumn semester 2010/2011
Name: Luciana Magalí Salina
Email address:

Arrival and registration

The day I arrived in Stockholm I just remember it was very cold. This characteristic was a constant due to the time of the year. Although I got used to it rather quickly, I would recommend other time of the year, especially because of the darkness. 


My boyfriend is swedish and he was in Stockholm at that time so he was waiting for me at the airport the day I arrived. He had also arranged an apartment so I didn’t need to use KI’s accommodation facilities.

Inte riktigt såhär fint...

Leisure time and social activities

In my first week in Stockholm I was with my boyfriend. We live together in Argentina so it was a little bit like being home. For the rest of the weeks I was alone. Exactly one day before my trip, I met a girl from KI. She was an exchange student in my home university and luckily some classmates introduced us. She was very nice and thanks to her I got the emails and facebook pages of her friends living in Stockholm. With them we got together every weekend and they showed me some interesting sightseeings of the city, Stockholm is gorgeous by the way, and we had great food! They were also medical students so we had a lot in common. In the weekdays it was more lonely because of my schedule (from 8.00 to 17.00) and the darkness of the winter. I regret now that I didn’t contact Global Friends, but I will be sure to do so when I come back in the future as I have planned. 


I chose the Karolinska Institute because its great international reputation and my personal interest in medical research. I was aware of KI’s extensive experience in this field and the exchange was my first step to approach and learn about the institute and Sweden. I also have plans to move to Sweden in the next years.   Before leaving, my contact person was Ms. Magdalena Palmqvist, the international student coordinator. She was my first contact with KI. Magdalena was very efficient, all my questions were answered accurately the next day and she was always very kind. I think it is very important that a person like her occupies this place at KI because it was a great first impression of the institute and made me feel welcome. I got by email and postal mail all the information about KI and Sweden, accommodation and even “Global Friends” info, an organization that helps exchange students to meet people at KI. Everything was very well organized. I had to be tested for SAMR in Sweden. 

En av Maltas charmiga bussar..

Courses during the exchange period

ELA005 : Internal Medicine 1
Clinical rotation in Internal Medicine. 4 weeks in total. 1st week: Coronary Care Unit 2nd week: Defibrillation Unit 3rd week: Stroke Unit 4th week: Neurology Department


Over all it was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about medicine in a developed country as Sweden, where it seems to be no budget limits. Every hospital in Sweden has a beautiful and fresh infrastructure and they are fully equipped. I learned the importance of working as an integrated health team, respecting everybody’s work and encouraging constant update of the personnel. I enjoyed watching how patients and their relatives are provided with all the comfort they may need during hospitalization and how respectful is the swedish people in general. I grew as a person to live for months out of my home and comfort zone. I wish I had chosen a medical course in English instead of a clinical rotation just because the language was a problem. I'd like to thank the institution for the opportunity.

Language and Culture

As I said, not knowing Swedish is a big difficulty. I lost a big part of the patient – doctor relationship and I couldn’t review patient’s clinical histories. Some of my tutors tried to translate to me most of the time. 

Jag och mina kollegor på Gynae ward!

Studies in general

I did a clinical rotation in Internal Medicine at Danderyds sjukhus, and my job was to shadow a doctor/ tutor that had been previously designated to me. My rotation was 4 weeks in total, and every week I had a different tutor. Everyone at the hospital was very nice and respectful. Nevertheless, some of my tutors found it difficult to have to translate for me all the time and sometimes they didn´t. I know that in Sweden everybody also speaks English but nurses and patients prefer to speak Swedish because they feel more comfortable. So I lost a part of the patient – doctor experience due to language. I think that would have helped a bit if I have had a designated activity, such as being assigned a bed with a patient that has already agreed to be interviewed in English and then discuss it at the end of the day with my tutor.   Despite the language barrier, I learned a lot about teamwork. There are virtually no hierarchies in Sweden and this contributes to a functional and integrated health team working for the benefit of the patient. I also had the opportunity to go, for eg., to neurological images conferences, angiography procedures, discussions with the health team about patient’s reintegration after a stroke, and I also worked actively in the defibrillation unit, among other stimulating activities.