Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Universiteit Leiden
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2010/2011
Name: Ingmar van Hengel
Email address:

Arrival and registration

My arrival here in Stockholm was very good. Someone from Global Friends picked me up from the Central Station and guided me to the building where I lived. Soon afterwards we had the introduction day, which was nice. Especially the lecture about differences in cultures was very funny. But most importantly, I met other exchange students with whom I had lots of fun during the next semester.

With the student health centre I did not have any contact, simply because I did not need any medical help during my stay in Stockholm.


The housing in Pax was great. I had my own bathroom and a much bigger room than back home. The kitchen was shared and I liked that because you had a place to meet the other people from the corridor. For application I went to UAC. The cost for housing was good and the standard was perfect. The only thing that I was not so happy with was the fact that there was constant reconstruction of the building.
Katanga, slumområdet mellan Akamwesi och Mulago

Leisure time and social activities

Yes, I joined Global Friends and went to indoor soccer on Thursday nights. Global Friends organized some great events; dinners and a weekend to Solvik. With these activities I met a lot of other exchange students with whom I met often afterwards. I made some good Swedish friends, all of them were in my course. It was difficult to make contact with the Swedish people in the beginning, probably if I had spoken Swedish it would have been easier.
Lake Bunyoni


My home university, Leiden University, has an exchange program with Karolinska Institutet in the second year of Biomedicine. Therefore it was very easy for me to study at KI. From students who went in previous years I heard great stories about the exchange program and the International student coordinator gave a presentation about the semester in Stockholm. Afterwards I decided to apply for the exchange program. The information about the exchange was good from both universities, but most valuable was the tips I got from students who already went abroad.

To be able to apply for this exchange I had to earn all the credits in my first year.

Courses during the exchange period

BIOX05 : BACH - Infection and Immunity
The immunity part was good, lectures were clear and in good order. The infection part, e.g. viruses and bacteria, was difficult to follow since we had so many viruses and bacteria to study I did not know what was important to learn. Lecturers during this part of the course were sometimes difficult to follow. Examination was good, but the lab was poor. Far too easy and we were not stimulated to think for ourselves.
BIOX06 : BACH - Integrative Physiology
Very good course. I really liked this subject and the lectures were clear. I appreciated the practicals we had to do and examination was good.
Slumområdet Katanga med sjukhuset Mulago i bakgrunden.


The exchange period was a great experience. I had lots of fun in Sweden and I appreciated to study there.

Language and Culture

Yes, I attended a Swedish language course. It was a bit too easy for me, since Dutch and Swedish are quite similar. However I learned a lot during the course, especially reading and listening were improved. The level of the course was too low to actually speak Swedish, but I did not really consider this as a problem since all Swedish people speak proper English.
Kvinna som bär bananer på huvudet i Kampala - bra för ryggen!

Studies in general

My study at KI was pleasant. Most lecturers were good and they all knew their subject very well. The organization of lectures is a bit different than in Leiden: in Holland we work a lot in smaller groups, comparible to what were called seminars at KI. The lab however was very poor, it was too easy. We did not have to think for ourselves and everything was already written down in the protocol. I hope that KI will stimulate the students in the future to think more for themselves, cause that is what you have to do when you are a researcher yourself.

The examination was also different: in Leiden we have more open book exams. Advantage of that is that you do not need to learn silly details and you can focus on the mechanisms behind processes. In Sweden I had to learn a lot of details and sometimes lost focus on what I was actually learning. However I learned a lot during my stay at KI and I especially appreciated the more medical practicals we had during the Integrative Physiology course.

Våra ugandiska studenter och handledare på ortopedplaceringen.