Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Study programme: Biomedicine
Exchange programme: Erasmus
Semester: Autumn semester 2010/2011

Arrival and registration

The arrival arrangements were clear, straight forward and well organised. The woman at UAC was well prepared and there was no problem to get my keys. The introduction day was fun. First there was plenty of information but there was a printout for almost everything so you could read it at home, too. We were taught about the way of living in Sweden, about the Swedish people, holidays and culture. That was great.

I had never contact with the student health centre.

Acommendation

I applied for housing through UAC and I was lucky to get a room at PAX. Since I had this room everything was really easy for me. But I got to know the hard housing situation from my fellow students. The standard of housing at PAX was high.

Leisure time and social activities

I participated in some social activities from global friends which was always fun and recommendable. As an exchange student you are always informed about social activities but in general it is really hard to go out in Stockholm. You have to sign in in advance for everything and then it is often expensive. It was really hard to realize a pub crawl.

The best thing I did was to join "Dragplastret". It's a dance group that belongs to "Blaslaget" that in turn belongs to MF. Our weekly get-together was gorgeous and the performances even more! =)

Pre-departure

I chose to go on exchange because I wanted to know: how is it to live in another country with other people? and how is the situation and the organisation of student's life at other universities?

I chose KI because there is an interesting and solid exchange programme between KI and my home university and because of the high reputation.

I think the exchange information given by both institutions was comprehensive. One problem was that the KI homepage-update for exchange students was late. I had problems to find courses because I didn't know when they would be provided.
But in the end KI told me exactly when I have to be where and it always worked out well and I got always the information I needed.

I wasn't required to be vaccinated or to bring certain certificates.

Courses during the exchange period

BIOM02 : MAS - Frontiers in translational medicine
In general the course was ok. I liked that it was devided in several different main subjects and that each topic was taught by an expert on the field. A lot of lecturers were well prepared. Unfortunately there were only a few really terrific lecturers. The schedule of the course was a complete overkill. There was no correlation between the huge amount of lectures, seminars/ journal clubs and the exam in the end. In the exam three-fourths of the whole course weren't asked at all but pointless details were asked. The course should be "straightened up".
BIOPROJMAS7,5 : MAS - Biomedical Project
I spent the first part of my exchange studies in a lab. I had a great supervisor and I learned a lot of theory and some new methods and techniques. I was able to improve my "lab skills" and I was allowed to work by my own. Every time I needed help I got it from either my supervisor or the fantastic people in the lab. Everyone there was helpful, skilled and really patient.

Summary

Apart from a few negative points I mentioned above my time in Sweden was the best time of my life. I love and miss Sweden, Stockholm, the tunelbana, the way of living in Stockholm and the great people there.

Language and Culture

I participated in a Swedish language course during my exchange. It was offered by KI and organized by Studiefr√§mjandet. In the beginning it was a little bit chaotic and first there were some cancellations but in the end it was really great. The possibility you have there to improve your language skills is amazing. You have the opportunity to talk freely within a group and you have the possibility to ask a native about Sweden.

Studies in general

The Swedish study environment is very professional but however always fun.

The relationship between student and teacher was very close at KI. In some cases even a little bit to close since students should be able to take responsibility for their own courses.

 

In principle it was a nice idea to give us a printout/ handout for every lecture/ presentation. But in the end it was a mess. To much paper, sometimes chaotic handouts and sometimes to small/ dark/ full to be able to read it.

It is so much better to upload everything on a elearning platform as pdf.

 

The library was in some points disappointing and in some points fantastic. The copy number of the course books was ridiculous. But there were many computers and private study rooms.