Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Iowa
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2010/2011

Arrival and registration

I arrived in the middle of a semester, and consequently was not able to attend the introduction day.  I had a little difficulty with my arrival arrangements because I arrived on a weekend and had to arrange to have my keys available at the library, as well as to have a family friend pick me up at the airport.  

Contact with student health was easy, and I received the results of my MRSA test within two days.


I applied for housing through UAC, and I was pleased with the accommodation provided.  I lived in PAX, and I met many other exchange students who lived in my building.  PAX is conveniently located next to the Vastra Skogen Tunnelbana and on the route of the 507 bus, which goes directly to KI Solna.

Leisure time and social activities

I attended the Global Friends welcome dinner on my first weekend here and organised and attended social activities with friends I met living in PAX.  I thought the access to information from Global Friends was excellent, and they kept us updated on social activities.

I did not make any Swedish friends during my stay as we were not involved with them on our rotation and most of the students in PAX are exchange students.


I chose to go on exchange because I am interested in learning how medical systems function in different countries.  I chose KI because I wanted to travel to Scandinavia, and my university has a scholarship exchange program with KI.  I thought that the information provided by both KI and my home university was sufficient to prepare me for my rotation.  I did not have to have any new vaccinations, but I did have to have my MRSA test when I arrived in Stockholm.

Courses during the exchange period

ELAXX6 : Surgery 1
I only did one clinical surgery course at KI. My experience was limited in scope because we only did breast and endocrine surgery for the entire duration of my rotation. The examination was a presentation on evidence-based medicine on the final Thursday of the course. There was no formal teaching during the course, but many surgeons were good at teaching during OR time. The course was somewhat relevant to my degree because it allowed me to practice my surgical skills. Our supervision was mediocre, and our supervisors appeared to lose interest in us after the second week. I think this could be improved by integrating the course more with the Swedish students' courses - I would have liked to be able to interact with more Swedish students instead of only exchange students.


I enjoyed my time at KI, although I did not find it as educational as I had hoped.  I did learn some things, and I was given opportunities to practice my surgical skills, and I did form relationships with fellow exchange students and surgeons with whom I worked that were valuable.

Language and Culture

I did not participate in any Swedish language courses while I was at KI.

Studies in general

The atmosphere on the clinical surgery rotation at KI was very different from my home university.  Surgeons, nurses, and other hospital staff were mostly friendly and personable, and as students we interacted directly with the surgeons and called them by their first names.  I was disappointed that we had very little contact with patients, and often did not see patients post-operatively.  There were no lectures, and on numerous occasions we found ourselves without plan for something to do.  I would like to have been able to have more of a choice in what type of surgery I was assigned to - we were only with the breast and endocrine surgery for our entire rotation.  I did, however, often have a chance to practice my surgical skills, and many surgeons are open to teaching during operating time.