Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Monash University
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2010/2011
Name: Freya Langham
Email address:

Arrival and registration

The introduction day was a really good opportunity to meet some other exchange students and also to become familiar with KI. Global Friends were also very helpful to me - I was met on arrival in Stockholm by one of their members, and enjoyed attending some of their events at the start of my exchange.


I applied for accommodation through the UAC, and ended up living at Pax. I was very happy with the arrangements, although I found it quite stressful going through the application process and waiting to find out whether I was successful. It would be good to find out more than 2 months before the arrival date because this doesn't give much time to organise other options, especially if you are travelling prior to arriving in Stockholm, or have already booked flights that don't allow you to come earlier to make arrangements.


The standard and cost of the housing was acceptable to me as short-term student accommodation. However, I was very disappointed by the quality of the mattresses and also the curtains - the mattresses are like camping beds, and the curtains are useless, which is especially annoying given how long it is light outside now!


I also think it would be good to provide more information about the housing on arrival - I was very confused at first as to how it all worked with the shared kitchens, cleaning, laundry etc. It would be nice, and a lot more welcoming, to have this information included when you pick up your keys.


Finally, while I did not live on an exclusively Karolinska corridor, I think this is a really good idea. It is obvious that the KI students stick together anyway, and are also often here for shorter periods, so it makes sense to all live together on the same corridors.


Leisure time and social activities

I participated in several Global Friends activities, and also attended some of the general student parties organised by MF. I really enjoyed these opportunities, and I think it would be good if there were more, or that they are better advertised for exchange students (for example, information emails in english etc) because we had to rely on either Global Friends or our Swedish friends to tell us about them.


I made friends with several Swedish students through our course, however we didn't socialise very much outside of university hours. This was a bit disappointing to me, but at the same time I understand that they already have their own friends, and as exchange students we often stick together a lot.



I have always wanted to go on exchange, and so when the opportunity to come to KI was offered by my home university, I jumped at the chance. This was the first time an exchange program like this had been offered by my university, so myself and another girl from my class were the first from our university to come to KI. As a result of this, we didn't really know what to expect when we got here, or what it would be like to study medicine in a different country (often using a different language!). The information provided by KI was useful, however I would have appreciated more, especially regarding the actual course I was doing. It would also have been good to receive this information earlier - we were only emailed about our course about a week before it started.

Courses during the exchange period

D10X01 : Clinical medicine-emphasis on reproduction and development
I really enjoyed this course. It had a good balance of theoretical classes and clinical experience, although I think it would have been good to have more seminars rather than lectures. I also think it would be good to have more classes for developing our clinical skills, especially examination, which is a really important area in paediatrics and obstetrics/gynaecology. At my university in Australia we have what we call bedside teaching, where in small groups (maximum 5 students) we go with a doctor to see a patient, who then observes us taking a history and doing an appropriate examination. I think this would be a very useful addition to the course, as there is not always time for this kind of learning while on ward rounds and in clinics. It also means that a suitable patient can be chosen in advance. I would also have like more time overall, especially for paediatrics, which is such a big area of medicine. With regards to the examination format, I did not think it was very good. The written exam covered a very strange selection of topics, some of which had never been mentioned previously in the syllabus or lectures. I also think it would be a very good idea to make sure the english exams are checked by a native speaker beforehand - while the standard of english is very very high, for something like an exam it is very important that the wording is correct and easy to udnerstand, which was not always the case. Overall however I really enjoyed this course, and felt very privileged to be able to participate in this course with other Swedish students. The doctors I met were all very helpful and willing to take the time to translate for me when necessary, which I really appreciated as I understand it can be very annoying and time-consuming.
2XX001 : Sexual and reproductive health in a global perspective
This was an interesting course to do for 4 weeks at the end of my time here at KI. I enjoyed doing something completely different to what I normally do, and it was great to study with people from a non-medical background and from all different countries. While the standard of the lectures was a bit inconsistent (some were great, some not so much), on the whole it was an enjoyable course, and the assessment was appropriate.


I have had a great time studying here at KI. It has been a really interesting experience for me, working in a hospital in a different country, in a different language, and I am very thankful I have had this opportunity. I think it is a really good challenge, and is a great way to meet like-minded people from around the world.

Language and Culture

I participated in a 5 week course with 10 2.5 hour lessons. For me this was very valuable as it helped me to understand more when I was at the hospital listening to the doctor-patient interactions. I would recommend it to any exchange student that will be spending time in the clinical environment.
på planet

Studies in general

I really enjoyed participating in the KI study environment, and was actually surprised by how similar it was to back home in Australia. I always felt welcomed by the doctors and nurses I worked with, who were always very friendly and happy to help. The most difficult part of being an exchange student here is the language barrier, because while most people can speak very good english, they do not always want to (especially the patient). While I can understand this completely, it can be quite frustrating as a student, especially if there is little else for you to do (eg. examinations etc). However, most of the doctors I encountered were very happy to translate for me where possible, although sometimes I felt uncomfortable having to ask them a lot of questions all of the time.