Exchange report - incoming teachers
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Dentistry
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2015/2016
Duration: 21
Name: Francis Ocheng
Email address: ochengf@yahoo.com

Accommendation

The international coordination office at Karolinska Institutet arranged for us accommodation at the Karolinska Institutet Housing (Jagargatan 20). Since this was not my first time to come to Karolinska Institutet, I already had a good idea of the type of accommodation to expect.

Language and Culture

The teaching and seminars we participated in were conducted in English. All students and teachers speak English, so there was no language barrier in my interaction with them. Protocols on procedures and instructions in the clinics and dental chairs are written in Swedish language, which I think is a barrier to non-Swedish speakers who come for the exchange.

Leisure time

We participated in social activities organized on individual basis by some teachers and this involved going out for dinners at people‚Äôs homes. 


Miscellaneous

Generally, this teacher exchange experience was very good. Much as I had been coming to Karolinska Instituted as PhD student, I had not had the opportunity to know much about clinical teaching activities that take here. Our hosts did everything within their power, and people even went an extra mile to ensure that our time during the exchange is well spent. The preclinical and clinical teaching activities, which, combined with my earlier exposure to research activities, is a wonderful experience.

Other activities

We went for a study tour of a Swedish dental company during the third week, where we had a wonderful time interacting with the staff and discussed prospects for collaborations in areas of research and business.

The exchange period coincided with the spring conferment ceremony in Karolinska Institutet. Since I had successfully defended my thesis in autumn of 2015, I was therefore one of the graduants at the conferment ceremony. I also visited another university in Stockholm where we discussed prospects for future research collaborations 

Preparation

I got to know about the LP teacher exchange program in 2011 through one of the teachers from the Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. At that time, LP teachers and students exchange programs were already going on in various departments in Makerere University and Karolinska institutet, but teachers and students in Dentistry were not yet involved. We then discussed the possibility of writing an application for LP teachers and students exchange program between the Department of Dentistry at Makerere University and Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet. This initiative came to fruition about 2 years later after series of discussions and planning.


In the year 2011, I also registered as a PhD Student under the joint Makerere University-Karolinska Institutet joint PhD training program. During the course of my PhD training (2011-2015), I was privileged to travel to Karolinska Institutet several times to carry out experiments. So by the time I got the opportunity to come for the LP teacher exchange, I was already familiar with most of the Swedish system, so I did not have much preparations to make other than those that involve the teaching role like preparations for seminars and teaching. The international coordination office in Karolinska Institutet gave us very useful materials which were very helpful in preparing for the visit.

Reflections

Personally, I have been intrigued by the way students and teachers at Karolinska Institutet interact, which is both informal and formal. This form of interaction narrow the gap between the teachers and students and encourage learning in a stress free environment. This is one thing that I will endeavor to take home. 

Teaching

During the exchange, I got involved in clinical and preclinical teaching where I taught and helped students in the clinic and preclinical sessions. The method of teaching and content do not differ much with that at Makerere University, only that the teaching in Karolinska Institutet take place in a modern and more computerized environment 

Teaching hours

Gave 1-hour seminar during the second week. I also did clinical and preclinical teaching where I interacted with students and my help was sought on procedures.

Seminars: less than 1%

Preclinical and clinical/bedside teaching and supervision: 85%

Other activities: 14%