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

Arrival and registration

It was not the most straightforward of arrival arrangments as I arrived on 7th May, Saturday, two days before I could move into my UAC room, the 9th May. I also had to go to my hospital which was 40 minutes away from UAC and my room; and meet my tutors for introduction day on the same day, We almost missed our key collection as all of us had to  be at hospitals a little further away from UAC and the openinghours were so limited. On hindsight we probably should have gotten a Global Friend to collect our  keys for  us. Most of us had to sacrifce half a clinical day to settle administration matters and move in. It was even more of a hassle for us as we were only here for a  month, and each clinical day is precious to us.

We received lots of invitations from Global Friends on their gatherings and activities, unfortunately with our short stay we managed to meet oonly a few of the them, but i've made good and lasting friendships with these people and its amazing how international all these people are. Everyone was friendly and warm and accommodating.

Getting the MRSA screening done was simple apart from the fact that Huddinge was a little far away.



I was impressed with the housing arrangements because they got back to my email queries very efficiently and adequately. I applied for housing through the UAC, and was surprised to find the cost to be reasonable and the standard to be very high. My only qualm about my stay at Pax was that I was unlucky enough to have been bitten by bedbugs in my stay. I am still quite puzzled by this as all my neighbours in Pax have never experienced it and the doctors i spoke to did not recognize bedbugs as a rising problem in Sweden. Everything was handled professionally and efficiently. IAm thankful for the evacuation room i was given while the fumigation was arranged.I was reimbursed for the medications but the time and inconvenience spent washing everything and preparing my room for fumigation was something that could not be replaced by financial means.

Leisure time and social activities

I did not get the chance to participate in any Global Friends activities but I met quite a few of them in my stay here and everyone was eager to make friends, and be hospitable. Being abroad and meeting people from all walks of life with a common purpose in life, especially more so in Medicine, was an eye-opener for me. Activities were readily available and the relevant details were made well known via email and it seemed there was never a dull weekend. I did not get the chance to make any Swedish friends as there was absolutely no contact with Swedish students in my clinical posting. We would have liked to been part of the teachings for Swedish students but we understand the language contraints.


This was a golden opportunity in my time in Medical School as we were given the freedom to plan our electives and postings. I wanted to go to someplace culturally different, and yet medically advanced, and KI was renowned for her contributions in Medical Research, and of course, the Swedish Academy of Nobel Prize did add to the enticing factors for my application to KI.

The process was simple enough from my home university and the information given to me was organized, succinct and very adequate; there was even a map sent with our acceptance letters. I was required to show proof of my vaccinations but no certificates were required here.

Courses during the exchange period

ELA004 : Paediatrics 1
My course was a clinical rotation in Paediatrics at Sodersjukhuset. The course consisted of rotation through the wards for exposure to inpatient care of children, the Emergency Room for the acute paediatric care, as well as the neonatal wards, and outpatient clinics. A comprehensive timetable was prepared for us and there was equal exposure through all the departments. Doctors and patients were very accommodating and willing to speak in English if they could, and I was taught as much as they could. We also had a few seminars and case presentations planned and the tutorial session we had with one tutor and 2 students was very enriching, intense and I took home much from it. I like the teaching culture in KI - tutors seem to believe in encouraging and nurturing their students, and each medical student is treated as part of the doctoring team. Having only two elective students in this course was definitely beneficial as we had a good tutor-student ratio. The course was definitely relevant to my degree, being a clinical rotation. I learnt more than theory, but also appreciated the health system in Stockholm and the social and cultural nuances which shape it.


I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at KI. My only regret is that it was too short, and I should have applied for a longer course; just when one was settling in, one had to move again. There was sufficient time in the hospital as well as time given for individual studies, although i wished we could have had more teachings in the form of tutorials in our clinical postings as the one teaching session I had was very beneficial. I was impressed with the efficiency of Sweden in general, and the pride the Swedish take in their work and service. Being around like-minded doctors and medical students at KI where teaching was strongly instilled in the university culture was a pleasure and it made learning both exciting and interesting. I would recommend anyone applying for electives to consider doing theirs at KI as I have not only gained much knowledge from this one month, I have also been touched by the graciousness and warmth of the Swedish people.

Language and Culture

Not applicable

Studies in general

The Swedish study environment is a very nurturing one. There is an emphasis on individualism and moving at the pace you are comfortable with. Even in a competitive course like medicine, academia is emphasized upon, naturally but students are also encouraged to cultivate other interests and talents. This was different from the environment I have at home as it was more competitive, intense, and there was much emphasis on academics, postings, examinations.

Being one of the two elective students at my clinical rotation meant that there was quite a bit of supervision. I was rotated around different departments and I did not have contact with one tutor for more than a few days at the very best, so I did not get to really experience a tutor-student relationship. Tutors were always polite to patients and introduced me as an elective medical student, and all the patients I met were more than glad to share their stories and facilitate my learning process. The teacher-student ratio at home is much larger.

We had adeduate time for individual studies so we could integrate the clinical knowledge we acquired in the clinics with theoretical knowledge, whereas at my home univerisity we spent full days, even nights at hospitals on all weekdays, and sometimes even the weekends.