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

Arrival and registration

Soon after arrival in Stockholm, we met up with Ms. Magdalena Palmqvist, who gave us a very warm welcome and provided us with administrative information regarding our elective programmes. We even received a welcome gift (KI backpack), which was very useful and totally awesome. The MRSA screening we had to do as part of the requirements was slightly inconvenient, as the Student Health Centre was located in Huddinge and had limited opening hours. However, the nurses there were very professional and assisted in arranging suitable appointment times for us.

Acommendation

I applied for student boarding through the University Accommodation Center (UAC) and thankfully, was offered a place at Strix (Arm├ęgatan 32). My stay at Strix was thoroughly enjoyable and comfortable. The location was superb, the rent was reasonable, the room was spacious, and facilities such as internet access and laundry were top-notch. The only minor downside was that the furniture in the room and kitchen were rather old and could be refurbished.

Leisure time and social activities

There were no KI medical students doing Ophthalmology rotations at St Erik when I was there. However, I did get the chance to meet other overseas medical students on exchange at KI. It was great to make new friends from all over the world and to learn about medical education in other countries.  

Pre-departure

When I saw that my home university had an agreement with Karolinska Institutet for student exchange studies, I knew immediately that I had to try applying. I've always wanted to visit Sweden and what better chance to do so than to pursue an elective at KI, one of the world's most renowned medical universities. Going overseas for exchange is a great way to broaden horizons and to see how medicine is practiced beyond the constraints of home. Very fortunately, I was offered a place! The International Student Coordinators at KI were extremely efficient and helpful. Any queries we had were quickly addressed through email and the entire application process was simple and hassle-free. The information package arrived within days and contained everything we could hope for. I was truly impressed with how well-organized exchange studies are at KI.

Courses during the exchange period

ELA003 : Ophtalmology 1
My course schedule consisted of short rotations throughout the hospital, including the general outpatient clinic, operation rooms, wards, emergency clinic and sub-specialty clinics, such as paediatric ophthalmology & strabismus, anterior segment clinic and retinal clinic. This allowed me to be exposed to many different aspects of Ophthalmology. I am extremely satisfied with the course as I was able to learn a great deal about Ophthalmology and Sweden, see a wide range of ophthalmic cases and surgeries, and experience the culture and working environment of a Swedish hospital.

Summary

I had an amazing time in Stockholm and St Erik Eye Hospital. The exchange was truly memorable and enriching, and I really appreciate having the opportunity to visit your beautiful country. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to everyone who made it possible, especially Prof Jan Ygge and staff of St Erik Eye Hospital, KI International Relations Unit and University Accommodation Center. Thank you very much for the experience of a lifetime!

Language and Culture

Due to the short length of time I had in Sweden , I decided not to take any Swedish language course. I'd have loved to learn some Swedish if I could spend a longer time there.

Studies in general

I attended a 4-week clinical elective in Ophthalmology at S:t Eriks Ogonsjukhus (St Erik Eye Hospital). My supervisor was Prof Jan Ygge, who was very kind and knowledgeable. He introduced me to the hospital, planned out a comprehensive schedule, and ensured that I was well taken care of throughout the exchange period. All the doctors, nurses and orthoptists I met were friendly, receptive and willing to teach. Despite not knowing how to speak Swedish and thus being unable to contribute much to the medical team, everyone made me feel welcomed and took the effort to translate and explain cases to me, and patiently answered any questions I had.