Exchange report - incoming teachers
Home university: Kenya Medical Training College
Study programme: Occupational Therapy
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2015/2016
Duration: 23
Name: Andrew Bii
Email address:


Accommodation arrangement for us was well communicated in advance. We signed in advance our accommodation consent forms with the housing in charge at KI housing AB for room reservation. Charges for accommodation were paid for in advance through deduction method from our LP grants allocations. Pick up plan on arrival at Schipol airport was arranged and communicated in advance. The standard of accommodation is good and meets the needs of the occupant though the charges are slightly high. The cost of living in Stockholm is generally high compared to our home country. On how to keep costs down, well, we don't know of an exact way but may be this can be considered: An increase of LP grants for the program, lowering taxes levied on this grants, or a reduction (30%) of accommodation charges for the entire period of stay.

Language and Culture

All the teaching sessions of collaboration at KI were conducted in English. We had no problem with communication at the University as English is our first official language of instruction. Challenges could only emerge in other places outside the university such as in the shops where almost all items are labeled in Swedish. Also writing of names of places, direction signs, billboards, communication of information inside or outside commuter train etc were all in Swedish. Sometimes you need follow people as they move. The other challenge is word pronunciation an example is pronunciation of names and places like “Jagargatan" where letter “j” as is written is pronounced as” y” and many others. On culture, cultural diversity is different in every community in many aspects. In our home country, we have a lot of religious and worship activities held in the mosques and churches running from Fridays to Sundays and are conducted in visible structures. You can see, meet or follow people heading to these places of worship. Our experience at Stockholm is totally different. It was indeed hard to find one place of worship and when you ask, majority of the people seems not aware about the church or even the location. Also, Swedes way life is very private and no one seems bothered about other persons’ business unlike in our context whereby, almost everyone in the community is concerned. Individual choice of doing things like; body tattooing, body piercing (male), same sexual orientation is no big deal with the Swedes whereas in our home country, all these are perceived as; being unchristian, abomination etc. We also realized that there is the acceptance and legalization of LGBT in Sweden's society which is contrary to our culture. Stockholm streets are least populated almost every day whereas in our home country, human traffic is the order of the day. Public transport is liberalized and mostly the ''matatus'' (42, 14 seaters) are used mainly but chaotic, play loud music, hooting, crazily driven name it, very confusing to visitors. We also have decent and reliable public transport vehicles (busses) that are partly state owned plying routes to or next to key public institutions. On time management, Swedes culture of timing is excellent due to good and efficient communication infrastructure unlike in middle income economies. In our home country, much time is wasted due to multiple factors affecting systems and infrastructures (e.g. power failure, traffic jam...). Office working time at KI university starts at 9:00 hour to 13:00 hours (our local time 8:00 - 12:30 hours) but afternoon sessions remain the same i.e. 14:00 - 16:00 hours. During summer, the nights at Stockholm seems to be too short (approx. 6 - 7 hours) where as in our home country, we have almost equal number of hours for the day and night. I was so impressed by the unique Swedish dishes. Foods for occasions, we loved it very much. But in our context, every ethnic group (42) is identified with unique dishes/meals. Examples; The Kalenjin with ugali (corn flour) and mursik (fermented cow milk in a guard), Kikuyu with githeri and mukimo (mashed of ; white corn grains, beans, potatoes and green pumpkin leaves), Maasai with meat, blood and milk, Swahili with swahili dishes etc. We had an opportunity also to make our own delicacy; ugali - from yellow corn flour and beef stew, chapati (from wheat four) with beef stew. Searching for destinations and routes in Sweden is perfect as enabled either by use of a map or GPS. This is due to the vastness of the city and the complex transport and communication system in place. In our home country, you can ask anyone for or locate the place by utilizing familiar features or structures like tall buildings in place etc. Our communication network, infrastructure and transport systems are simple. Telling the time also is quite easy because the sun’s location in the sky and probably the length of your shadow can do.

Leisure time

There were plenty of social activities arranged for us by the course coordinator and other teachers who participated in the exchange program. We were lucky to visit during the celebration ceremonies where we had an opportunity to participate in one of them, bonfire ceremony at Skansen Muset. We had nature walks around Jagargatan, to Hornstull, Skanstull etc. We and our colleagues also had an opportunity to visit the Ice bar facility. We also took part in an exciting trip to Finland by sea. During evenings and weekends, we made visits to; IKEA, Clas Ohlson and others. In our country, drinking and smoking in common social places mostly by women is not culturally acceptable unlike in Sweden.


To all my colleagues, you were very supportive during our stay at Stockholm in many aspects. I truly appreciate what we all did together as a team whereby learning from one another each and every moment was the order. Social activities planned in our honor irrespective of the busy schedules was indeed a true sacrifice from committed friends and colleagues. We look forward to your support in all aspects of professional development and growth. Thank you very much as we look forward to see each other soon.

Other activities

We made several research contacts with KI and from other teachers participating in exchange program. This gave us an opportunity to understand the knowledge in applied research and appreciate its importance in learning institutions and in the practice of occupational therapy. We participated actively in the supervision and support activities of learning by students in their individual; study groups, group work assignment as well as during case presentation by awarding the marks. Future collaboration requires an addition of time for planning activities before teaching and during evaluation of activities within the course. The current course (CHBR) should be developed as a full basic degree course at the university. The division of occupational therapy can team up with other programs at KI University to develop and mount short courses (example, Continue Medication Education - CME) for teachers participating in the exchange in order to enrich areas of collaboration. If this can be done, it will result to effective teaching skills and acquisition of competence in the professional practice. Also, the University can convert the current Bachelor of Science course in Occupational therapy to English, make it affordable and conduct it through a distance learning mode. By doing this, the university will assist by developing occupational therapists from the middle income economies as well as attracting more interested candidates globally.


Organization and information prior to our visit was well done and communicated in advance. The knowledge about the opportunity to go on teacher exchange was communicated from KI international office following LP's approval of our application and also meeting other required prerequisites. This resulted to us receiving invitation letters from KI with other attachments. The next step was to start preparation to about travel and this included; having all required documents to support visa application, organizing teaching materials and equipment, purchase of items for personal use, taking vaccination i.e. yellow fever vaccine. There wasn't any need for me to do language training prior to travelling since the course at KI is conducted in English which is the first official language of instruction in our country. We got all the information and support from; KI University, KI University administration faculty of international relation office and Housing AB facility (,,, and


In my own account, We got inspired after participating in variety of activities conducted at the university. Work and learning environment is well designed and purposed for good productivity. Appreciation of each other in the department created assurance of togetherness that resulted to effective teamwork throughout the exchange program. Fika that is served in the common area is very strategic. Apart from the fika, this is also where the teachers have an opportunity for; appreciations of cultural diversity, receive general briefings, carrying out discussion on matters of the program, communication on schedules of exchange program, joint planning of social activities, interaction and sharing of ideas, exchange of contacts for professional growth and networking etc. Resources availed by the University with the good support of enabling an environment culminates to effective teaching. The culture of work at KI is totally different as everyone is too busy, committed and self driven to doing what is expected of and in the best way possible. There are many good things learned from the exchange program that will be recommended to the administration at my home institution for implementation. We also noted that the students who participated in the exchange program were very enthusiastic about the arrangement, participation in activities and overall coordination of the course. Away from academic work, evenings and weekends provided an opportunity for us to make adventures to both familiar and new places. Challenges encountered on our way served as opportunities to learn and develop confidence. We can honestly say that, we learnt more about places and social activities by ourselves through trial and error.


Teachers and teaching activities at KI are excellent both in the teaching methods and research methodologies. We are taking advantage of this expertise to develop in the areas of teaching and research methodologies in our home institution. Teaching activities also at KI are enhanced by use of advance technology and equipment (fixed LCD Projector etc) with excellent support of reliable internet and Wi-Fi connectivity. This enables the teachers to prepare their teaching materials well in advance. The technology used also enables the students to follow presentations of lectures, have an easy access of information and learning materials from the internet and the learning platform. Pedagogic method of teaching as applied at KI is effective and student friendly. At our home college, this approach is fairly practiced due to some limiting factors that includes; meager resources - crowded learning environment, limited/faulty LCD and poor internet connectivity... etc. Learning activity schedules and arrangements at KI are flexible and learner oriented. In our case, we are biased towards the college culture of; teaching the curriculum thus disadvantaging the students to develop own learning skills. Adherence to processes of curriculum implementation (Quality Management System - QMS) because of audit procedures (i.e. class attendance register, lesson plan design, list of topic coverage etc) is another setback. This automatically creates a scenario whereby teachers tend to over teach the students by covering the units with preference of a lecture method not necessarily caring whether the student has learned and developed skills. What we found of interest and effective were other methods of teaching/learning that were widely used at KI such as; peer review, focus group discussion, academic debates, poster development and exhibitions, case presentation etc. On teaching methods, both institutions use the following teaching strategies; lecture, group work assignments, case presentations and projects. At our college, students at their final year of study (3rd year) are placed on practical attachment at various clinical sites (both national and the county health facilities) across the country under the supervision of practicing Occupational therapists. During this period, students work on case management, carry out documentation (logbook), do oral case presentations and are evaluated at the end of each rotation by use of a practical checklist form. Overall scores are rated in points and recorded in percentages.

Teaching hours

This how all activities during the exchange program were conducted.

Week 1. (2nd - 6th May 2016) – (15.40 hours - 38.5%)

  • Teaching hours per week - Lectures (5 sessions of 10.15 hrs) ·
  • Meeting with KMTC students (1 hour)
  • Meeting with department members (30 minutes)
  • Focus group discussion at the department presentation room (2 hours)
  • Meeting with the dean of the University (1 hour)
  •  Supervision of students' group work during preparation of posters for exhibition (1hour)
  • Organization and support tasks before, during and after lectures (almost on daily basis)

Week 2. (9th - 13th May 2016 – (15.15 hours - 37.8%)

  • Conducted a lecture (1 hour)
  • Attended and participated in the lectures; giving inputs, support to colleague teachers (6 sessions of 11.45hrs)
  • Attended a fika session for all students and teachers (1. 30 hours)
  • Took part during a mingle party for the outgoing students (1hour)

Week 3. (17th - 20th May 2016) - (15.45 hours - 38.6%)

  • Meeting with 2 KI students coming to KMTC (2 hours)
  • Attended to lectures (6 sessions of 11.15hours)
  • Analysis of course evaluation and discussions of the findings with KI teachers (2 hours)
  • Meeting with Karen G. (30 minutes)
  • Preparation to travel back home