Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Midwifery
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2009/2010
Name: Carolyn Nansubuga
Email address:

Arrival and registration

On arrival, i was picked by students from the global friends network. I must say these were very helpful to us because i don't know how i would have got to my apartment if it was no for them. They really challenged all the stories i had heard about Swedish people being reserved and unfriendly...all in all it was the welcome i really needed.


The next day i went to report to Karolinska, it was a bit hard to find my way there but with time the entire Stockholm was on my fingertips. We were given a warm welcome at the department of midwifery and child health and since we were the first to come, we had to wait for the exchange midwifery students for a formal introduction. We then met the international student coordinator who helped us secure our scholarship. We then went to the bank accompanied by a student from Global friends. We had been told earlier on that bank procedures can be cumbersome but lucky for us the lady at the bank had the best customer care because she treated us so well and everything went so smoothly. Having secured our scholarship i was able to buy a student card for one month which i later topped up to a three months one  having registered with the students union.


The contact with the Student health service was really good, we had to test for MRSA before starting our clinical practice and lucky for us we were found to be negative.

However we did not have an introduction day to meet the other exchange students from other countries doing different courses. We only got introduction at the department of midwifery and child health to meet the other midwifery students. So i got the impression that probably there is no Introduction for the spring semester because i later found out from the other exchange students in my hostel that they had a big introduction and were able to make many new friends.

In addition i was not informed about any dinners or parties for exchange students yet my friends who had come last year had talked so much about these. I must say i was really disappointed after paying the student union fee.



I booked my accommodation through the University Accommodation Board. I stayed in Jagagartan for the first week and then moved to Pax in Solna since my clinical practice as well as theory was going to be in Karolinska Solna.

 In comparison of the two student hostels, Jagagartan is really clean, and well maintained, the care taker is really active and is there for when you need her. On the other hand the rooms are really small, and you have to share bathrooms with other corridor mates, but at least the bathrooms are cleaned everyday and the hygienic standards are really good. The students were also really friendly, i found it hard to leave Jagagartan to go to Pax, It took a lot of faith. I moved to Pax during a period in which it was under renovation so the cleanliness was not so good as compared to what i had seen in Jagagartan. However the rooms are really big and spacious and you get to have your own bathroom. The cost however is much higher than jargagartan and in addition you have for internet while in Jagagartan the wireless comes with the rent, so i must say i missed Jagagartan for the first days. However with time i grew to love Pax since i made friends and i found it very convenient for me to travel anywhere i wanted. However i recommend that they clean the hostel everyday just like in Jagagartan.


Speaking from a student point of view and from my background i found the accommodation really expensive, because one

third of the money given to me went to accommodation so i was not left with much to spend on leisure activities for instance was not able to travel as much as i had anticipated. I advise future exchange students who know someone in Sweden to arrange for private housing if they can because it is much cheaper and you get to travel more.

Leisure time and social activities

I participated in Ki social programs as well as othere social events in stockholm. I must say i really enjoyed the social life in Sweden. Unfortunately i did not not have access to information activities about social activities. This was attributed to the fact that probably the global friends network did not store my email or it was not added to the mailing list. The other exchange students that had come in the same period like me also had similar complaints. I also think the availability of social activities for the the spring semester exchange students is quite low since most of the major events occur at the beginning of the main semesters. Well atleast i made many swedish friends and by chance some of them belonged to global friends so i was able to informed about a few social events but most of these were not organised by my swedish friends.

However i really appeal top the Student union to reconsider the student union fee for the exchange students since they are only staying for a few months because in my case i did not benefit much from the student union apart from the reduced SL card price which i appreciate. I Understand that the fee we paid was for the whole year yet we stay for only a limited period of time, well at least they should have a reduced price for the exchange students.


  My name is Carolyn from Uganda. In my country the university advertises the exchange program and those who are interested to apply are welcome to apply. I had always wanted to come for the exchange program so from my first year i worked really hard so that i earn the spot to go and Thank GOD i did. Students in their final year are encouraged to apply because it is believed they will appreciate so many things especially clinical practice. Applying for the exchange program was a process which went so smoothly because the international student coordinator was there for me. I can confidently say it was a very quick process for me. I chose this partner university because it is ranked highly and Sweden in general when it comes to midwifery.

A month before coming to Sweden, i received the study abroad  information from Karolinska Institutet and i must say it was very useful in addition to the online information as well.

We booked our tickets online and we did not have any problems at the airport , the journey went so well and we reached Sweden safely.

I was not required to be vaccinated and neither did i bring any certificates.

Courses during the exchange period

2XX001 : Sexual and reproductive health in a global perspective
kkkkSexual and Reproductive Health in a global perspective helped me appreciate so many areas of both Male and female sexuality that i did not know about before. The teachers during this course were really good.
2EE089 : Antenatal care including fertility control, delivery, neonatal and postnatal care, theory and clinical education
This was well coordinated. I liked the schedule, because i had time to read about the cases i met on the wards. The staff in the hospital were really helpful and taught me all i needed to know. I was able to appreciate the differences between the health care system in Sweden and Uganda and i noted areas of improvement in my country. During these ward rotations i was able to perfect my Swedish since i had to communicate with patients most of the time. The technological advances in Sweden enable midwives to work in a better working environment. I hope my Country will be able to reach that level in the future.


My general impressions of the Exchange period was it was such a wonderful experience and i would love to study for my masters in Karolinska because i really appreciated the teaching system and availability of resources like computer labs that you can access easily for information.
However i really appeal top the Student union to reconsider the student union fee for the exchange students since they are only staying for a few months because in my case i did not benefit much from the student union apart from the reduced SL card price which i appreciate. I Understand that the fee we paid was for the whole year yet we stay for only a limited period of time, well at least they should have a reduced price for the exchange students.

Language and Culture

I participated in the Swedish Language course that was offered to all exchange students. The teacher was comfortable expressing herself in English and this is very important especially when it came to translation from Swedish to English and vice versa. However most of my classmates had problems with the timing of the classes. The fact that they were in the evenings made it hard for some people to attend the classes consistently since we left our clinical placements at 5.00 o'clock and had to go for the class at 6.30. This was hard for the teacher because she did not know how many people to expect on a normal class day and with time very people attended the class . But all in all she was a good teacher and i learnt most of Swedish articulation from her, if only i was staying longer in Sweden i would have loved to learn more to say that i walked away with a certificate at the end of my Swedish course.

Studies in general

My studies in general went very well. The Swedish study environment is really good, the lecture rooms are specious, and the various teaching methods facilitate a faster learning experience. I would say the clinical learning environment is really good since the ratio of midwife to mother is on average 1:3 so this enables the midwife to give personalized care for each mother which is on the same in my country where the midwife to mother ratio can range from 1:6 to 1:10 depending on the day. I would also like to appreciate the way everything is so organized in the hospital, it makes everyone,s work easier since each person has clearly defined roles.
I would like to thank my supervisor who was there for me at all times when i needed her. She introduced to each ward and this meant so much to me because it can sometimes be hard to go on a new ward all by yourself. She taught everything that i needed to learn and asked her colleagues to teach me in topics she felt they knew better. I must say the student-teacher relationship is really good.

I liked the way patients are treated with respect and dignity. They are given a chance to choose how they want to be cared for. I would also like to commend the hospital staff for availing patients with as much information as possible. This makes patients more involved in their care. The student- Patient relationship was really good. I was impressed by patients who made an effort to speak English so that they could communicate with me. i really appreciate that.

The relationship between theory and clinical education is really good because you get to practice on models before you go out to the wards so you have an idea of what to expect and the hospitals really follow all the protocol since Staff and resources are available. Both Makerere University and Karolinska Institutet use PBL as the main method of teaching which i must say works best when combined with a few lectures, so am glad to say i enjoyed my studies because the method of teaching used is my preferred method as well.

The whole practical experience was good, and i learnt to keep time, because in Sweden when a person says we meet at 10.00 o'clock they really mean it. However some of the hospital staff were not comfortable in expressing themselves in English which limited my interactions with some of them. On the other hand this forced me to learn more Swedish than what i would have learnt from the Swedish classes alone.