Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, is a well-renowned university in the medical field, so when I found out my application to do an Erasmus exchange there had been accepted, I was over the moon. Hi, my name is Isobel and this is my Erasmus+ experience…
I was put in contact with the international coordinator from Karolinska, who responded to any queries I had really quickly and was extremely helpful, making the preparation process before leaving so easy and stress-free.
I first arrived in Stockholm in February, when it was -13oC, thick with snow and getting dark at 3pm. It strangely only took me a couple of days to adjust to having so few hours of daylight, and with a good quality coat and a pair of gloves, the cold was pretty manageable. The seasons transition quite fast, and by the time my Erasmus was coming to an end in May, it was still light at 10pm. It was also really nice to experience Stockholm as the seasons transitioned and I was able to see Kungsträdgården (city center) in blossom.
Finding reasonably-priced accommodation in Stockholm can be extremely difficult, but fortunately Karolinska provide cheap accommodation in a variety of different locations throughout Stockholm for exchange students – I picked the accommodation building in Södermalm, which is considered “down-town” Stockholm – I absolutely loved it. It was a close walk to the train station to commute to university and within walking distance of numerous shops, restaurants and cafes.
“The facilities were incredible, and the teachers and students were so welcoming and approachable”.
The accommodation is situated on the waterfront of a big lake and right besides a large park that runs along the water, which is perfect if you enjoy outdoor sports like ice-skating on the lake in winter, running, rowing or even swimming in the lake. The accommodation building has students living on different floors; each floor has its own communal areas (kitchen, living room, washing room etc.) and students have their own bedroom.
Before I left, I was quite nervous about living in a dorm set-up with lots of other students (in Valencia I’ve always had an apartment that I’ve shared with one flat-mate), but I surprisingly really enjoyed it! It gave me an opportunity to meet and make friends with people from all over the world; on my floor there were people from the almost every continent and really gave me insight into different cultures.
I love to keep busy, and living in this type of accommodation definitely satisfied that need; because you get to meet so many people there’s always something to do; from going for brunch to a nearby café, having parties outside by the lake to going on trips to Helsinki.
I really enjoyed experiencing student life in another university. The facilities at Karolinska were incredible, and the teachers and students were so welcoming and approachable, which made KI a really nice, relaxed environment to learn in.
At KI the lectures in dentistry are taught in Swedish (which I don’t speak), so I only had to attend clinics and practical. This allowed me to optimize on recreational time and explore the Swedish culture whilst still developing my clinical and manual skills in the dental field. I also was able to learn and understand different clinical opinions when in regard to dental diagnosis and treatment planning, which I’m sure will be of great use in my future career as a dentist.
As KI is one of the most renowned universities worldwide, they attract world renowned specialists to come and take lectures. Whilst I was there, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Dr. Bill Dorfman, the world’s most successful aesthetic dentist.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my Erasmus experience and would love the re-live the four months in spent in Stockholm.
I think it’s an experience everyone would gain from and would encourage every student to apply!