#throwback to being a newbie at KI: some REASSURING TIPS for the nervous freshmen✌️

Hello everyone!

The summer is slowly, but steadily coming to an end (so make sure to make the most of the remaining part of it! ;). Yet, the most interesting and exciting chapter for many is just about to begin, and this is STARTING YOUR NEW PROGRAM AT KI!!!! I bet many of you, newly admitted KI students, are packing your bags, checking some last-minute “to-do” boxes, looking (for flats) and forward – to starting the semester at Karolinska Institutet! If this is the case for you, I would be happy to share my TOP 5 tips to happily survive the pre-arrival period called “Mamma Mia, 3 weeks to go!”


You see this bright blue sky of Stockholm? It’s clear sign everything is going to be alright🤟

1. Don’t panic, it’s going to be AWESOME!

Very often we have the tendency to look on the negative side of things, aka constantly concentrating our attention on the possible difficulties and troubles that can arise from moving to a new country and changing our familiar study/work environment. R e l a x, it will be great! Moving to Sweden and starting my Bachelor’s, and later Master’s Programme at KI was definitely one of the best things that have ever happened to me, and I am sure that everyone will find something for him/herself here – Stockholm is a fantastic city and has so much to offer🌟, and starting/continuing your education or professional career at Karolinska Institutet is also always a good idea👍


Whether you’re into oncology or not, KI has some amazing research in different fields going on all the time!

2. Got a place to live?

Honestly, there are dozens of blogs from our wonderful Digital Ambassadors with very detailed instructions and tips on how to find accommodation in Stockholm, like this, this, or this one! Worth taking a look if you’re still “Stockho{l}mless”😅

My situation looked something like the following: I was searching for accommodation for about a month (July-August), found a room on Blocket for a reasonable price (around 400 eur) in a reasonable place (Fleminsberg), and happily lived there for a year (my first year of Bachelors) while collecting points in SSSB. One year later (aka next August) I was able to get a corridor room in Strix, student housing very close to KI that remains my “Swedish hem” up until today.


First “window view” picture from Strix I took back in Sep’16

THE MAIN THING TO REMEMBER HERE: there is always a solution to a housing problem! You can always stay at the hostel, “couchsurf” or find an  Airbnb while finalizing your search for that “dream apartment” … or any decent apartment in Stockholm really 😀 There’s always a way! Keep trying💪


True story 😀

3. Moving around: different options for different fitness levels🛴🚲🚋

The main path for every student be like: home->uni->fetch food->home. Depending on how far from the university campus are you going to live you will have to decide about your way to move around (Strix aka Armégatan 32A, 171 71 Solna is 30-40 min walk, ca. 20 min biking and 15 min by bus). It is totally possible to get away in Stockholm with a bike, but when the temperature will start getting lower in November or October … or earlier🥶 (and so will probably your energy levels and motivation to bike or walk every day), it might be worth considering buying a monthly SL card (a blue travel that is valid for all types of Stockholm’s public transport – buses, metro, trains, trams and boats. DA Win Ner in his latest blog suggested passing by the SL ticket office first thing upon your arrival, and I would actually agree with that. The public transportation system in Stockholm is great, almost always frequent and efficient. HOWEVER, if you’re living a “fit chick” life (or wanna start!), DO get yourself a bike – it’s pretty popular here also and you’ll be able to enjoy separate roads for bicycles. Otherwise – monthly student SL card for ca. 60 eur is a good option👌


Beautiful winter sunrise at one of the stations near KI!

4. Afraid of not finding new friends?

Sometimes students feel anxious about leaving their existing circle of family and friends and not being able to find “their people” at the new place. Hold your “fear” horses! I cannot even count all the amazing people I met at KI: my new classmates, guys and girls from the Swedish language courses, folks from the Medical Student Union (do join their Committees, Sections or Societies, these are the best places to meet other students with similar passions like you!). All in all, KI is a fantastic place to meet young, like-minded people from different countries, continents and cultural backgrounds, and becoming a part of such a diverse, international society is an incredibly enriching experience!


Some of the first friends I made@KI thanks to the free Swedish language course that is offered for all the international students!

ALSO!! Introduction week before the semester starts is the place to be to find your new #KIfam <3 Make sure not to miss it!

5. More questions? KI’s staff got your back!

Here is to another awesome thing about KI: overall organisation🙌 Emails with all the necessary information about the courses, conferences and student events are being sent in advance and multiple times; people at the info desk (KI’s Infopunkten) by the library are there to help you to get your KI card, find your way or answer any other questions you might have; there are several restaurants around the campus (only in Solna: Jons Jacobs, Nanna Svartz in Aula Medica, Biomedicum’s cafe, Chinese food in Medicinska Föreningen building, as well as several shops right near the university); necessary literature or books are either provided online or available in the library/Ki’s book store; there is also a student’s health centre, free gyms and sports facilities, cosy study spots,  prayer rooms as well as places to party. Therefore, no matter what your current lifestyle is, you’ll most likely find yourself being well-accommodated here😊 In case you have any more questions, teachers and study counsellors at KI will be happy to answer them!:)


May your arrival to Stockholm be fast and smooth! 😀

Oh, and don’t forget to read the pre-arrival guide once again – it has all the essential information!

Best of luck and feel free to write to me shall you have any doubts or questions: dasa.svaikovskaja@stud.ki.se






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