What to expect when you are an international student at KI

How does it feel to study at one of the best universities for life science and medicine in the world? How could you fit in with the academic culture? You don’t need to be worry! There are many cool things and good habits that you can learn during your study at KI 🙂

Here is the list about what you might expect when you are an international student at KI.

1. Be punctual!


Most of the time, you can arrange your travel time from home to the class precisely (Image courtesy of DA Patrick Engeler)

Punctuality is an important part of Swedish culture. In my experience, when the class was scheduled to start at 9:15, the lecturer shot a look at the clock: point 9:15, the class exactly started at that time!

2. You call your teachers by their first names

I used to call my previous teachers with their titles for example “Doctor”, “Professor”, etc. So when I started my study at KI, it felt odd in the beginning to call the teachers with their first name. Yeah, but it’s the culture! And now I think, it is pretty cool to do so. It made me to feel not inferior when discussing something with them.

3. Leg stretches and coffee time are very often


You will learn to love coffee like the Swedes do (Image courtesy of David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay)

You will never sit down for more than one hour. Whatever is going in the class (e.g. discussion, lecture, presentation, seminar, etc), every 50-60 minutes you will have a pause to stretch your leg and grab a cup of coffee (or tea or just water).

4. No chance to fall asleep in the class :p

It’s simply because most of the study activities will not make you bored. Even though it is a 3-hour lecture (which seldom happens), at least you will have to discuss some issues with your neighbor or express your opinion. And coffee during the pause will surely keep you awake :p

5. (Almost) everybody likes to express their questions or opinions

When I was a medical student in my home country, my classmates and I used to be silent in the class. We would try not raise any opinions or questions due to the education culture. But here is very different! I have a lot of opportunity to express my questions or opinions, and every question/ opinion will be very much appreciated.

6. Group work, group work, and group work


A lot of group study spots (Image courtesy of Patrick Engeler)

I can say that group work is one of the special characteristics of Swedish education. At KI, you will have group work in almost every course (in my programme, group work in almost every course). I think, one of the purposes is to make everyone has a good teamwork skill. To ensure the group work would really work, my classmates and I even had to sign a ‘contract agreement’.

And for your information, KI has a lot of study rooms for group works! You can see the quick tour to the KI library at Solna campus on our youtube channel here.

7. You can manage your own pace and time to study


A survival tip: When feeling exhausted, take a 2-hour boat trip to the archipelago, study on the boat and enjoy the scenery at the same time. Make sure you don’t have seasick :p (Image courtesy of Patrick Engeler)

Even though you have e very well-structured schedule, you will always have the schedule for individual study. You can use that time for studying anywhere you want. Or you can use the individual study time for something else, then you manage the time for studying at evening.

8. Not all the study activities are mandatory

Despite the full-time schedule you have, not all the activities are mandatory. For the non-mandatory activities, you can decide whether you want to join it. For example, in my first course, I had a session about basic nutrition which was not mandatory. Some students having background in nutrition preferred to not attend it since they had already gotten the knowledge in their bachelor programmes.

9. Various grading system

In some assignments, grade scales used are only pass or fail. In another type of exams, grade scales are divided into pass with distriction, pass, or fail. Some programme also use A-F as the grade scale. Knowing the grading system for every assignment will help you to plan the strategy to get the best result with effective effort (especially if you are a person concerning a lot about your grade :p)

After reading this, are you interested in becoming international student at KI? The application for autumn 2020 is open!

Have any comment, question, or suggestion? Contact me at email (resthie.putri@stud.ki.se) or LinkedIn (Resthie Rachmanta Putri).



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