Counselling session

Our Study Counselor addresses our top 5 concerns

Let me introduce you to Malin Sandell. Malin is the Study Counselor for all students studying under the Department of LIME (Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics).

These programmes include:

  • Master’s Programme in Bioentrepreneurship
  • Master’s Programme in Health Economics, Policy and Management
  • Master’s Programme in Health Informatics

As of February 15, 2021, she will also be study counsellor for:

  • Bachelor’s Programme in Biomedicine
  • Master’s programme in Biomedicine
  • Master’s Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science

However, if you’re not studying these Master programmes, do not fear! Help is here! Find out who your Programme Study Counsellor is and feel free to contact them.

Almost all of the students have made their way to Sweden. So Francisca and I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask Malin what our top concerns are, and where we can find help.  


This goes without saying. Recently, students have been asking a lot of questions about COVID-19. Sweden’s approach to the pandemic has been quite different to other countries’, so you can imagine the uncertainty surrounding the move. The programmes provided at Karolinska Institutet are on-campus, but due to the pandemic, most lectures are currently taught online. This will continue until the COVID-19 restrictions in Stockholm ease. The main advice here is to try to plan your move to Stockholm as soon as possible so that when restrictions ease, you will not have any troubles attending class in-person.

Additionally, the online model has caused mental and physical fatigue. Online education can be tiring and difficult for most of us, and motivation and concentration becomes difficult to maintain. If you find the online learning situation difficult, please keep in mind that this is a temporary solution. The Programme Directors are planning hybrid teaching on Campus as soon as the situation improves. If you have any suggestions, you are always welcome to contact your study counselor. This is the case also, if all you need is to let your frustrations.

If it gets too heavy, applying for a study break until next Spring semester is also a possibility. In this case you can also contact your study counselor. However, if you’re suffering from isolation and depression, contact the Student Health to get professional counselling.

Find more information from KI regarding COVID-19.

Swedish Migration Agency

The Master’s programmes at KI pride themselves of being global. This means that many of the admitted students are non-EU citizens, who require a residence permit. The processing time at the Swedish Migration Agency is long, usually 3-4 months. This can be stressful for students, especially when they don’t get their decision in time and are planning to travel soon. During these periods, Malin spends a lot of time writing certificates for the Swedish Migration Agency to confirm that the students are admitted and are active students at KI. Contact Malin if you require assistance or proof of study for the Swedish Migration Agency.

Study-related issues

Sometimes students approach Malin when they are having difficulties with a teacher or other students. Most of the time, it turns out to be cultural differences or a lack of communication between parties. However, every now and then, students feel discriminated against or harassed in some way. If this is the case, please contact your study counselor and talk to them about the situation. Remember that your meetings with the study counselors are confidential.

Available for you is also a Student Ombudsperson that can help you further.

Additionally, due to the online/ hybrid education, several students have had difficulties concentrating when sitting in front of the computer, are not able to follow lectures, or are agitated, and have often wondered if they are suffering from ADHD. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from a mental illness or are experiencing abnormal behaviour, please consult Student Health. There are professional counselors available. They can advise you for further investigation or medical treatment.

Personal issues

As study counselor, Malin is available for those of you who require support with personal problems. It’s amazing what life throws at you!

Work or research opportunities

Many students are wondering what their future holds after graduation. Malin is often approached with questions such as:

  • How do I apply for a PhD at KI?
  • What work opportunities are there in Sweden or at Karolinska Hospital?
  • How can I get in contact with researchers at KI and get involved in their research projects?

If you need advice about work or research opportunities after graduation, a good start may be to contact your Programme Director or the person who is responsible for the Degree Project Course.

If you are interested in becoming a PhD at LIME department, you can always contact Ingrid Smedberg

KI also has a Careers Service and information about Traineeships.

You can also contact the international coordinator, for more information about exchange programmes.

Contact your Study Counselors

Malin has been such a great support to the university and, well, me. I’ve personally contacted Malin myself and have found that she is extremely quick to respond and provides satisfying solutions. So, if you need just that extra bit of support during these trying times, feel free to contact Malin.

For more information from our Study Counselors, see Francisca’s post Our Study Counsellor Answers FAQs and Strategies for Success at KI.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or

Helen Nguyen - Health Informatics

Helen Nguyen - Health Informatics

Hi! I'm Helen from Australia here, currently living and loving life in Stockholm. I'm studying a Master's in Health Informatics at Karolinska Institutet. I love walking in nature, dancing and cycling around town. I love a good chat and enjoy a good hearty laugh. We can talk about nothing and discuss absolutely everything. I enjoy cooking food, falling asleep to movies and going for long walks in the forest.


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