Why I chose to study the master’s programme in Biomedicine at KI

Roughly around this time last year, I had made up my mind to study in Sweden for my master’s degree. While I was excited and curious about the opportunities that lay ahead of me, I was also faced with the task of making a rather difficult decision- one that could drastically alter the course of my career and life. This decision was that of shortlisting and ranking my choice programmes at University Admissions. Of the wide plethora of remarkable universities offered to me, what drew me towards KI? And what made me choose the master’s programme in Biomedicine out of all the available global master’s programmes? In this blog, I’ll walk you through what went through my mind while I was applying to study in Sweden.

Why Karolinska Institutet?

When I got accepted to KI, I was obviously over the moon and did not hesitate to let out the occasional (not so subtle) brag in front of friends, family and acquaintances. Here’s how most of my conversations started:

Me: So I got accepted to Karolinska Institutet in Sweden!

Them: Congratulations! Is it a good university? I’ve never heard of it.

Me: *sighs*

My next (not so subtle) brag involved telling them that KI housed the esteemed Nobel Assembly, responsible for awarding the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. That’s when I got the response I wanted.

My point is that I was just like them not so long ago. I hadn’t heard of KI until I started applying to Sweden.

My goal was simple: find universities with a strong focus on research and courses that align with my interests. This search resulted in a list of universities all over Sweden- each as outstanding and meritorious as the last. Of these universities, Karolinska Institutet stood out to me for a few reasons:

  1. It was heavily research oriented, with groundbreaking studies being carried out in various areas of health and life sciences.
  2. It was located in the capital city of Stockholm. Having lived in a big city my whole life, I felt like I would adjust better in a different country if I lived in a similar large, bustling city (and I was right).
  3. The fact that it’s the home of the Nobel Assembly (imagine studying at a university with a body responsible for awarding a Nobel Prize. That gives you major bragging rights, if nothing else).

And so, the first obstacle was cleared. I knew I wanted to apply to Karolinska Institutet. Now onto obstacle number 2: of all the global master’s programmes, how do I find one that was best suited for me?

Aula Medica, campus Solna in the evening.
Image credit: Juliana de Oliveira Faria

Why MSc. in biomedicine?

For as long as I can remember, biology has been my forte and biggest strength. I studied biotechnology for my undergraduate programme and developed a liking for lab work and research. By the time I had graduated, I was very clear on the fact that I wanted to work in research fields that revolved around healthcare.

Now, trying to choose a healthcare-specific course at a medical university like KI is no small task. Almost every programme I read about made me think, “oh this seems to be right up my alley, I can totally go for this”. As an inherently indecisive person, this was less than ideal. To let myself be more objective here, I revisited my priorities:

  1. Research- heavy. In that, a balance between lectures, project work, and teamwork such that I was actively putting my theoretical knowledge to the test. This could be in the form of presentations, discussions and lab work.
  2. A comprehensive understanding of disease mechanisms
  3. Strong base for academia as well as industry

This significantly narrowed down my list of potential graduate programmes. Of those, the master’s programme in biomedicine stood out the most to me because I personally felt that it gave me enough freedom to choose any trajectory of my liking, while simultaneously equipping me with the knowledge to do so.

Once I was satisfied with my selection, I just had to trust my gut and rank the programmes I had shortlisted.

At the end, full disclosure, I ranked the master’s in biomedicine programme higher than others because it felt right. It was a gut feeling that I decided to run with. It was offered by Karolinska Institutet, it checked off all the boxes on my list of priorities, and it felt right.

That is not to say that sticking with that decision was easy. It was nerve-racking. I kept going back to my list and wondering if I had made the right choice. However, a year later, now that I’m here studying this course, I think it’s safe to say that I indeed did make the right choice.

If you’re struggling to make a decision like I was, I hope this blog was of some help. You can find more information about the MSc. Biomedicine programme here. In case you have questions, you know where to find me. Until next time, and all the very best for your application!

Naomi- Biomedicine (MSc)

Naomi- Biomedicine (MSc)

My name is Naomi, and I am from India. I am a first-year master’s student in Biomedicine. I have always been drawn towards research and knew early on that a career built around it was the one for me. So as a result, here I am! I enjoy spending time with my friends and exploring the city with them (though the introvert in me also loves some alone time). I hope I can be of some help with my blogs!


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