Group of enthusiastic health economics policy and management students posing at the Golden Hall of the City Hall

Health economics policy and management: my master’s reflections at KI – part 2

Welcome to Part Two of my health economics policy and management master’s reflection journey at KI! If Part One took you on a journey through the harmonious realm of teaching and learning in Sweden, then get ready for an encore!

In this blog, we’ll be diving into the excitement of setting your own study pace, deciphering the Swedish grading system, unravelling the art of communication in Sweden, and of course, the absolute fun of studying in this vibrant country. So fasten your seatbelts and continue on this exciting academic adventure!

Get ready for a journey of self-organisation and study plans—because at KI, you’re the boss of your study adventure!

Embarking on the HEPM programme at KI offers a unique advantage—flexibility.

Through the structured curriculum, there’s room for self-study and exploration. This means we get to dive into topics we’re passionate about, resulting in a personalized learning experience.

The key? Striking the right balance between guided learning and independent exploration ensures a journey that’s both enriching and tailored to individual interests.

Moreover, we’ve bid farewell to the traditional style of education where teachers micromanage every step, at times handing out punishments like a strict judge.

Sweden, on the other hand, offers a different approach. No handholding here; instead, it’s an invitation to explore, discover, and let those brain muscles flex a bit to generate your thoughts and revelations.

Intelligent dog engrossed in reading a book

Unlocking the Swedish art of communication!

Effective communication with professors and peers is the heartbeat of a fulfilling educational journey at KI.

We’re not just encouraged; we’re celebrated for opening dialogue and interacting with faculty members, fostering a supportive learning environment. I’ve had the privilege of engaging in meaningful discussions with professors and gaining valuable insights and guidance throughout my master’s journey.

Here, it’s not just about formalities; you can call your professors by their first names (I hope you are aware by now), approach them during breaks, send an email, or even organize a Zoom meeting to seek clarification or discuss specific topics of interest, both within and outside the course.

Engaged student raising hand in a classroom, one of my reflection at KI is a good communication.
Active participation in learning and communication are vital at KI. Photo credit:

The professors are not just educators; they’re fellow learners, and every interaction is an opportunity for mutual growth.

One memorable instance during a class break left me in awe as a professor humbly shared, “I don’t know everything; I’m continuously learning, and today, you taught me something.” It was a powerful reminder of the dynamic exchange of knowledge within our academic community.

Tip – During fika, it’s best not to discuss class or work topics.

A pass, fail, or distinction adventure

In Sweden, we’ve said goodbye to the intense competition of academic gladiators, and the HEPM programme follows a different script when it comes to examinations.

Here, exams are not about fighting for grades; they are a journey to understand the subject matter deeply and apply concepts effectively. Succeeding in exams requires a well-thought-out study plan, diligent review of course materials, and practice in problem-solving techniques.

At KI, our exams come in various flavours – from in-depth essays showcasing academic ability to home exams involving tough data analysis and case-based interpretation and recommendation. Whether it’s computer-based in-campus exams or collaborative group assignments, each assessment is a unique challenge.

Furthermore, the grading system is refreshingly fair and transparent, offering students a clear insight into their performance and highlighting areas for improvement. It’s an adventure where the focus is not just on the outcome but on the learning process itself.

Academic writing is the heartbeat of KI, and we embrace it with care.

But here’s the reassuring part – failure is not the end of the road. The faculty is committed to your success, offering ample support and multiple opportunities to try again.

So, don’t be disheartened; every setback is a setup for a stronger comeback!

The fun part

While the HEPM programme demands dedication, it’s not all about the books and exams.

It unfolds into a tapestry of enjoyment and social connection. Social events and extracurricular activities weave a vibrant community, uniting students from diverse backgrounds and creating lasting memories and friendships.

I consider myself lucky to have classmates who are full of life and add excitement to our days. We celebrate birthdays, enjoy fika, and explore museums and places together. In addition, KI offers a variety of clubs catering to diverse interests, providing opportunities to connect with students from different programmes.

Joyful birthday celebration with classmates at Karolinska Institutet.
Making unforgettable memories with my amazing classmates at KI! 🎉🎂 #BirthdayCelebration #ClassmatesBonding #KIExperience
Selfie at the Nobel Museum with my classmate enjoying a meal.
Exploring the Nobel Museum and savouring good food with friends. 🍽️🏛️ #NobelMuseum #ClassmateAdventures #KIExperience

Most importantly, at KI, mental health is given top priority, creating a nurturing environment for academic success.

Finally, as my reflection unfolds, I trust you’ve caught a taste of the unique experience that studying at Karolinska Institutet brings. Stay tuned for more insights and adventures in future reflections.

Yohannes - Health Economics Policy and Management

Yohannes - Health Economics Policy and Management

Hi there! My name is Yohannes, and I come from Ethiopia, the Cradle of Humanity. I've always been curious and ambitious, and my journey to Karolinska Institutet is a testament to that. I studied medicine and developed a deep fascination with the intersection of healthcare, economics, policy-making, and management. This passion led me to KI. I look forward to learning more about healthcare economics and becoming a part of the vibrant international community at KI. In my free time, I enjoy writing and drawing, always exploring and trying new things.


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