KI’s social environment: Meeting people and making friends

With the admission results coming up very soon, I’m sure many of you are wondering whether Karolinska Institutet is the right university for you. There are many aspects to consider, such as the education quality, what life in Sweden is like, and of course what the student life in Stockholm/at KI has to offer. In this blog I want to give you an idea of different ways you can meet new people and enrich your student life at KI, based on my experiences.

The student union: Medicinska Föreningen (MF)

The number one place to get to know new people in Swedish universities is through the student unions. Medicinska Föreningen (MF) is one of the two student unions at KI. The structure of MF is slightly confusing in my opinion, as there are many different parts to it. But in general, you can meet new people by attending different events or joining the groups that organize them. This is usually free of cost for student union members (which comes with other benefits too). There are many different groups/events, such as sports games, dance classes, book clubs, science related seminars, workshops in sustainability, movie nights, etc. All of these are great places to meet people with similar interests! 🙂 Not interested in going to any particular event? MF also has a pub they open every friday evening, with reasonable student prices. Invite your classmates or be brave and talk to random people there!

Stockholm (student) social life

That being said, since KI is a single-faculty university, most people you meet through MF will be medical science students. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you may want to expand your horizons and meet people outside of this bubble. Luckily, Stockholm has a lot to offer in terms of extracurricular activities, so it’s a great opportunity to pick up a new hobby and meet new people! For example, there’s many different courses you can take, e.g. for sports or to learn Swedish. Also, let’s not forget that Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden – take advantage of the rich night life as well! 🕺

Talk to your neighbours!

Another way I’ve made friends in Stockholm has been through living in student housing. When I lived in a corridor room through SSSB, I shared the kitchen with 8 other people. I love to chat, so I always started conversations with the neighbors I ran into while cooking or eating. This way I’ve made friends with people from all over the world who are studying in many different fields. Bonus: you get to try delicious food people make from their home countries. I was very lucky to have great neighbors, some of which I’m still friends with 3+ years later!


Finally, the easiest way to stay social during your time at KI? Interact with your classmates! Your class will usually consist of like-minded people who are interested in the same things as you, at least in regard to what you’re studying. These are also the people you’ll see nearly every day for the next few years, who will understand your struggles with difficult lectures and assignments, and celebrate with you after every exam. Take the opportunity to get to know each other and become friends. I’m extremely lucky to have amazing classmates who make the early morning classes just a bit more enjoyable 🥰. We go out for fika or drinks when we have some free time, and also organize some small special events, like secret santa to celebrate Christmas together (thank you to our beloved second-year students for the inspiration 🙏).

Some final words

Although KI is not a huge unversity and Stockholm is not really considered to be a “student city”, it’s definitely possible to have a rich and active student life. I’ve met and become friends with some wonderful people in the last 3.5 years. I’m confident that no matter who you are or your background is, you’ll have a great time meeting new people and making friends during your studies at KI. There are many more ways you can do this that I haven’t mentioned in this blog, but the most important take-home message is to put yourself out there and stay open!

Thank you so much for reading and see you in the next blog ❤️

Mina - Toxicology

Mina - Toxicology

Hej! My name is Mina and I’m Macedonian/Swedish. Currently I'm studying the Master’s Programme in Toxicology. I chose to study at KI because of its proximity to research, and I also did my Bachelor’s in Biomedicine here. I’m very excited to share all my tips and more about the student life in Stockholm and at KI! Outside of my studies, I love socializing and exploring new places around Stockholm, but also cozy days at home with a good book or movie, especially in the colder months.


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