Reasons why I choose to study at Karolinska Institutet

Congrats to newly admitted students, you made a big achievement 🎉 Now, you might be wondering whether you should accept the admission offer or pursue to apply for other master’s programs. If you are thinking about this, I definitely understand you as I also went through the same struggles. I applied to different master’s programmes, in different countries. In the end, I chose Sweden and now I will talk about my reasons but also the things I have learnt throughout these two years and set your expectations for Sweden.

1) Quality of education and the university

Since master’s programmes consist of mainly lectures and prepare you for the next step in your career both the quality of education and the university were very important for me. Even though I didn’t know anything about the education part, I knew that Karolinska Institutet is a very well-respected academic place all around the world which could help me to have a good career in the future. Now, after two years, I can also comment on the education quality. From what I have observed from the lectures at KI, they are mostly student-oriented where flip-classrooms are more popular than traditional teaching methods. Since most of us are coming from traditional teaching, it might come as a shock at first to learn the materials beforehand and have student presentations, and discussions during the classes. Even though I was very resistant at first to this type of teaching, I understood that this is the best way to prepare you for further academic steps. When you do a PhD or work in industry, you will be expected to be able to learn new things by yourself and have the ability to discuss them afterwards. After I came to this realization, the classroom became more enjoyable to me and I valued this aspect of teaching and it was done in a very good quality as well.

2) Research opportunities

Karolinska Institutet is very well known for its research and as a master’s student, you can be part of a variety of research groups through internships and master’s thesis projects. The quality of research is very high as far as I have experienced, where you have amazing labs and facilities at the same place which is not the case for most research environments. After two years, I cannot recommend more than enough to participate in the amazing research going on at KI and I think this was one of the things that convinced me to choose here as well.

Biomedicum building, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

3) Study/Life Balance

SciLifeLab building at KI campus, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

Part of studying abroad and being an international student means that you should also be able to immerse yourself in the culture, make new friends, try new activities and so on. However, this cannot be possible if you study or work 24/7. What I really appreciated from KI was that the schedule of classes always included self-study times. This means that the workload that was given to you can be done in self-study hours and you are not expected to study outside of class hours. This allows you to have a good schedule where you can both study and learn as a master’s student and also experience the city, and hang out with friends without worrying about missing out on education.

4) Multi-cultural environment

During my bachelor’s in Turkey, we only had a few international students, and I knew about the struggles of my international friends about being lonely, and not being able to blend into society. That is why I was a bit afraid before coming here about being left alone, and not finding new friends. However, master’s programmes and labs at KI are highly international and everyone has similar feelings about moving to a new country. So, it is easy to make new friends and adjust to this new country that you moved in.

Final comments

Moving to a new country is definitely not easy, but for me, it was worth giving a shot to KI, and I am very glad that I made this choice. If you want to learn more about what you will need to do in terms of bureaucracy, I would suggest reading Naomi’s new blog post. Hope you will make a choice that will make you happy in the future. If you have any questions, you can comment below or send me an e-mail.

See you in the next blog!

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

My name is Yağmur, and I am from Turkey. I am a student on the Master’s Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science. Living in Sweden and studying at KI started as a dream, yet here I am (my life motto “everything is possible” still holds until further notice). In my free time, I like watching movies and listening to music from all around the world. I enjoy sharing my experiences in life. So, if everyone is ready, welcome to my blog and let’s begin the journey…


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