Ask-an-ambassador: the most common questions I’ve been asked about Global Health (Part 3)

Many thanks to all the incoming Global Health students for their questions! In this final (and unexpected) third instalment, we’ll focus more on student life at Karolinska Institutet, and what it’s like to be a student on an accelerated master’s programme.

What are the facilities and student activities like on campus?

The Global Health programme is hosted on Campus Solna, which is by the Karolinska Hospital and actually much bigger than I thought it would be! This campus has several cafés and restaurants, the famous Aula Medica and Biomedicum buildings, a gym and sports hall, and the library. There are also many study spaces, spaces to eat lunch and heat up food (my first tour of campus was basically just a tour of where all the microwaves on campus are…), and a lot of green space too. Overall, it’s a nice place to spend your days. The gym and sports hall are free to access as a KI student, and people often stop by to play badminton, basketball, or table tennis.

There are also many student activities which take place on campus. I have found that many of the groups and activities are geared towards bachelor’s level students, such as the welcome week activities. Nevertheless, everyone is welcome to participate, and there are sports clubs, activism groups, and even musical groups that students can be a part of. Some things that I enjoyed taking part in included the KI Fun Run, where the Health Promotion department organised a run all around campus, and the KI Sports Days which happen once a semester. These are amazing because they often get you free access to sport activities around the city, which can be anything from bouldering to paintballing. I got to play padel for free last semester which was really fun!

The lecture hall in Aula Medica (Photo credits: Emily Tan)
The atrium in the Biomedicum (Photo credits: Emily Tan)

What is the cost of food on campus?

There are many cafés and restaurants across campus which will cost you anything from 30SEK to 150SEK, depending on where (and how much) you eat! Luckily, a lot of the food is subsidised for KI staff and students which is really nice. For example, you can get a large coffee for 15SEK with a KI card at the Biomedicum, and small sandwiches start at 30SEK. One nice thing about the food here is that it’s not only delicious, but also has to be healthy. Nevertheless, if you are on a budget to live in this expensive city, I’d recommend mostly cooking at home and bringing food for lunch – although the food places here are great for a treat!

Free food after the KI fun run! (Photo credits: Emily Tan)

What is the public transport system like for commuting to campus?

There is no metro stop close to KI Solna, so if you’re commuting here, you’ll get used to taking the bus! (Or at least, the bus from the nearest metro stop!). In general, the buses are on time – although they are always subject to traffic and snow-related disruptions. Living at Campus Solna, I take these buses all the time, and they’ve always been fine! Public transport can be a significant expense, so it’s work looking into getting a Mecenat card in order to get the discounted public transport tickets. This is the Swedish student discount card, and you can apply once you have been accepted onto the course and have access to Ladok.

Otherwise, cycling when the weather is good can also be a way to save money on transport, if you can find a cheap bike. Stockholm is also a smaller city than expected, so it can be very walkable when the weather is good too.

What’s my best advice for moving to Stockholm?

My number one piece of advice would be to look for a good winter coat. I’m not just talking a nice coat, or a slightly puffy jacket – do your research, and choose a long jacket that you can fit layers underneath. It’s been my most worn piece of clothing whilst I’ve lived here, and I don’t think I would’ve survived without it! Now I’m aware that these can be expensive, so looking during August/September when you first arrive can be a good way to find one cheaply in a thrift store. The Artikel2 by Slussen, or the Stockholm’s Stadsmission and Artikel2 in Solna Centrum might be good places to start your search.

Warm jackets needed! (Photo credits: Emily Tan)

Thanks for all of your questions, and for tuning in to this final installment. I hope this was helpful, and as always, feel free to email me with any more questions. Hej då!

Emily - Global Health

Emily - Global Health

Hi, I’m Emily! I’m from the UK, the USA and Malaysia, and I’m studying the Master’s in Global Health this year. I’m a medical student in the UK, and hope to work either in Emergency Medicine or Women’s Health, as well as in health policy development and implementation. In my free time, I love playing sports, thrift shopping, hiking and the outdoors, and trying out new cafés (all of which I have heard Stockholm is perfect for!). I’m excited to travel around Scandinavia this year, start some new sports, and explore the shops and cafés in Södermalm.


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