Final exam for the biomedicine bachelor written!
and I am now registered at Imperial College in London, somewhat updated on my project for the spring, and ready to start on Thursday! Feels unreal – on Wednesday I move to London!
Soon I am finished with my biomedicine bachelor and now I have no more courses to take at Karolinska institutet. It’s surreal. These three years have been quite a ride!
The bachelor program starts in the autumn with a course called “Introduction to biomedicine”. It’s quite a pleasant course to give you some basics that you might’ve missed or forgotten from high school (or gymnasiet as it’s called in Sweden) and a little overview of the body and it’s functions.
Next course is “Organic chemistry”. I really like chemistry and this course is very nicely organized – most of my classmates hated it however. It is a tough course with classes and seminars every day, long days in the laboratory and lab reports to be handed in every week. About 50% of the classmates jumped ship during or right after this course.
First course of the second (spring) semester is “biochemistry”. It’s a short but intense course where you need to memorize a lot of detailed information (especially metabolic pathways). I really liked this course as well, it was very interesting and also nicely organized, but not as tough as the organic chemistry.
Second course, spring semester, is “cell biology and genetics”. It had all the ingredients to be a fascinating course, and some parts of it was, but I really disliked it in general. There was hardly any practical work, only hours and hours of lectures, and biggest focus was on methods to study genetics. We bashed them pretty hard in the course evaluations that you do after each course, so hopefully it has changed by now.
The first year went by so fast! In the spring semester I applied and got accepted for the exchange that Karolinska Institutet has with Leiden University. At both universities you study “immunology” and then “integrative physiology” for the autumn semester, but I don’t know much about what those courses were like at Karolinska. At Leiden university the exams were extremely difficult, but the courses very well organized and interesting. It was much more based on self-studies compared to Karolinska, which offers a lot of lectures and professor time. Although sometimes frustrating – living in the Netherlands, 30 minutes from Amsterdam – was an amazing experience!
Spring semester, fourth term, we returned from Leiden and jumped right back in to the Karolinska program with the course “Neuroscience”. One of the most interesting courses of the program no doubt. The workshop of dissected human brains study will test the strength of your stomach however!
Neuroscience is followed by “tissue biology” – a three week, somewhat strange course. It’s mainly about recognizing different tissues and cells in the microscope, but then with a bunch of lectures crammed in there for no apparent reason. The 6 hour exam that follows seems somewhat non-proportional. The whole course should be completely computerized if you ask me…
Third course of the spring semester was “pharmacology” – my absolute favorite of all the courses we’ve had. The lectures were very interesting and the experiments fun. Everything felt relevant to what I’d like to work with in the future.
Last course of the spring semester was “biostatistics” – another three week course and pretty much the very opposite of what I’d like to work with in the future. The professor was very good though and it was fun to do a bit of math again (yes, I am a nerd). Don’t ignore the afternoon-sessions where you do math assignments with a teacher present! They are more valuable than I realized when I didn’t go to any of them.
First course of the last autumn semester, last year, is “molecular oncology (with biostatistics)”. If you’ve never thought or worried much about cancer – you will now! This was the most mentally exhausting course I’ve ever had. The course is very clinically oriented, but don’t be fooled. The exam will mainly be on molecular mechanisms of cancer. On the upside – there’s lots of free food and coffee during this course.
Which brings us to today. My very last course. Molecular medicine. It’s been a strange course. Mostly it seems to exist as a reminder and integration of what we’ve learned during these past years, with some additional information and some attempts to take the next step – towards masters/Ph.D. program thinking. I’m not sure what I think of this course. Maybe I need to gain some perspective on it.
From thursday until the 5th of june, I’ll be doing my second Karolinska exchange, living in London, working on my bachelors thesis. And that will be the end of three years blood, sweat and tears. And lots of fun!