December updates

As I promised in my recent posts, I would like to keep you updated on the things that are happening now at Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm. These include Swedish Course, Toxicology programme curriculum and special events that take place at this time of the year in Sweden.

Let me first start from the language course: it has been almost a month since I started my course and I must admit I am very satisfied with the school and my class. Our teacher is very friendly and eager to help us with occasionally overwhelming grammar, as the course is a bit intensive though. All the materials are provided by the tutor, so you don’t have to buy any extra books. Moreover, I recommend to choose schools located in the centre  of the city because it is highly possible you will meet many students and researchers from KI, as I did! The pathway to be fluent in Swedish is quite arduous and contains many levels: I’m currently at 3CT Intro level, which is the first one, so to finish my adventure with SFI I have to succesfully complete also 3CT, 3C and 3D levels. To reach the 3C level you only have to obtain a permission from your teacher, but from 3C one onwards you have to pass a national exam. We will see if I can keep up with studying Swedish for the next months, but for now let me just paste some of the random excercises we are tortured every Tuesday and Thursday at Folkuniversitet.

Tox master’s programme: Finally we finished the Target Organ Toxicity course and started the last one during this term: Health Risk Assessment. The course, again, is based on a group work. However, this time the aim of the group project is to write a 20-pages-long health risk assessment report about a given chemical(s). Every group has its own tutor, who helps us with any problems or doubts as well as gives you valuable tips on how to write your report properly. After submitting our reports in January, we will still have to pass a written exam that is the main criterion for evaluation. Finally, from 23rd of December to 6th of January we have a free-from-lectures period therefore everyone who wants (or can) to go back for Christmas holiday to their native countries is able to do so.

Others:  there were many activities connected to the Nobel Prize this week. Personally, I had the chance to participate in the Nobel Dialogue Conference on Tuesday, that was related to ageing processes. I had the opportunity to see and listen to the several Nobel Prize winners, including Elizabeth Blackburn (Nobel Prize for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase), Aaron Ciechanover (Nobel Prize for ubiquitine-merdiated protein degradation) or Eric Kandel (Nobel Prize for for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system). I must admit that it is superinteresting to listen to these people, their opinions and even the way they express their thoughts. Unfortunately, I had to skip one of the meeting with my tutor but I do not regret it at all because I probably would not have another chance to participate in such event!

Lastly, I would like to show you a beautiful view I admire every day around 8 a.m outside my house in December:



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