The Extra Perks of Studying at Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institutet is a world renowned university for medicine and health studies, the education is of a good quality and the professors are respected and well-published. These are some of the obvious benefits of studying at KI. In this blog post, I want to point out a few others, which I was not really aware of before I came, but which add some icing to this  educational cake!

Students as teachers

In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about the composition of the Global Health master’s class. We come from all around the world and share a multitude of educational and professional backgrounds.  More and more, I am coming to understand the value of this to my academic experience here, with students being able to add depth to the topics covered, by means of sharing their personal experiences. Some have even held lectures for us on topics such as Health Policy and Evaluation! In addition, I am inspired by this motivated and energetic group, which has already taken the initiative to  organize a number of very successful educational events, such as a “Global health weekend” for the class, activities and lectures in connection with World AIDS Day and a coming symposium about Current Global Health Challenges in the Middle East.

Could I be published? Me?

In my previous master’s, the thesis was an academic endeavour alone. In the Global Health master’s at Karolinska, there is a completely different emphasis on the thesis. It represents the largest proportion of course credits, with the aim of achieving work of high quality. This is illustrated by the fact that during the introductory course, we are given a comprehensive set of lectures about academic writing. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the research groups which some of us are collaborating with are encouraging us to explore the possibility of “translating” our work into articles to be published in the future!

You are invited to the Nobel Lecture!

We have the opportunity to hear many speakers who come from all around the world to share their work with students and staff at Karolinska and these are generally interesting and inspiring, but some are even more special. A few weeks ago, we were informed that our schedule had been changed so that we would be able to attend the Nobel Lecture to be held by the 2017 laureate in Medicine or Physiology Yoshinori Ohsumi. So on this cold and rainy day, we joined the mass of people outside the Aula Medica, waiting for our turn to enter. What anticipation! The lecture was interesting, but I have to admit that I struggled to follow the explanation of the processes of autophagy. It didn’t matter! I was sitting in an auditorium, just a few meters away from a nobel laureate who explained how he had come to be holding this speech, having received the prize of all prizes. It was inspiring! My take home message was his last slide which pointed out that looking back on 27 years of research, “a long and winding path with many accidents and wonderful encounters”, his fortune was “profound subjects, authophagy, excellent colleagues, nice collaborators, indispensable grant support and a supportive family”. So, if you have an enquiring mind, stamina and the support of family, friends and colleagues, the sky is the limit!


Fika at the beginning of each module

It may be a small thing, but Karolinska likes to remind us that it is happy to have us here! One example of this is that on the first day of each course, we are served “fika”, coffee or tea and a Swedish “bakelse” or cake! So we are welcomed on a regular basis!

So, when you come to Karolinska Institutet, you will probably have many of your previous expectations met and maybe, like me, you will be surprised to encounter some extra perks and privileges that “come with the job” of receiving a higher education and a renowned institution.



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