For students attending the Master's Programme in Toxicology Questions and answers about exchange studies

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about exchange studies.

What do exchange studies involve?

Studying abroad within the framework of an exchange programme means that the student spends part of his/her period of training at one of the exchange programme’s partner universities. You then apply to have these studies credited at Karolinska Institutet. The agreements are reciprocal, which means that the universities must receive and send an equal number of students in both directions. BIONK has signed student exchange agreements with about 20 universities around the world.

Which universities can you go to?

Partner universities (may be subject to change).

Can you go at any time during your training?

You must have completed at least one term of your master’s programme in toxicology to become an exchange student.

How long can you be away?

Erasmus studies: 3-12 months.
INK (bilateral agreements in Canada and Singapore): one semester with the exception of Nanyang Technological University, where you can stay for two semesters. To receive the INK travel stipend you need to be on exchange for at least 5 weeks.

What do you study as an exchange student?

As an exchange student you have the opportunity to study courses that can be credited and/or do your degree work abroad.

What is expected of an exchange student?

Studying abroad for a period requires a lot of preparation. There are many aspects to consider – before, during and after the study period. You will receive advice and help from BIONK and the student advisory service during your planning, but remember that the responsibility for the success of your preparatory work and your foreign studies is a matter for yourself. Remember that you will have to do a lot of work on your own account.

Once you have accepted an exchange place, the student service at KI and the exchange university will begin a collaboration to realise your objectives. You must therefore be certain you want to go before this (often time-consuming) work commences. Once you have accepted the place, compelling reasons are required to withdraw your application.

In your capacity as a representative of Karolinska Institutet and BIONK’s continued exchange work, it is important that you are a good ambassador during your stay abroad.

How are exchange studies credited at KI?

Your exchange studies can be credited either as ordinary courses or elective courses. The master’s programme in toxicology comprises 120 credit points. You should be able to credit your exchange studies within these 120 credit points.

This accreditation will be determined by a subject representative/examiner at KI. Before you leave you should therefore contact the director of studies of the programmes concerned to discuss your course choices with the foreign university and to find out whether the courses can be credited. On your return you should apply for accreditation on a special form and attach to the application certification of course moments, courses and examinations completed. To facilitate assessment of your exchange studies you should be able to produce course descriptions, the schedule, literature lists etc.

If you wish to do project work abroad you should have a supervisor both at KI and at the foreign university. Your project plan should be approved at KI before you start your work. Contact the relevant director of studies for further information.

Is accommodation abroad included?

As an exchange student, your hosting department can sometimes help you to arrange accommodation. However, in certain places access to student residences is restricted and therefore it is important that you apply for accommodation as soon as you receive your acceptance notice from the host university. The standards are often lower than Swedish students are used to. For example, rented rooms, shared rooms and communal bathrooms for an entire corridor are normal. Sometimes the rents are also higher than in Sweden.

What will your financial situation be during exchange studies?

You should take plenty of time to consider how much your studies may cost to see whether you can afford to finance them. As an exchange student at an agreed university you pay no tuition fees at the host university (does not apply to ”freemover” students). Other expenses may however be payable, such as application and registration fees, student union fees, insurance fees and costs for course literature and other materials.

Find out more about our exchange programmes' options.

Swedish students and students with permanent residence permits

If you fulfill the requirements for a Swedish governmental student grant you are entitled to receive it during your foreign study period provided you have been notified in advance that your training will be credited at KI. If the study period lasts for at least 13 weeks you may apply for a grant for studies abroad. The total amount of the grant is tailored to the costs in the country you will be studying in and the term length at the host university (the Swedish National Board of Student Aid (CSN) has determined amounts for different countries – for more information see the CSN website). However, the grant portion is always of the same level. If you will be studying abroad for less than 13 weeks you should apply instead for an ordinary grant in accordance with the Swedish grant amounts. There will then be no adjustment of the loan portion to the costs of the country. You may also apply for a supplementary loan for travelling expenses to and from your place of study. This applies irrespective of whether you are applying for an ”ordinary” or a foreign student grant, provided that the study period abroad is at least five weeks. Those students who do their project work abroad (degree work) apply for an ordinary student grant irrespective of the length of their stay.

Scholarship and/or a grant

You apply for a scholarship and travel allowance once you have been accepted by the exchange university, and these differ from one exchange programme to another (Erasmus, bilateral agreement/INK). The amounts are fixed annually, but are normally between SEK 5,000 and 7,500 for a three-month period. Please note that Erasmus grants are only open to students with an EU citizenship and students with a permanent residence permit in EU.

Language skills and language courses?

BIONK does not require you to do any language test if you want to become an exchange student; it is up to you to see that you have adequate language skills before you start your foreign studies. If you allow enough time you can therefore study the language before your departure.

The KI Language Center runs courses in medical French and English. These language courses are free to students and doctoral candidates at KI. Further information is available on the Language support's pages.

Other options for brushing up your language skills are doing language courses through an adult education organisation (e.g. ABF, Medborgarskolan or the Swedish Study Promotion Association), at the University of Stockholm or Södertörn University College, or you could attend an intensive course in your country of study (e.g. a summer course). Certain host universities also organise language courses at various levels, though sometimes fees are payable. There are also independent language schools abroad. If you are going to study abroad and you want to apply for a student grant for language studies, you should check with CSN that the school has been approved.

Students who are going on an Erasmus exchange to countries in Europe in which less common languages are spoken have the option of participating in preparatory courses or EILC (ERASMUS Intensive Language Courses). For language courses organised in the summer (both beginners’ and intermediate courses) you may apply for a language scholarship.

How can you get hold of travel reports?

Those students who have completed exchange studies within the framework of the biomedical programme write a travel report when they return home. These reports are currently available in hard copy in folders at the Department of Student Affairs in Solna and Huddinge. You can also contact the international student advisor to gain access to the reports. You can read Biomedicine students' travel reports here.

Remember that it takes a long time to obtain information and organise everything for a foreign study period. So start collecting information and get yourself ready in good time – it is your own responsibility to prepare yourself as well as possible before you depart. You must decide where and what you want to study – an agreeable problem which nevertheless can be quite time-consuming and requires adequate preparation time. Nor should you forget the unique opportunities to learn more about the country and the university you plan to go to from the exchange students already at KI. From them you can get first-hand information and useful hints before your own visit. You might also be able to get in some practice in the host country’s language! You are more than welcome to approach the MF (Medical Student Union) and Global Friends if you want to become a mentor.

More questions?
Contact your International coordinator and see the Study abroad pages.


Content reviewer: