Requirements for exchange studies at Karolinska Institutet

Due to the high number of requests, Karolinska Institutet only accepts students from partner institutions with which there is a formal agreement of exchange. Karolinska Institutet does not accept freemover students.  

General requirements 

To be accepted as an exchange student at Karolinska Institutet you must be enrolled at a higher education institution that has a written exchange agreement with Karolinska Institutet for the specific study programme of interest. Check with the International Office at your institution (either the central office or your faculty's/department's office) to see if there is an agreement and whether you are eligible to go on exchange. Exchange students should be selected and nominated by their home institution, however the final decision on admission is made by Karolinska Institutet. 

One week of full-time studies is equivalent to 1.5 ECTS credits. General requirements always apply. Specific requirements may apply. 

General requirements depending on language of instruction 

Check with your home institution regarding the required levels to be nominated for exchange at Karolinska Institutet. 

English language requirements 

It is important that you have sufficient proficiency in the English language to be able to study as an exchange student at Karolinska Institutet. It is recommended that your language proficiency corresponds to level B2 according to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or equivalent (IELTS 6.0-6.5 or TOEFL iBT 72-94).  

Read more about the CEFR levels 

No language certificate or language test is required. You will be asked to self-assess your language skills in the online application form. Your home institution might also be requested to confirm your language proficiency.  

Swedish language requirements  

You must have a good command of the Swedish language or another Scandinavian language if you wish to take courses offered in Swedish.  

No language certificate or language test is required. You will be asked to self-assess your language skills in the online application form. Your home institution might also be requested to confirm your language proficiency.  

Specific requirements 

Specific requirements may apply for the options offered to you as an exchange student: courses, clinical rotations and research-oriented projects. The specific requirements are listed in the information on Courses and Application of respective study programme. 

Questions regarding the specific requirements are answered by your international coordinator at Karolinska Institutet.  

The learning environment and teaching style 

Many international students find the learning environment and teaching style to be different in Sweden. Below you will find a summary of what to expect when studying at Karolinska Institutet. 

Courses 

Most courses are full-time courses and require at least 40 hours of study per week, even though you only will have a few hours of lectures each week. The rest of the study time should be spent on independent study or on group work. Normally, you will only take one course at a time that ends with an examination. After the examination a new course starts. The structure of individual courses varies depending on what subject you are taking.  

Lectures and examinations 

Courses usually include lectures, seminars and in some courses also laboratory sessions. You might think there is a lot of group work during a course; the idea is to encourage students to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. Teachers expect you to come well-prepared to class, which is why independent work and reading between class normally is extensive. 

Examinations vary and can take the form of written or oral tests, laboratory work, or group work. The performance will be graded in accordance with the course's grading scale and based on the student's fulfilment of the learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. 

Clinical rotations 

Some study programmes offer full-time clinical rotations within different specialties in English and in Swedish. A clinical rotation requires at least 40 hours of work per week if run full-time and a student can, if needed be, only attend one rotation at a time. Some of the study programmes offer fairly flexible starting dates meanwhile others have fixed rotation dates. Please note that there is only a limited number of places for clinical rotations and a study place can therefore not be guaranteed.  

During a clinical rotation the student will be assigned to a clinical supervisor who will be responsible for ongoing instructions and supervision. Note that even if a clinical rotation is offered in English some elements, such as patient communication, might be conducted partly in Swedish. The performance will be graded in accordance with the course's grading scale and based on the student's fulfilment of the learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. General requirements always apply. Specific requirements may apply. 

Research-oriented projects 

All projects require at least 40 hours of studies per week if they run full-time. One study week is equivalent to 1.5 ECTS credits. Projects can however be combined with courses and/or run in parallel with courses. The performance will be graded in accordance with the course's grading scale and based on the student's fulfilment of the learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. General requirements always apply. Specific requirements may apply. 

Questions regarding the research-oriented projects are answered by your International Coordinator at Karolinska Institutet. Contact information is found under Information and Courses for each study programme.