Published: 21-06-2023 13:25 | Updated: 25-09-2023 11:45

Canadian student exchange

Canadian visit to our health care science programmes May 2023. Photo: Annika Clemes

In the middle of May, around 30 students and three teachers from The School of Health Sciences, Western University, Ontario, Canada, visited the study programmes in health care sciences at NVS. This is part of a collaboration that started on a smaller scale in 2018, and after a short break during the pandemic is back on track since last year.

Presentation of group assignments, Swedish and Canadian students. Photo: Annika Clemes

The collaboration has expanded from being just a one day seminar here in Sweden, to now include participation in a summer course, or six weeks internship in a KI research group. But the seminar is still the main attraction, with group discussions around specific themes. Around 30 students from both KI and Canada respectively participated, creating a buzz of people and voices in the halls of ANA23.

Learning from each other

”The best thing about this exchange is that it open doors for the students to see differences and similarities between the Canadian and Swedish health care system”, says Anne-Marie Boström, ”one of the teachers taking part in the collaboration”.
”We can learn a lot from each other, she continues. For example, she mentions that the Canadians have noticed our electronic medical records, and the fact that patients can log on to 1177 and read their own records”.  

In Canada, medical records are still mainly in paper format, and faxes are used for communication.
”On the other hand, they have citizens from all over the world, and we can learn a lot about integration”, says Anne-Marie, ”about how to develop a multicultural health and social care for the elderly, and how to make use of staff language skills”.

Full in the lecture hall when Canadian and Swedish students present their group assignments. Photo: Annika Clemes

Anne-Marie also says that the Canadian students are interested and want to learn as much as possible during their visit. The are well prepared, asking a lot of questions with great dedication and thirst for knowledge. Going on to study at university level is not a given for all Canadian youths. Many of the Swedish students are surprised to learn about the Canadian higher education system, where there is a fee to study, compared to free education in Sweden.

Different educational system in Canada compared to Sweden

The visiting Canadian students are studying for a bachelor’s degree in health science, which includes basic anatomy, public health science and health care science. It is an undergraduate degree, and a first step for those who then want to continue with graduate studies in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, or medicine. To become a nurse in Canada, there are different options at different universities, where some provide a track to go straight from high school to studies for a nursing degree, whereas others require basic undergraduate studies as a first step.

Students in the Swedish-Canadians collaboration. Photo: Annika Clemes

”This year there were great commitment in the student group”, Anne-Marie says, ”with many interesting issues and discussions.”

Happy students and teachers

Anne-Marie also notes that KI have learned to better prepare for this day.

”Our students seem very pleased and have established contact with several of the Canadians”, she says.

Besides visiting Sweden, the Canadian group have a collaboration with OsloMet in Norway where they had started their trip, before coming here. Two Norwegian students and one teacher also joined the seminar day at KI.

The international group of teachers at NVS, with Anne-Marie Boström in charge, had applied and been awarded a pedagogical grant to develop internationalization at home. With this exchange in mind, it will be interesting to see how this can be further developed.

Parts of the teaching group from KI, Sweden and Canada. Photo: Annika Clemes

Responsible/Participating teachers

  • Anne-Marie Boström
  • Susanne Guidetti
  • Vanja Berggren
  • Anna Jervaeus
  • Sofia Vikström
  • Margarita Mondaca
  • Sara Widén