Published: 29-08-2022 15:20 | Updated: 29-08-2022 15:20

Welcoming new students to KI

Five students standing on a stage in Aula Medica raising their hands up in the air, smiling. Flags, baloons and flowers in the background.
Current students at KI hosted and participated in the student panel during the welcome ceremony for new students.

Many participated in KI:s introduction week for new students, which was the first one to take place in person since COVID-19. Meet some of KI:s new students and read about why they chose to study at KI, and what they though about the introduction to their new University so far.

One week before the fall semester starts new students attending the global master's and bachelor's programmes, and exchange students, are invited to an introduction week at Karolinska Institutet. The first three days students are offered a complimentary Swedish course. This is followed by a welcome ceremony and fair and ends with workshops and social activities. 

Welcome ceremony and fair at Campus Solna

During the welcome ceremony held in Aula Medica on Campus Solna, the new students were welcomed by the President of KI, Ole Petter Ottersen, among others. Current students participated in the welcome ceremony as hosts and student panel to talk about what student life at KI has to offer.

Two students standing on the stage in Aula Medica smiling.
Claudia and Daniela hosted the welcome ceremony during introduction week.

Curent students host welcome ceremony 

Claudia Ferrer Aumatell and Daniela Nunes, both global master’s students since one year at KI, hosted the ceremony. They themself did not have an introduction week in person due to the situation with COVID-19 at the time. This was one of the reasons Daniela chose to apply for the position to host the welcome ceremony.

“I wanted to see people’s faces when they start. It´s such a magical time, everyone is smiling, and everyone is excited. One year ago, that was me and I wanted to experience that. Somehow, I could experience it now by hosting,” says Daniela.

“I can´t believe we were here one year ago and now we are doing this. It feels so nice to welcome people to this friendly University,” says Claudia.

Two students standing outside in sunny weather in Campus Solna.
Diana and Fatou participated in the introduction week.

Many reasons to choose KI

Outside of Erling Perssonsalen, where the ceremony was held, students gathered to have lunch and to mingle. 

“Today is my first day for the introduction week and it´s been wonderful. I loved the President’s speech. I put down a few notes for myself and my journey in Sweden,” says Diana Afrifa, student from Ghana studying the Master’s Programme in Health Economics, Policy, and Management.

It is also Fatou Fofana’s first day participating in the introduction week. 

“It´s very interesting meeting new international students from different backgrounds and different cultures. I think it´s one of the greatest things of the day,” says Fatou Fofana, student from Gambia studying the Master’s Programme in Public Health, Health Promotion and Prevention track. 

Fatou and Diana mention that one of the reasons they chose KI was that it is a top-rated university. 

“First, I am inspired by the alumni association in Gambia. We have a few Gambians that already completed studies here and going through the website I have seen that KI is a top-rated University. I am a health promotion officer back home. Most of my work at the regional level is promoting health so when I saw the programme offer and that there are lots of opportunities upon completion I had to apply,” says Fatou.

“I chose KI because the health economics, policy and management programme aligns with what I want to do in terms of policy advancement and management, says Diana. 

“Let me add that one of the reasons I chose KI is that Sweden is big on equity and equality in health care. That links to my goal to improve health in terms of women and childbirth. So, it really fit perfectly for me,” Diana continues.

Three students sit outside Aula Medica on the grass in sunny weather.
Gabriela, Noemi and Kia are going to study Nutrition Science at KI.

“It´s going to be a whole experience"

Many students took the opportunity to enjoy the last days of Swedish summer and had their lunch outside on the lawn opposite Aula Medica. Three of them where Kia Reis from Finland, Noemi Bolzonella from Italy and Gabriela Ciobotaru from Romania. They are all going to study the Master’s Programme in Nutrition Science. 

“I applied to many Universities all over the world and to be honest I never thought I would be accepted here. One of the reasons was that it is a very well-known health and science focused University and for me the most interesting part is the research aspect,” says Kia.

“I chose KI because it looked like a great university where I could study a master´s degree in nutrition science. Once I started reading about the University, I realised it´s such a great place that focus on health in general so I thought that this is the best institution I can go to,” says Gabriela.

According to Noemi, the highlight of the introduction week so far has been the motivational aspect.

“It´s going to be a whole experience. We will have a great opportunity to meet a lot of people, get to know each other and other cultures,“ says Noemi. 

Advice from current students to new students

As an advice to new students, welcome ceremony hosts Claudia and Daniella mention not to be afraid of trying new things. Most of your fellow new students also feel awkward at first and the best thing is to challenge yourself. 

“Don´t be afraid to try new experiences. You are in a new country, just be yourself and make new friends. Bring part of your culture and learn new things,” says Claudia. 

“By challenging yourself you really grow. You can start with babysteps by going alone to an event and then, I don´t know, maybe host a ceremony,” says Daniela and laughs.