Working Abroad in Sweden: Chemistry External Placement

Duncan Cooper
Thursday 12 January 2023

Adam studies Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry and has undertaken a work placement at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. This is what he has to say about his time abroad so far:

Student leaning over pier Kayaking in the archipelago

I am currently working abroad at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, as part of a placement at SciLifeLab and I have really enjoyed my time here so far.

My host institution have been so kind to me. My supervisors are really welcoming, understanding, and have made a big effort to help us in the workplace. They have also put a lot of effort into arranging group activities from little islands we should visit to buying us ice hockey tickets for a group trip and arranging board game nights after work.

Three students at ice hockey game Ice hockey game

I really love how modern Stockholm is. It was breathtaking travelling by boat around all the islands to visit Vaxholm and getting to see lots of beautiful little islands as we passed by. I have included some photos of myself kayaking, a group trip to watch Ice Hockey and some nice sunny mornings outside my accommodation. Stockholm also has many incredible museums! I have only visited the Vasa museum so far – an old warship that has been restored and is held in a museum – but I plan to see many more before I leave, like the ABBA museum and Nobel Prize museum.

Nordic Museum in Stockholm The Vasa Ship

For anyone preparing to work or study abroad, I’d really recommend focusing on learning basic phrases in the foreign language. I tried to learn too much and in the process realized I’d be much better off being fluent in the fundamental everyday interactions, as opposed to understanding longer phrases but getting confused when someone offers me a shopping bag! I’d also recommend scouting out where you’ll live on google maps ahead of time and planning where you can get all your essentials. I learned Swedish through Duolingo so that I could understand things like road signs and groceries in shops which has also been a big help, however you can just google translate names and play it by ear.

Ultimately, I really recommend working abroad. My time in Sweden has been an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

View of Stockholm from boat  Boat in the Stockholm archipelago

Thank you to Adam for sharing these words and photos from your time in Sweden!

If you would like to talk to Adam about his experience abroad in more depth, or are interested in working or studying abroad in general, please email [email protected].

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