BY REUBEN, TEDDY AND CLAUDIA
Nearly halfway across the world, our visit to Karolinska Institutet was both refreshing and awe-inspiring. We were greeted with lovely hospitality from not only our campus tour guide, but also the staff and students there who were all eager to share with us about the research institute. With its stunning façade and cutting-edge research facilities, our tour at Karolinska Institutet never ceased to amaze. We were exposed to their various forms of research namely flow cytometry techniques, aging research, and twin studies – we even tried our hand at learning a bit of Swedish from one of the students! Undoubtedly, our valuable learning experiences at the institute were a testament to its reputation as a hallmark in global medical research.
The city itself was no less amazing – with its beautiful, idyllic architecture and iconic city skyline that remains memorable till this day. From the streets of Gamla Stan rich in historical cultures, to the picturesque sunrises we caught at four in the morning, the sights and scenes around Stockholm were yet another marvel to behold. Nonetheless, the calmness of its setting seemed to contrast with the highly driven, work-oriented environment at the institute. In truth, the Swedes have mastered the balance between work and personal life, evident from their comparatively shorter working days, as well as the daily tradition of fika (loosely translates to a coffee break) that is undeniably instrumental in Swedish culture. All in all, my experiences in Sweden and Karolinska Institutet have no doubt been worthwhile, and I am certain that each and every one of us had valuable takeaways from this trip, be it the enriching learning experiences and exposure, or the unforgettable memories and bonds we shared together!
The trip to KI was an eye opening one as we got to see and learn about the lab techniques that we learnt in our bio lectures such as those of fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. While at KI, we were also privileged to learn more about the post graduate programmes they have available for NTU students and got to immerse in their fika culture. We got closer as a batch through sightseeing and playing together after an intense 1st year in university. We are thankful to the CN Yang office and student committee for organising the trip to stretch our horizon and to grow as a batch through out of school experiences.
The trip to Sweden was very eye opening and enriching—I was impressed at how Karolinska Institutet managed to incorporate a ‘Traffic Light System’ for students to find suitable supervisors and mentors, something that has yet to be established in most workplaces and labs in Singapore. I got to see many equipment that I have yet to see before and I also got to see first hand how researchers use them. Not to mention, Sweden has breath taking sceneries—we were always caught up in the amazing atmosphere and stunning sunsets. I had a really memorable time trying different Swedish cuisine and getting to learn more about their culture.