The maze-like town with its canals and winding side-streets, bursting with students, businessmen, children all cycling in different directions with the unequalled expertise of the Dutch and always partying on stages constructed on the canals and and street-long markets every Wednesday and Saturday.
The people are incredibly welcoming and always willing to speak English to the large community of international students. Furthermore, the students have organised an international committee who host weekend trips to beautiful islands and weekly group activities. The station is right in the centre and it is very inviting to go see the various spotlights of The Netherlands, such as the antique market in Delft, shopping in Den Haag or to adventure out to parties in Amsterdam and Utrecht and to get a feel for the Dutch love for nightlife. As for the university itself, I truly recommend it if you are a lover of cultures and diversity but you must have patience with the administrative system!
Zoe (History and English)
When I first arrived in Leiden, the city seemed to stretch out in front of me like a labyrinth with small twisting streets, poems painted up on the walls, canals that transformed into stages for DJs, shops of every kind, delicious restaurants, biweekly markets, and countless museums.
However, everyone was so nice that it quickly started to feel like home. The absolute best part of Leiden was the large number of Dutch and international students that filled it. Through orientation week, my classes, my dorm, and a student association called the International Student Network, I met the most interesting, intelligent, and fun-loving friends from the Netherlands, Taiwan, Australia, Sweden and so many other countries. Together we went to weekly events in Leiden, big parties in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and travelled to places like Budapest and Berlin.
Not only did we learn from passionate teachers in our classrooms, but we discovered new places and cultures from all over Europe and beyond. When our time in the Netherlands came to an end we all agreed that it had been the best experience of our lives. I urge any student who is seeking an unparalleled adventure to study at Leiden for a semester or year you will never forget.
Maddy (Art History and English)