A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
So, the intro days have come and gone, and now I’m sitting here with a hot cup of tea, nursing a sore throat and cough I seem to have picked up over the last few days. I met so many new people from all over the world, led my group all over Leiden, ate very unhealthy food and drank a lot, so I guess its not surprising I’m a little worse for wear today!
My first day started at 9am on Friday, as my co-guide Christa and I waited at Lipsius for our group. We seemed to have a pretty big group, with 19 on our list. Wearing our (customized) guide T-shirts, and waving a paper plate on a stick with ‘11’ written on, we managed to find our new students one by one. I love the first few days of a new term, when people are super open and willing to answer the same questions over and over again: where are you from? What do you study? Why Leiden?
After an introductory lecture about the university, the Humanities Faculty (group 11 was mainly students from Chinese Studies, Linguistics, and Latin American Studies), and how to enroll for classes, Christa and I did a speedy tour of the key places in the uni for our group. Then, we sat in the beautiful atrium in the Arsenaal and ate lunch. After that, we trotted up to the Hooglandsekerk for more speeches and lectures, and to meet the Mayor!
In my last post I wrote that the Hooglandsekerk speeches were fun, but now I think I might have had a slightly rose-tinted view on last year’s event. Sure, they weren’t awful, but I have to admit to nodding off (just for a second!) half way through the 2 hours. But anyway, after the Mayor had arrived and raised his glass to the new students, we began on the drinking ourselves. This was a really great chance to hang out with our group and really start to get to know them. We had a pretty awesome group. I also bumped into other students and guides that I knew, so this part really was a lot of fun.
Next, we took our group for monstrously-sized pancakes, and watched in horror as the sky blackened and the rain started pouring. We were due to take part in the ISN treasure hunt around Leiden, but with soggy feet and too few umbrellas, we hurried to Einsteins. There we warmed up and had cosy drinks. By the end of the night, three of us were left in Odessa’s, before I made my way home, avoiding the puddles on the way.
Day 2 coming soon!