A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

A Leidener’s Awesome Winter Break

After struggling for months about whether I should go back to China during the winter break, I finally booked my ticket home. Some Leideners seem to be really good at dealing with homesickness and something like that, but I can never overcome this kind of challenges. In the last winter break, I stayed in the Netherlands and I can say that it’s the worst holiday I’ve ever had during my school life. Because almost all of my friends left the student apartment, I was quite alone and I had to bear time difference and long distance between me and my family in the 6-week holiday. And due to the fact that I did an internship in summer and did not stay home for more than a month, I missed home terribly. Luckily my financial situation was better this year, and no matter what happened, I have already decided to go home. It turned out to be a very good choice for me personally; I became much more motivated and relaxed in terms of fulfilling my school tasks and solving daily-life problems.

Packing up stroopwafels, kruidnoten and other typical Dutch food, I locked my door and headed to the airport. As Christmas was coming, the airport was decorated into a winter fairy tale… I’ll stop nagging you my dear readers, I know pictures are far more interesting!


Beautifully decorated Christmas tree

Guess whom I met?! Santa Claus!!!!!!wifi0s01243161166IMAG0516_BURST002

Is she from a fairy tale?

Oh look! There is a museum in the airport! How nice 🙂
wifi0s0-973734829IMAG0518 wifi0s0-69668328IMAG0522 wifi0s0923650359IMAG0521And… I got a surprise present from KLM! I went to the boarding gate pretty late, and my boarding pass could not work properly. I was a little angry at first when they changed my seat from 26G to 4G without asking me before hand. When I was just about to ask the cabin crew, they told me, “Don’t worry! We changed your seat to World Business Class because this flight was over-booked. Stay here, it’s a gift!” So a girl who has been used to the crowded Economy Class suddenly had her first flight in World Business Class. I enjoyed almost everything on board, the comfortable seats, the food, the snacks… even give you travel sets for free! And I heard that KLM is giving gifts for its anniversary; I never thought that I could get one as well. There is Dutch gin in it. The porcelain producer dated back to 1575; coincidentally it was the same year in which Leiden University was established. Anyway, all in all, what a deal and what a lovely present (or present set)!wifi0s0-240757029IMAG0530 wifi0s0-919251758IMAG0607 wifi0s0-1050226419IMAG0608_mh1388726859493 wifi0s01145877764IMAG0541

wifi0s01246352537IMAG0527 wifi0s0-690474285IMAG0529And I was even more excited to be home. My grandma was also very happy to see me again, and she cut the potatoes into cute patterns just for me. Yummy!


This is how I work at home.wifi0s0-70347636IMAG0627My mom prepared the warmest quilts because she was afraid that I would feel cold in a house that was colder than 10 degrees C. The temperature was low, the weather was cold, but my heart was as warm as newly-made fragrant China tea.

wifi0s0-1612432104IMAG0545I spent 5 weeks at home; and I can say that it’s the best winter break ever! Home is always a port to stay at when you get tired sailing on the dangerous sea. Tomorrow will be the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Although I could not celebrate it at home, Skype helps. With all the happiness I brought with me from home, I won’t be alone. This is my awesome winter break, and Happy Chinese New Year in advance!


by Xueyan Xing (coming all the way from China; studying at Leiden University College The Hague)

One comment on “A Leidener’s Awesome Winter Break

  1. mandala56
    January 30, 2014

    What a lovely description! I’m so jealous of the good things you got on KLM! And thanks for the photos, they are so enjoyable.

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2014 by in Authors, Culture, Leisure, Travel, Xueyan and tagged , , , .

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