A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
One of the greatest things about studying in an University such as Leiden is that every week there are many different events taking place across the university´s multiple faculties and buildings. Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend a lecture regarding the Nuclear Summit that Den Haag was about to host with the former Director of NATO and many other high raking figures. Every week, the University offers unique opportunities for its students in various areas of knowledge and the chances for academic and personal enrichment are infinite and being surrounded by this kind of environment inspires me. However, one thing I was not expecting was to get to know more about my own culture and history while living in Leiden. Once again the University surprised me.
The Department of Latin American Studies, more specifically the Brazilian Studies sector of it, organized the Brazil Week in Leiden University.
It consists of lectures, film screening, workshops and more around the Brazilian culture, history and relationships with other countries. I was obviously already excited to know of such initiative, but once I checked the programe ( Take a look,the events are still happening throughout this week http://www.hum.leiden.edu/lucas/news-events/brazil-week-2014.html ) I realized that on the first of the event (meaning TODAY) they were going to host a symposium around the 50 years since the military coup in Brazil that resulted in 21 years of dictatorship in my country. That alone would make me attend the panels, but some of the lecturers were going to discuss EXACTLY my Master thesis topic, so I could not possibly miss this amazing opportunity!
The first lecture was the one that caught my interest the most because it discussed the legacies left behind by the dictatorship and it was very interesting to hear the story I´ve heard time and time again in Brazil being told by a British professor.Those situations are very refreshing, because they sometimes shed different light to things we thought we already knew quite well.
It was a extremely pleasant afternoon and I am so thankful for Leiden for this and many other great opportunities. I know that those events are not largely advertised across the different faculties so my advice is: Keep you eye and ear open to them and, especially, dig in the University´s website for updated information on those events.