A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

St. Patrick’s Day in Leiden

First of all, I’m a new blogger for the Leidener, so please let me introduce myself. My name is Josh and I came from Canada one and a half years ago to do my masters of astronomy. Some may know of me from my travel blogs I’ve written in the past. I have been generously invited to participate in this wonderful group of people, who write about their experiences in Leiden.

The question a lot of people ask me is: “Why did you choose Leiden?”. I have two answers that I generally tell people. I chose Leiden because it is the best graduate school in Holland for astronomy, and one of the best in the world. The second answer is that after completing my bachelor of physics in Toronto (Canada) I was bored. At this point in a young person’s life, the world is your oyster, and no single city will a pearl produce. Thus, when I saw that poster on the wall of the physics building in the University of Toronto — the one that advertised a rich, international masters program in astronomy at Leiden University — I applied straight away.

One measure of a student city is the possibility of party. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, a notoriously festive day for some. We will see what it has to offer here in Leiden. I went to a local student party, and brought my camera along.

Pelikan Bar on St. Patty's Day 2015

My friend and I order our first drinks. I prefer no green dye in my beer but rolled with it anyways.

The atmosphere of Pelikan Bar is quite cozy with couches, a pool table, pin-ball, and just enough room for standing around.

Being in the basement of a student residence meant that everyone there was studying something, but not tonight.

The sound that flowed through the air was composed completely of the rumble of voices, as for some reason the music was not playing. Oddly enough, the energy of party persevered and music wasn’t missed.


Briefly skimped on my defensive duties to snap this picture.

I drank a beer, played a game of pin-ball — achieving a high-score of 1,400,000! — and had a few more beers. I usually don’t drink so much but the festivities called for it. Mostly, everyone I met there was someone new, which was nice. After spending some time talking to people, and taking pictures, my friend and I got our butts kicked at foozball.

In conclusion, St. Patty’s in Leiden isn’t the riot it is in some places, but definitely a excuse to get together.

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This entry was posted on March 18, 2015 by in Culture, Student Life.

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