A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Orientation Week Leiden (OWL) is a great idea!

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5 Reasons why OWL week is a great idea

It’s August, so the sun is shining and everyone is in holiday-mode. But August also means that its only one month until the University year starts again, and less than a month until OWL (Orientation Week Leiden) begins. So I thought I’d give you another list, this time of reasons why participating in OWL week is a good idea.

  • You’ll get your first taste of Dutch culture
    1. OWL is certainly a great way to get a first taste of Dutch culture, whether that be cheese sandwiches for lunch, how to pronounce ‘huis’, or even just experiencing your first ‘borrel’.
  • You’ll be put in groups with students from similar courses and levels
    1. One of my biggest reservations before signing up for OWL was that I’d already finished a whole Bachelor’s degree, I knew the general University system and to be honest I really didn’t want to spend a week with kids fresh out of school. What’s really great about OWL, however, is that it’s for international students, most of whom are at Masters level, not beginning their Bachelors, and you are placed into groups with people beginning similar courses (if not the same) as you.
  • You’ll get the typical introduction to the city and university
    1. A big part of any orientation week is always an introduction to the city you’ll be living in, and the university itself – the systems and protocols, your department, people and groups that are useful to know about, where everything is located, etc. As stereotypical as this is, it’s actually really useful for international students in particular to learn these things, rather than spending hours trying to figure it out yourself.
    2. You’ll get ‘free time’
    3. Moving to a new place there are generally lots of jobs to do like sorting out your phone and bank account, finding accommodation, registering at the town hall. Plenty of times people from my group would duck out for an hour or two to sort out these things and it was never a big deal!
  • You’ll make great new friends 
  1. As cheesy as it sounds the OWL week actually is a really great way to make new friends. While you won’t necessarily keep in touch with the entire group long term, you never know, you’ll at least recognize a few faces in your first day of classes. I definitely met two of my closest friends in Leiden during OWL week.

Danielle van Dalen

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This entry was posted on August 6, 2015 by in Authors and tagged , .

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