A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Leiden offers a number of English-spoken minors, one of which I decided to take up at the beginning of this year. Coming from a social sciences background and going into a biology-related minor I thought it good to give a small insight into the nature of the course. The minor is called ‘Biodiversity and Natural Environment‘. One thing that has stood out is the number of field trips. I have seen more of The Netherlands than I have from living here in the past two years; each trip follows a planned itinerary with a local specialist – we have had a boat trip to see the peaty Dutch flatlands, shown a ‘model’ conservation project along the Rhine, cycled the outskirts of Leiden (urban ecology), and visited a successful ecological corridor. The intention is to give an insight into Dutch landscapes, biodiversity, and conservation models, and has been hugely informative so far; it is great to see what you have read before you in the field and with an expert whom you can talk with directly.
The first module of the minor has now recently finished, and I begun the next module ‘Small-scale patterns of biodiversity’ two weeks ago. Since it also involves a hefty field trip I will try to document it at more length in a future post. If you come to study at Leiden, I really recommend taking a look at the minors! It is a chance to get an insight into a field that might be entirely unrelated to your own.