A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
When it comes to the perfect study place, every person would give a different answer. One would say a cozy attic would be fine, another prefers to study in the train, another thinks that a very loud cafe can give a perfect background noise for studying.
Me? I love libraries.
Okay… I also love studying in small cafes or study cafes (read: cafes with heaps of power plugs). It’s either that or library. However, I can never study peacefully at home because there will be a lot of distractions such as the comfy bed, the privilege of eating anytime I want, and the everlasting distraction of Youtube and Facebook. At least, if I studied in a crowded place, I would be less tempted to open Facebook or Youtube because everyone around me would be studying.
I have been spending most days in my week by going to the library in the morning until evening, and I feel bored with the same old atmosphere in UB Leiden. Moreover, due to the upcoming exam week, the library is always very full. Hence, I have to seek for another library to study in. Being so lazy going to Den Haag just to study in their city library, I finally found a very comfortable place for me to study: BplusC library near Hooglandse Kerk.
BplusC stands for Bibliotheek plus Centrum voor kunst en cultuur. It is the city’s library, mixed by the central point for arts and culture in Leiden. It is not only located in Leiden, for it has a few branches such as in Wassenaar and in Leiderdorp. Apart from being a library, the institution also likes to have a few public agendas which you can access through their website, www.bplusc.nl (in Dutch).
When I went inside the library, I automatically felt a sense of tranquility I could not comprehend into words. Perhaps it’s time to describe the feeling as gezelligheid, one of the words I hear often here. I loved the quiet place, I loved the interior of the library, and I also loved that they had several work spaces which were facing a really nice small garden.
Moreover, the library also had an inner entrance to Coffeestar, a very nice cafe located directly beside the building. I saw many library visitors who bought their regular coffee intake there and took it to their work place in the library. Say yes to cheap, good coffee, and nice studying atmosphere!
I found the series of paintings above when I wanted to get home. At first, I did not really understand what they meant, but then I looked closely and I giggled because they were parodies of ‘The Last Supper’ painting! In this picture, you can see three versions of ‘The Last Supper’: Smurfs, Star Wars, and South Park. They also had another versions with different set of cartoons and pop culture reference such as The Simpsons and Breaking Bad.
Bottom line, BplusC is a hidden gem inside the city of Leiden. Here, you can find an alternative place for studying and relaxing. I think I’m going to make this place as my daily studying place, because they open everyday except on Sunday.
I wish you all happy studying, and may the odds of exams be ever in your favour!