A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
After spending only a day among students from Leiden University College, you’ll probably hear the phrase “The Bubble” a lot, particularly in the context of something students try to escape. “The Bubble” refers to the college building at Anna van Burenplein. We live and study in the same building, and while that is wildly convenient, many students find it somewhat trapping. However, the college has made many changes in order to help students become more engaged in The Hague. Most notably, the Residential Assistants have launched a website to help exchange information about events going on in The Hague and elsewhere in the Netherlands, which you can find here. While there other ways to leave the bubble, such as through the Community Project class and various committees offered by Fortuna, I decided to do something which was not directly related to my life at Leiden University College in The Hague.
This fall, I’ve become involved with a Student Sport Association, SKC Volleyball. While the sports association is affiliated with Leiden University (our practices are held at the University Sports Center), playing on this team has connected me to students from schools in Leiden instead of just those from my college. Additionally, we travel nearly every week around The Hague and Leiden areas to play games against other people. I practice once a week and have a game almost every week, on Fridays. On game days, our team typically has dinner at one of our student housing complexes, and following the game, we go out with other teams from our club. This has been a great way for me to gain experiences outside of my college in addition to the many which my school offers me.
Playing a sport isn’t the only way to connect with students from outside of Leiden University College. In Leiden, a large nearby student city, there are various social Student Associations, Orchestras, and organizations which can help from feeling too tied down to one place. Of course, living in a city like The Hague also means that there is always something going on, as long as you find the right places to look!
What do you do to engage with people from outside of your college? Let me know in the comments below!