A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
The day has finally come: I am officially de-registered on Studielink, which means from tomorrow on, I am no longer a student of Leiden University. I have been thinking a lot today about the past four years at Leiden University these days. Before I shed my sentimental tears, I would like to give a brief throwback to my life as a Leidener.
On August 17, 2012, I arrived in the Netherlands. Everything was new yet a bit frightening. I was only 17 at that time, and I have never been alone abroad before. On the next day, I attended the International Day of LUC The Hague. I have never talked with so many international students before, and I felt really excited about my Bachelor’s studies. The LUC Introweek was so much fun! We met with our tutors, played a lot of fun games at Lange Voorhout, went to the beach for BBQ, visited the International Criminal Court…
And then, first year’s study began. I knew that I always felt passionate about international politics and diplomacy, so I chose World Politics as my major. I struggled a bit when making a decision about my minor, because I was interested in both Journalism and Economics. In the end, International Development became my minor, because it is an interdisciplinary subject, with which I can combine different fields of knowledge together.
I was definitely not a hard-working student at all, at least in my Bachelor’s studies. I skipped quite some readings and submitted a lot of essays 2 minutes before deadlines which were terribly written. And guess what, I finished my Bachelor’s thesis in a week, and I kind of regretted it that I had not made more efforts when I could have done so.
I mentioned that I liked international politics a lot, but then I ended up in the Master’s Programme in Political Science at Leiden, which was not really a study of diplomacy. But this programme really helped me overcome the bad habits that I collected during my Bachelor’s studies and trained me further in the academic dimension. As you can read in my previous posts, I went to the library everyday and loved studying there. Although my grades were not outstanding in the end, I did learn so much more in my Master’s studies. See? Life is full of surprises, and if you work hard, they will be the *good* surprises.
OK, enough on studies. I am also very grateful for the support of my family back in China, the encouragements from my friends back home and here in the Netherlands, and the guidance I received from my tutor at LUC The Hague and teachers at Leiden University. I cannot remember how many times I got sad, angry, homesick or stressed out; without the world’s kindness, I really could not have made it this far. I learned a lot, and I grew up a lot. I am still on my way achieving a better future, but I am happy with what I have gained here.
You might be wondering what I am doing. I got accepted to a very cool international organization in The Hague that perfectly combines my interests in politics and media communication. I have been interning there for more than a month; I absolutely love being a member of the team. Pardon me, but I would like to be mysterious here and not spill the beans about which organization exactly that I am interning at. International organizations in The Hague are always welcoming interns from all over the world. Just give it a try if you are figuring out future career options.
I still have no idea what I want to do after I am done with my internship. Every single one in my family in China urges me to end my internship early and go home as soon as possible. I love my family and I miss them a lot; however, settling down somewhere at the age of 21 is not my preference. I want to work hard, and then reward myself with trips to all kinds of destinations. I also want to continue learning on my own, updating my storage of knowledge relentlessly. I have this ambition about my future that I will never stop becoming a better me. Even if I eventually settle down, I will go on firmly to explore the world and cherish what I have got.
To be honest, I was a bit worried after I graduated from Leiden and started my internship, but you always have to say goodbye and move on. Being a student at Leiden University was one of the best things of my life that I will always wholeheartedly appreciate. Thank you Leiden University so much for everything. These four years have been fantastic. Also thank you for being the first one to give me an offer, otherwise I would probably be thanking Erasmus University Rotterdam or Maastricht University now, hahaha! Can I call it “love at first sight”? Well, don’t worry, I am going to stick around in Leiden and The Hague for quite some time. I don’t want to say goodbye to you now because I will still visit you from time to time, so …
— by Xueyan Xing, Leiden alum
I sincerely wish everyone good luck with their studies and career, or whatever concerns you in your life. 加油！:)