A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Suppose you are attending a university to study a social science course and suddenly discovered that your classrooms are being taken at a full functioning, nearly four hundred years old astronomical observatory. The other day, you realized that the street you came through every day is a very old street where famous philosophers and professors lived once. Or you get to see the stunningly beautiful park just opposite of the canal flowing alongside your academic building. Imagine how exciting that university would be to study?! Yes my friend, if you are a LU (Leiden University) student, you certainly are going to enjoy that fairy tale scenario!
University is an ecosystem where knowledge providers, seekers, explorers and knowledge facilitators work in harmony to envision and achieve enlightenment. So, university is not only about teachers, students, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, researches, seminars, symposiums and so on. It is something beyond! Something related to values, cultures and heritage. And, this ecosystem is the breeding ground of some dreamers who tend to push their limits, dare to challenge, throw new ideas, provide food for thoughts and reshuffle the values.
In this sense, LU is definitely one of your dream places to be. It makes you excited when you attend your Law classes at Sterrewacht Leiden (Leiden Observatory), an astronomical observatory which was established by Leiden University in 1633. You might feel amazed to sit in the same class room where Albert Einstein sat once.
Or, you might get a bit nostalgic and philosophical while biking towards your laboratory through Rapenburg Street. By that time, you already have discovered René Descartes’s (the father of Modern Philosophy) house in the same street! While thinking of God’s Particle as a Physics student, the French Philosopher might compel you to think about “absolute freedom of God’s act of creation” at least for some times! Yes, this is LU.
Moreover, sometimes you are too exhausted to think about science, philosophy, history, law or sociology. LU still has tonic for you. Just start walking beside the canal of Rapenburg, the most beautiful canal in Netherlands, eventually you will reach Van der Werfpark. Just lay down yourself at the green grasses and watch the blue sky. I bet this stunningly beautiful park will make you alive after all of those study loads. And, if you are a Law student, you are so lucky because you will get to see this natural beauty every day from the balcony of your academic building.
So dear friends, think about LU before choosing your university. It will be a lifetime experience to see how the science meets philosophy here in the realm of natural beauty. It will make you proud to be a Leidener for rest of your life, and will embrace you with a rich heritage, new innovations and enlightened values.