A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
In a couple of days, I’ll have a reason for a little celebration: I have lived two complete years in the Netherlands. And I hope for plenty of more years to come!
I decided to take myself back in time to August 2015, and answer the questions I had in my mind back then, because I acknowledge that some of you readers may be pondering similar things.
Yes, easily! It takes some time to get used to it, especially if you haven’t studied at a university before. However, in a couple of months you’ll notice that your English vocabulary is a lot broader than it used to be and that you get used to writing scientific reports and even giving presentations in English.
I was 27 when I started studying psychology – and I wasn’t the oldest one on my class, and there were several people who were about the same age. Besides, the age gap isn’t such a big deal.
So yes, you will make friends, with people of all ages and cultures.
At the moment, my closest friends in the Netherlands are the people I know from my studies – but that’s not the only place to make friends. The last time I hit it off with total strangers was in a jazz bar a couple of weeks ago. In towns like Leiden and The Hague, there are always fellow foreigners who are looking for new friends and contacts.
Well, this depends on how much you’re ready to invest in them. And of course, it depends on your academic skills; other people read and write and take inform in faster than some others.
However, in principle, I would say that at least studying psychology in Leiden is a full-time job. Nevertheless, that won’t even bother you if you love your studies as much as I do!
You may not wanna stay in the Netherlands for the rest of your life, and you may hate cycling in a pouring rain every now and then. But will you regret? No!
Living and studying abroad is one of the most fantastic experiences and opportunities one can get in life. It forces you to grow. It makes you acknowledge that things can be done in many ways, and they will still work out. And it allows you to see what you really want to do in life and where your place really is.
No matter what happens, you won’t regret. You can always go back to your home country if you feel like it, but changes are that you’ll just happen to find a completely new home country with a completely new safety network.