A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
When it comes to student associations, there is something for everyone in Leiden: from sports to study. You can find out about all the associations here but there some that are specifically for internationals. Last year I joined two of them: ISN Leiden and Leiden United. I’d recommend you to check them out for long lasting friendships and a lot fun!
ISN Leiden is a part of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and they organise events and programmes to help internationals feel at home.
1- Events: They organise many events throughout the year: trips, drinks, and more. With these events you can get to know other international students and the city. They even have some of these happening weekly or monthly. For example, every Thursday you can go to the common room for tea, coffee, tosti and, of course, lovely company (Tosti Thursday). Also, every Wednesday it is the International Student Night at Einsteins.
2 – Buddy Programme: Do you want a buddy whom has already been in Leiden for quite some time and can answer all your questions from whom to email to where to buy stuff? If you say yes, you should check out the buddy programme! Also, you can meet more fellow international students!
I joined this programme both as a newbie and as a guide. As a newbie, it was great to have someone to ask all my questions, especially the ones that seemed so simple but somehow I just couldn’t figure out. And in both instances, I got to meet with lovely people whom I still talk to today.
3 – Clubs: ISN Leiden also has many clubs that meet weekly and there is definitely something for everyone! From cooking to sports there are many that you can be a part of.
It would be a very long blog post if I wanted to talk about everything ISN does. There is definitely more from cultural events to discount agreements. To participate in their events or to be a part of the organising teams check out their Facebook page!
Leiden United is another association where you can get to know other internationals and the city. However, that’s not all. You can also meet with Dutch students and get a glimpse of the student associations that are typically for Dutch student, as everything happens in Dutch. As they say on their website, they are “motivated to bridge the gap between Dutch and International (exchange) students.”
Every international member is paired with a Dutch buddy and together you go to social events throughout the semester. There are biweekly group dinners at the biggest Students Associations in Leiden! There you not only meet with great people but also get to explore the associations!
If you want to know more, you can check out an interview by our fellow blogger Cameron with Judith Leeuwem from Leiden United.