A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
As the term goes on, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to study at the weekend, and hence finding that perfect study spot is critical. Sit in a bad place and you could be procrastinating for a whole afternoon; find a good spot and you might finally finish that assignment that you’ve been staring at for a week straight. Here are my tips for where to go for weekend study, on campus and off campus.
I have to begin with an obvious one. In principle there’s nowhere better for uninterrupted study than the library – the shared feeling of sorrow and anxiety in those rooms means you actually feel pressurized to work. I hesitate to call this the best place to study, though. For someone like me that needs the comfort of a warm drink while working, the strict ban on drinks other than water in there is a little baffling. However, this does mean you can take frequent coffee breaks to the Library café with any friends who are also battling through a stressful work-filled day.
On a weekend, the Lipsius building is largely empty, making a change from mid-week when you have to fight your way to a table during lunchtime. Major bonus points for Lipsius as you can drink and eat whatever you like while you’re in there – although this does mean you tend to drink far too many of the 45c coffees from the machines. As horrible as these are, they do provide a much needed caffeine boost. It’s cozy on the couches, but a little dark; better to choose a spot next to the windows looking over the gracht, where there’s enough room for you to spread your work wherever you please.
I wasn’t even aware Plexus had a study room until a week ago but sure enough, hidden away down a corridor I’ve never thought of venturing down, there’s a room with both computers and study spaces. I have friends who swear by Plexus for studying – it’s never so busy you can’t find a space, there’s a printer, and you’re supplied with refreshments from vending machines. It’s not the same as working in the library, and can get cold, but productive nonetheless.
4. Leiden Cafes
Where do you go if you don’t fancy venturing onto campus? Bagels and Beans is my favourite off-campus study spot, though you’ll always be tempted to buy lunch while you’re there. (You won’t regret it though, their bagels are amazing.) Both their outlets in Leiden, on Haarlemmerstraat and Maarsmansteeg, are usually fairly busy on weekends, but once you have a seat secured it’s a lovely place to sit and enjoy the atmosphere – this can be accomplished better on the B&B on Maarsmansteeg, where you can sit upstairs and peer onto the busy market street. Backwerk on Haarlemmerstraat is generally pretty good too – get there early on a Sunday morning and it’s very quiet, and coffee is only 1€!