A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

A Day in the Life of a Literature Student

Nervous about starting your studies in a new academic atmosphere? Not sure what to expect? The university city has several museums (Volkenkunde is free if you attend the university). Not only is Leiden an intellectually stimulating place, it’s picturesque and has a rich history. Did you know Einstein taught physics at the university around a century ago? One of these days you’ll probably see a Shakespearean sonnet on a building near a canal. A little unclear? A literary snapshot from a literature student’s life (if it’s a little too staccato for your taste scroll down for normal sentences):

8:17 woken up by a swan in a nearby pond

9:00 read articles on travel, culture and languages while listening to jazz

11:51 say hi to the swan, cycle to the station and blend in with the wave of students on their way to lectures

12:09 hop on the train to Leiden Centraal

12:29 arrive on a platform and crane my neck in an attempt to spot a friend (sometimes you locate them, in which case you walk to university together)

13:15 settle into seminar and listen to other students’ take on the subject

15:00 discuss the lecture (and life) with friends over coffee

15:20 visit the library, print some study materials and occasionally pass the Nobel Prize winners

16:30 train to home city

16:50 cycle dorm-wards

16:59 visit blackboard, read discussion posts and start paper-writing

19:21 a much-needed break time, mingle with friends over a take-away

20:59 continue paper-writing

21:22 distracted, ‘can’t do it on time’ mentality

22:12 watch YouTube clips such as ‘Teen Speaks Over 20 Languages’ and return to studying

In some cases, coming into contact with like-minded people can be extremely challenging. Turns out, as a student here, there are so many people you can relate to both academically and personally. Not to mention students here are very friendly and professors are interested in your input. In case you have a difficult time adjusting the university has formal help in the form of student counsellors.

You might have noticed that I don’t live in Leiden. Landing an accommodation in Leiden can be quite the predicament. There was a place near the campus (about a 10-minute walking distance from it) but I went with a student accommodation in Delft, another university city about 20 minutes away. From my window you can see the TU Delft building and every day on my way to university I cycle through the Delft campus. Everyone I became friends with in the accommodation is a TU Delft student. Since I attend Leiden the university library in Delft gave me a library access card for free. All of my Leiden-residing friends had shared facilities (toilet, kitchen or both) but were in the lecture hall within minutes. Most people prefer to share and live near their university but I took the less popular path, Frost-style.

2 comments on “A Day in the Life of a Literature Student

  1. thecedarjournal
    January 13, 2018

    Wow! Deft to Leiden for classes. That sounds interesting just in the train ride. Nice post.

  2. Ksenia Sukhanova
    January 25, 2018

    I wish a swan would wake me up instead of the alarm…:/

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2018 by in Student Life.

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