A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Verenigingen? Big Five

Many of Leiden University’s study programs offer their own association and students have various options to join music and sports clubs. But, there is another huge part to Leiden’s student life: studentenverenigingen. Every second Dutch student is a member, and more and more Internationals join the experience. It is a great way for getting to know fellow students, finding out about social events and participating in sports and cultural activities.

Here, we will post short presentations of each vereniging so that you can not only gain an impression of the Dutch student life, but also discover which one might suit you best! To start, let’s check out Leiden’s BIG FIVE and what’s on offer for Internationals.


L.V.V.S. Augustinus: Starting off as the Catholic counterpart of corporal associations 125 years ago,  Augustinus has changed with the times and is currently second home of 1900 members. Next to different year-clubs, sororities and fraternities, committees and subclubs, the association is keen to provide study support. Last but not least Augustines host many parties in their “Eigen Huis” on Rapenburg. For International students, there is the Dixo membership which allows you to join ten of their parties throughout the year. Check out the website!

V.S.L. Catena: Founded as the third of Leiden’s student associations, Catena stands for an alternative to tradition and conservatism and is a community that would rather not take themselves to seriously. The association removed both hazings as a member requirement as well as clubs or disputes. Their currently 1100 Members can train organisational skills in various committees and even develop musical or acting talents. As the only big association Leiden’s you can join throughout the academic year, Catena attracts students from all around the world. Check out the website!

L.S.V. Minerva: Minerva is the oldest and most traditional student association. Even the current Dutch King has been a member during his time at Leiden University! For Internationals, Minerva offers a special one-year program: International Membership. While foreign students will not be a member of a dispute, they can join interest-related sub-associations. Further, they are welcome on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as during events such as Dame Blanche and the New Years Eve party. Check out the website!

A.L.S.V. Quintus: Quintus emerged in the 1970s, when a few Augustians and Minervans were on the lookout for something new and different: not as big as the former and more organised than the latter. Today, Quintus has 29 disputes with approximately 30 students of different years and study programs. In their building, located right by the canals, Quinten gather to meet, chat, celebrate, do activities and even organise events such as the annually Museumnacht. Check out the website!

SSR: With about 850 members, SSR is one of the fastest growing student associations in Leiden. Contrasting themselves from the above described, they characterize themselves as open – not imposing any obligations. By offering cultural as well as study-related activities, the association is keen to broaden the horizon of their members. Next to all-male, female but mostly mixed disputen and commissies, there are more free-standing groups called Korrells and Subs that organize interest-related activities such as a Badminton Class. Check out the website!

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