A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
It is true, many people get to know Leiden and the student life with the OWL week. However, many times this is not possible and even when you had an amazing introduction week, you may still want to know more people and to take part in more activities during your first months here. Here comes the Humanities Buddy Program! if you are studying within the humanities faculty, especially if you are a Master student you may be interested in joining, and here all the good reasons why.
Studying abroad is not only about making new friends. There will be many practicalities and elements of the Dutch life that will leave you worried or anxious. It is part of the deal when going to study in another country, for sure, but still having someone there to ask for information is always good. A buddy is a student like you, either Dutch or an experienced international student and it will be very useful to ask him\her for information or advice.
2. It’s free
The Humanities Buddy program has a good budget and for almost all the activities you won’t have to pay a penny! You will receive a weekly newsletter where you will be asked if you want to register for the activities of the month and most of the times the only costs you will have will be those for the transports to Leiden\the Hague (depending on where the activity is located).
3. The activities are really cool
I took part in the Buddy program twice (once as a participant and once as a Buddy) and I can assure you that both times the activities were really cool. Here some examples: we went doing yoga on the beach, we visited Mauritshuis, we went ice skating, and we enjoyed two conscious kitchen dinners. We also visited fraternity houses and had dinner there! Most of these things you would do them anyway, but paying, while others are probably impossible to organize without the right contacts.
4. It lasts for the whole semester
OWL week is fun, but after the week you have no activities left. It is nice in the craziness of exams and deadlines to have a monthly appointment! It gives you the excuse to escape from study life a little bit. Also, you will meet the same people over and over which will make it easier to keep in touch.
Concluding, I definetly recommend you to join the Humanities Buddy Program! Does your faculty have one? Let us know in the comments!