A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Con-grad-ulations! Graduation Season & You

So, you’ve finished all your modules, your thesis is marked and it’s time to graduate?

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Or, you’re day dreaming of what will happen once all your work is done, and what to know what graduation entails- lucky for you, I’m here to tell you what you need to do to graduate and what graduation at Leiden is like!


Once all your credits are registered in USIS you’ll need to register or request graduation. This varies from faculty to faculty, however some (such as the Archaeology faculty) will be helpful enough to send you an email after handing in your thesis, with the form to register. Don’t forget to fill this out!

If your family are also coming, you’ll need to arrange accommodation- don’t leave this to the last minute as it could be difficult or expensive to find something. The space in the graduation hall is quite limited, so you will probably only receive a couple of guest tickets. If you’re not using both tickets, it can be nice to offer them to a friend, or bring a friend of your own to cheer you on.

After graduating, you need to check if your diploma has been legalised, check this blog to find out more.

On the day

Graduation ceremonies are organised by your study programme or faculty, so each one might be a little different.

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After registering for graduation, you should receive an email inviting you to graduation, detailing the time and location, as well as the order of events.

It’s typical to dress formally for the graduation, such as a suit, or nice dress. Graduation is a celebration of all you’ve achieved over your time at Leiden, and you should feel good about yourself (every day, but especially today!).

Being part of a (sweaty) tradition!

One of the nicest parts of the Leiden graduation ceremony is signing your name in the sweat room! This is part of a long-held tradition, going back to the 18th century. It’s a really nice way to leave your permanent mark on Leiden university and participate in a ritual that thousands of other students have done before you. And who knows, maybe one day yours will be one of the ones under glass, joining Nelson Mandela, members of the Dutch royal family, and others! You can take up to five guests into the sweat room with you, and this is definitely the time for some photos. You can also explore the sweat room online!

Graduation is a really fun day, for celebrating your achievements in the course, as well as the wonderful people you’ve met during the course. The thought of the future can feel like it’s pressing in at these times, but try to focus on the moment during graduation, and leave the organising for after! In my next blog I’ll talk more about what to do after your graduation, the different options you might have, and how it feels to be done 🎓

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One of the many perks of graduating from Leiden University is the graduation ceremony as each graduating student is allowed to write their signature on one of the walls of the cherished 'Sweat Room' 😓✍. It is a unique tradition that only exists at our University. The room received its name in the 18th century because it functioned as a waiting room for students awaiting their exam results. Amongst some of the signatures are those of Princess Beatrix, Princess Juliana, and King Willem-Alexander, as well as the well-known Dutch Resistance fighter Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema Een van de leuke dingen van afstuderen van Universiteit Leiden is dat de afgestudeerde tijdens de afstudeerceremonie zijn of haar handtekening mag zetten op een muur van het 'Zweetkamertje' 😓 ✍. Het is een unieke traditie die alleen plaats vindt in Leiden! In de 18e eeuw werd de ruimte gebruikt als wachtlokaal voor studenten die de uitslag van hun examens moesten afwachten, hier heeft het Zweetkamertje haar naam aan te danken! De namen van o.a. prinses Beatrix en prinses Juliana, koning Willem-Alexander en de bekende verzetsstrijder Erik Hazelhoff zijn ook te vinden op de muren! #MotivationMonday #OpenDeuren #DoItForTheSweatRoom #DoeHetVoorHetZweetkamertje #Graduation #Afstuderen #LeidenUniversity #UniversiteitLeiden #Leiden

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2 comments on “Con-grad-ulations! Graduation Season & You

  1. Esra@theleidener
    August 21, 2019

    Great post, loved the name in particular. As I am looking forward to my graduation in a week, it is nice to have an idea!

    • Sophie Jorgensen-Rideout
      August 21, 2019

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m graduating at the end of September so been doing lots of research and talking to friends who graduated last year.

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This entry was posted on August 21, 2019 by in Practical Stuff, Sophie, Student Life, Study and tagged , , , .

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