A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Hoi, allemaal! Yesterday, I submitted my thesis proposal and my last grade was announced. This was the declaration of Winter Break for me! Then, I decided to write my first-ever Leidener blog (feeling excited!). Although I am writing this blog at the end of first semester, I want you to tell you about the first ever thing of the semester, the Orientation Week Leiden, OWL. Here is my list about why you should not miss this perfect event:
After leaving your country, do you feel a bit awkward to switch English, or maybe Dutch, in your daily life? Do you feel a bit shy to ask questions? Feeling a step away from your comfort zone? Do not worry, everyone around you has the same feelings! Orientation week is the perfect opportunity to warm up to your new environment. You will be surrounded with students from different cultures and departments who seeks the same answers with you. Use this as an opportunity to make new friends from different cultures and departments!
During the Orientation Week, you will be exploring beautiful Leiden with your guides. In a well-structured schedule, you will have the chance to visit all important locations in Leiden and university. You will be visiting campuses, libraries, sports centre, parks and even Hortus Botanicus! You will also have the chance to see how the night life is going in Leiden too. By doing this, at the end of the Orientation Week, you will know where to take the bus, study, relax, do groceries, go to in case of emergency and, most importantly, party in Leiden!
First thing you should know about Dutch culture: be punctual! Be there at the time, so you will have the chance to taste delicious cheese, bitterballen and stroopwafel while locals are enjoying their sandwiches/broodjes. Buy your bike during the Orientation Week and face the fact that you are not able to compete with Dutchies when it comes to cycling, at all! Download the Buienradar app to be prepared for sudden raindrops and schedule an ‘afspraak’ in your agenda with your new friends for two months later! You will feel that you are getting Dutch more and more every day during Orientation Week.
A happy international student who just bought his bike during OWL
Be aware of the fact that Orientation Week is the last free week before a busy semester. So be sure that you will get the most out of it! Make lots of friends, explore the city and the university, party hard, put yourself in the mood and start feeling as a part of Leiden University. You definitely need this boosting up before the lectures start, so do not hesitate to sign up for Orientation Week in winter and summer!
I hope everyone will have great memories from their Winter Break and Orientation Week. What are your Winter Break plans? Will you attend Orientation Week? How was your Orientation Week experience? Do you have an unforgettable memory from your OWL week? Feel free to drop a comment down below and let us know!