A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Volunteering During Intro Week

The orientation weeks in Leiden (OWL) are a beloved ritual that most Leiden students participate in. It’s your first real contact with the student life here and many friendships are forged that will last throughout your studies. It’s a lot of fun and everyone who participated will advise you to do so as well. But did you know that you can experience more than one intro week? You can join as a volunteer!


Photograph by Laura Cirigliano

Work as an OWL guide!

As a guide, you’ll accompany new students on their first adventure in Leiden! You’ll lead the small group and make sure they find their way around. Of course, you also get to participate in all the fun activities with the rest of your group. You will experience your (new) home in a completely different way: Through the eyes of incoming students but with the knowledge of a resident! The only requirements are that you are familiar with the Leiden student life and free throughout the whole week (this is a full-time job!). It’s a great way to expand your social network, meet people from all over the world, practice your language skills and of course, make some really good friends!

Be part of the crew!

You’d rather work behind the curtain? Then the OWL crew is the right thing for you! Together with a lot of enthusiastic volunteers, you’ll be the backbone of the intro week. You can help with everything from transport and build-up to social media presence. It’s a great experience to work in such a dynamic and relaxed atmosphere, plus you get a free t-shirt 😉 Here are the different crews you can pick from!


This year’s orientation week will have to include social distancing

Organizing crew: Without you, there is no OWL. After all, the OWL is a whole lot of organizational effort! As part of this crew, you are always right on location and make sure that everything goes according to plan. You are the man-behind-the-curtain!

Media crew: You are media savvy and long to put your equipment to use? Then the media crew is the right place for you. Together with likeminded photography-enthusiasts, you’ll document all sorts of events: Whether it’s a canal cruise or the final party – you’ll be there!

Game crew: OWL without games would be unthinkable. As a member of the game crew, you organize several mini-games and pub-quizzes throughout the week. You like interacting with participants, counting points and channelling your inner quiz-master? Perfect!

Night’s watch: Due to the current pandemic, it is unlikely that incoming students will have their usual sleepover in the university sports centre (USC). In past years, however, the USC was used as a dormitory during the introduction week. As a member of the Night’s Watch, you’d stay at the USC overnight, making sure that everything is alright. Of course, you’re provided with free snacks and unlimited coffee, do I need to say more?

Can’t decide? No worries, you can also join multiple crews! Just contact the OWL committee and let them know that you’re interested, they’ll fill you in on the details. Also, you can sign up together with your friends, which makes the whole experience even more fun!

Find the official website here:

Which crew are you going to join? Let us know in the comments 😊

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