A chat with Carolyn Barr, International Relations Officer at Leiden University:
Why should students consider studying in the Netherlands?
There are a myriad of reasons why students choose the Netherlands, and in particular, Leiden University. Here are just a few:
- High quality: almost all Dutch research universities are ranked in the top 200 in the world and Leiden University is ranked in the top 100!
- Affordability: Tuition fees are quite competitive in comparison to other popular study destinations.
- Educational experience: Thousands of master’s and hundreds of bachelor’s programs are taught in English in the Netherlands. Many different learning styles, teaching methods and campus experiences are available to choose from, so there is likely something for everyone. Leiden University offers nearly 200 master’s specialisations and 14 English-taught bachelor’s programs.
- Amazing locations: The Netherlands is a safe and welcoming country for international students, offering a destination where there is little to no language barrier. Leiden University is located in the student city of Leiden and the inter-cultural hub, and international city of peace, justice and security: The Hague. Both locations offer a fantastic student life, local opportunities and room to achieve your dreams.
What’s it like studying at Leiden University?
Don’t take it from me, our students do the best job of describing their experience:
“Not only are the faculty members experts in their fields but they are also wonderful mentors who take a real interest in meeting the needs of their pupils. There was a real sense of community within the program and both faculty and peers went out of their way to help me succeed.
Lexi Cleveland, MA North American Studies
“I like the interaction between students and lecturers in the tutorials. Those are small groups, so there is more room for personal contact, which keeps you engaged. Also, thanks to those small groups it’s easy to get to know people.”
Roxanne Hernandez, BSc Psychology
“I find Leiden University to be very liberating. It’s a place where you’re free to express your opinion and are expected to be open to other people’s opinions.”
Akif Aliyev, BA International Relations and Organisations
“The students on the course are really supportive of one another. Because we all are from different backgrounds, we each have different interpretations of the things we learn.”
Dhwani Goel, BA International Relations and Organisations
What can I expect from student life?
Leiden University’s two locations offer many experiences and lots of fun outside of class. Leiden is a traditional student town full of student social hotspots, cultural destinations and it also anchors the stretch of flower fields in the spring. It has many green spaces and lakes nearby for fun outings.
“You can definitely feel that Leiden University is the oldest one in Holland.You can feel the history in a lot of the academic buildings, and the city of Leiden and its university are very much intertwined.”
Edouard Bonneville, MSc in Statistical Science
The Hague is a multi-cultural hub offering myriads of restaurants, pubs, museums, shopping, and more. It’s also 20 minutes by tram to the beach at Scheveningen (yes, it’s difficult to pronounce!) where you can sit on a patio, walk along the boardwalk, swim, or even surf.
“The Hague is perfect. It’s small, yet overwhelming, in terms of the relevant organisations that are here, and also because of all the things you can do. I love running through the Malieveld or going to the Plein to have a drink. The Hague feels very homey, I really feel I’m a part of it.”
Vedant Mehra, MSc International Relations and Diplomacy
Aside from the cities themselves, there are many student organisations and clubs students can join, the University Sports Center and Plexfit in Leiden, as well as the Buzz gym at the Beehive student center in The Hague to keep fit. Never a dull moment!
“I recently became a member of the University Sports Center: I wish I’d done it earlier.You stay fit and it’s also a great way of meeting new people.”
Laura Keidann Rodrigues da Silva, BA Language and Culture
Do you have any advice for other international students?
The Netherlands values personal responsibility, proactivity, open-mindedness and engaged students. Therefore we recommend you do your research about the program specifics, how to apply and when, as well as connect with current students to chat about all the things you want to know. Take advantage of all of our online activities. Then you’ll be ready to apply to Leiden University when the time comes!