Leiden University - Gezellig (Cosy), Internationally recognised, and fun!
Leiden is one of the Netherlands' great cities. As soon as you step into the city you will notice canals lined by beautiful 17th-century buildings which will keep you busy admiring everything the city has to offer. I personally like Leiden because it reminded me of Amsterdam by how it looks and feels but without the craziness that comes with a city like Amsterdam. Having said that, if you needed to get to Amsterdam for the weekend, it’s only a short 40 minute train ride away!
The city itself is a huge selling point for students. It is full of museums, all within walking distance of each other, or you can wander along its picturesque canals over the weekend, or soak up its nightlife, fuelled by a nearly 27,000-strong student population. That’s the beauty of a city like Leiden, it’s small and cosy but within easy reach of bigger cities like Amsterdam. The University itself is considered medium sized in comparison to others. There are over 6,500 staff members and 26,900 students.
At Leiden University, where Einstein was a regular professor, you’ll find lots of history in ever corner of the university, like the sweat room where scholars would “sweat it out” before they defended their PhD’s. The sweat room is small but is impressionable, it can hold around 20 people and each wall is lined with signatures of PhD candidates, you’ll even find Sir Winston Churchill’s signature on the wall! Whilst you may not spend much time in the sweat room it certainly gives you something to aspire to!
Although my time at Leiden was short, I could sense that the city had a lot to offer students. At least 10% of the population are students. So you are never too far away from one of twenty student associations where you can spend your downtime with an international group of likeminded people. The top 5 countries which make up the international community at Leiden consist of: 20% German, 9% British, 8% Italian, 6% French, and 5% from Belgium.
Leiden is an internationally operating, outward facing, research-driven university with a wide range of academic disciplines and degree programmes. The University is made up of seven faculties including: the arts, sciences and social sciences, spread over locations in Leiden and The Hague. There are over 50 bachelor degree programmes to choose from archaeologist, arts curator, communications specialist, security adviser, or perhaps a clinical psychologist, to name a few. Leiden University is another fine example of an international university which recognises the desire amongst students to pick and choose and therefore offers students the opportunity to select some of the courses you will follow which in turn makes up your degree. For a full list of undergraduate programmes please visit here.
The motto of the University is 'Praesidium Libertatis' – Bastion of Freedom. When considering a university you should always consider its values and outlook. I appreciated Leiden's motto because there was evidence on how that motto is lived out throughout the history of the university. The University has a long history of standing for freedom of spirit, thought and speech as well as freedom in research and teaching. Leiden has gone to great lengths to ensure that the learning environment provides academics and students the opportunity to work together to excel in their academic fields of interest and to make a positive global contribution to research.
During your time at Leiden you’ll work towards a quality degree from an internationally recognised university but also, as you progress, you’ll get access to careers support which will help you to identify where you want to go post-university. You’ll also benefit from Leiden’s outlook on 21t century skills programme which seeks to embed skills such as: the ability to work together in teams; international and intercultural competencies; entrepreneurial and leadership skills; and digital competencies. All of which are of central importance to you personal and professional development within an ever changing 21st century global economy. This programme drives student employability and is something which all students should consider when choosing a university.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leiden University and would love to go back to enjoy both the city and university! You can find their open dates here! At the very least check out their open dates and experience Leiden for yourself!
Want to find out more about studying overseas and how an international education can prepare you for the future? Then visit one of our events!
Look out for more information on our events:
Study Abroad Roadshow - Monday 12th March - Thursday 15th March 2018
International Education Week in the UK is a platform that aims to connect UK Students with universities outside the UK. It is the first official week dedicated to studying overseas.
Or check out our Eventbrite page here