Abigail Lister, a postgraduate student studying for a Masters in North American Studies, gives her perspective on life at Leiden.
Originally from Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, Abigail says the best part of studying overseas has been:
"The opportunity to improve my language skills! You have the opportunity to meet a lot of native speakers in class (even though the course is in English) and this has been a huge help"
Remember you don't need to be speak Dutch to study in The Netherlands but you can use the opportunity to develop your language skills.
You may remember our blog about Leiden University back in the early part of September - Leiden being the university with the sweat room and an impressive international community consisting of 20% German, 9% British, 8% Italian, 6% French, and 5% from Belgium! Our full blog can be found here check it out!
Abigail tells us that getting a different perspective on a subject from people from different educational backgrounds is really interesting. There are people in her programme who have previously studied subjects such as science, politics, literary studies - this really makes a difference in class discussions.
"This reinforces our point about finding a university which is made up of a diverse population because your learning will be enriched and inevitably your career prospects too".
When we asked Abigail about what has she has enjoyed most about student life in Leiden she had this to say:
"The fact that there are so many students in Leiden is really nice - it's only a small city but Leiden University has a student population of around 25,000 students, and quite a few of these do live in the city itself. You're always guaranteed to see someone you know at the weekly market or in a café"
We asked Abigail what the biggest challenge was, she said, it took some time to find somewhere to live and was pretty stressful, but once you have somewhere you can relax a lot more and enjoy life in Leiden.
We also asked Abigail what advice she would give to other students, especially those in the UK who would like to study overseas? Here's what she had to say"
"Plan ahead for the move, especially if you don't get offered a room in student housing. It can take time to find a place but be persistent. Also try to visit the university at an open day if you can! It even helps to just visit the city where you'll be living for a few days to see if you like it or not". You can find a list of open days at Leiden here.
We asked Abigail to summarise her experience at Leiden in 3 words: Challenging, worthwhile, exciting
We can also see from Abigail's chosen picture she is having a lot of fun and is fully enjoying Dutch Life!
Thank you Abigail!
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