Leiden is a small student city, but it doesn’t feel small at all. Around 10 percent of the inhabitants is a student These students are from all over the world, with over 105 different nationalities studying at Leiden University. The city is compact and safe, but still conveys an international atmosphere, with students from all over the world represented throughout the streets of Leiden.
Next to your study
As a student there’s plenty to do in Leiden. You can join one of the many student unions and societies: sports-related, study-related or just to have fun outside your studies. The range of student unions and societies on offer is enormous. This enables you to be as active as you please during your student years. Relaxation and enjoying your time in this beautiful city are also key parts of studying here! There are also plenty of opportunities to develop your skills in the different student unions and societies, during the OWL or El Cid introduction weeks or through the different committees of the university.
If you can’t find the scene you’re looking for at one of the many student unions and societies, then the city of Leiden still has plenty to offer you. Pay a visit to one of the three cinemas, go out for lunch or dinner in one of the many vibrant (and very affordable) restaurants, visit the theatre or other performing arts at the Leidse Schouwburg or the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden. What about enjoying the sun on a terrace alongside the canals? Leiden is on the edge of the ‘Green Heart’, enabling you to enjoy the countryside outside of the city. The beach and other cities, like Amsterdam, Den Haag, Delft, Rotterdam and Utrecht, are also close to Leiden. Due to the central location of Leiden, many students take the opportunity to explore other cities and countries in Europe during their weekends or holidays.
Apart from Leiden being a vibrant student city, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. Leiden University has century-old traditions and a very rich history. Since 1575 the university has enjoyed a prominent place in the city of Leiden and since its founding the university its motto has been ‘Bastion of Freedom’. Leiden as a city also dates back many centuries. As a result it has many monuments, including the Waag (Weigh House), the city hall and the Academy Building. The Academy Building once held many student lectures and still does, while also containing the famous Sweat Room, the place where all graduates of Leiden University have signed their name on the wall.
What to do in Leiden
Leiden has a wide selection of events which take place throughout the year and there’s always something you can do to enjoy yourself. For example during the annual Museum Night, the Leiden International Film Festival, the Night of Arts and Knowledge and of course the city’s local celebrations such as the Relief of Leiden on the 3rd of October. Leiden has many museums and beautiful monuments that elucidate the amazing history it contains.
In short, Leiden is a fantastic student city which you need to discover!