Student life and

Leiden University offers many options for students to be social and to develop themselves personally outside the classroom. It all starts with our introduction weeks and ends with our alumni helping you with career support. It is very helpful to become part of the Leiden University community – so don’t miss out!

A warm welcome

Coming to a new country to study is certainly exciting, but it can be daunting as well. Get started on the right foot by taking use of our Warm Welcome Service, where you will be met at the airport and provided with travel information and assistance with post-arrival formalities. Try to plan your arrival for one of these dates!

When you’re new in Leiden or The Hague it is also a good idea to register for one of the introduction weeks. You can expect to make life-long friends and fully experience your new city before starting your classes. Experience everything Leiden and The Hague have to offer, participate in fun activities and meet lots of new people. You will learn more about your programme and find out some practical things, such as how to get a bike! Both Leiden University locations have its own week. Choose the one most relevant to you and feel at home right away!

How to feel at home quickly

  • Join a student association. Some are affiliated with a particular study programme, while others are open to all students for debates, symposia, field trips, and social events.

  • Join the Erasmus Student Network. The ESN organises trips, clubs, dinners, cultural and social events, and can also help with practical questions. 

  • Become a member of one of the other international student networks, such as Leiden United, the Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe (AEGEE), or the United Nations Students Association (SIB-Leiden).

  • Become a member of the Leiden University Sports Centre, to stay fit at Plexus and USC in Leiden or the Buzz in The Hague.

  • Follow one of the creative courses at Leiden University. LAK offers courses on dance, drama, photography, visual arts, etc. 

  • Attend lectures and debates on a wide range of academic topics at Studium Generale in Leiden and The Hague. They are free of charge and open to everyone.

  • Join an independent sports club in either city, for football (soccer), baseball, basketball, windsurfing, running, rowing, or many other sports.

Support services

The well-being and success of our students is very important to us at Leiden University. For assistance related to your application, paying tuition, registration and other administrative help, you can find the Student Affairs Front Office in the Plexus student center in Leiden, and the Beehive student center in The Hague.

Student counsellors

We have a number of specialised student counsellors and psychologists available. Not only can they help in legal, financial and other non-academic matters, they can also assist you in developing study-related skills. The skills package that is offered consists of individual counselling or workshops designed to support you in your academic performance. Topics covered include thesis writing, time management, stress management and planning. In addition, our counsellors are also available to help resolve study and personal problems.

Programme study coordinators

Each programme has its own study coordinators who can answer questions about matters related to your chosen study programme. You can consult the study coordinator on issues such as timetables, exam grades, choice of subjects and application for graduation.

Fenestra Disability Centre

Leiden University makes every effort to ensure that students with a functional disability or learning disorder are able to follow their chosen study programme. The Fenestra Disability Centre can assist these students with practical support and relevant information.

Career Support

Your study time will go faster than you think, so you need to consider your study choices and future plans from the very beginning. You might have questions about your study plan or the job market, vacancies or job-application procedures. How will you find a job that suits you, create a professional CV, learn interviewing and networking skills? Make an appointment with a career counsellor at the career service office or participate in one of the many useful workshops they run to prepare you for the job market. Or why not do our Study Career Check? This checklist will soon make it clear to you which activities will boost your chances on the job market.

Leiden University Mentor Network

Leiden University Mentor Network is an online platform which makes it easy to get in touch with experienced alumni in your chosen field and ask them for advice on career choices and opportunities. You can also ask a mentor if you want to know more about a particular organisation and how it works.

Good perspective on the job market

Leiden University’s good name will help you find a job after you graduate. Our own research has demonstrated that Leiden University alumni fare very well on the job market. No less than 74% of our alumni are (extremely) satisfied with their first job and three-quarters of them found a job in less than three months.

Diversity and inclusion

Leiden University welcomes a diversity of staff and students and is committed to providing an open and welcoming community which enables everyone to develop their talents. The Diversity and Inclusion Expertise Office raises awareness, shapes policies and supports the university community to achieve this goal. There are also a number of networks for students and staff committed to offering a community, a safe space and events to engage in questions related to diversity: The Afro Student Association, Space to Talk About Race, the Middle East and North Africa Students Association, the LGBT+ network, the Leiden University Diversity and Equality Network, devoted to inclusive education and issues of race, and the Access and Support Network of students and staff with a disability.