Universiteit Leiden

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Upon arrival

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you will need to take care of a number of practical matters. Try to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you can get on with enjoying your orientation activities. Leiden University offers a ‘warm welcome service’ for newly-arriving international students.

Warm welcome service

On certain dates before the introduction weeks, Leiden University offers a ‘warm welcome service’ to assist international students with post-arrival practicalities.

When is the service available?

The next Warm Welcome Service is on 25 January 2019.

What is offered?   

Airport/train station welcome service

Enthusiastic Leiden University staff and students will welcome you upon arrival, provide you with information on post-arrival practicalities and assist you in finding your way to your accommodation.

  • Date: 25 January 2019
  • Time: 07:00 – 22:00
  • Locations: Amsterdam Schiphol airport, Leiden Central train station, The Hague Hollandspoor train station
  • Advance registration required! Let us know when and where you will arrive via this online registration form at least one week in advance. You will then receive full details of the welcome service.

Information lounge 

At the information lounge you can find a wealth information about post-arrival practicalities.

Services available at the information lounge:

  • Student affairs desk: General information service
  • Admissions Office desk: Assistance with last-minute (degree) admission formalities
  • Exchange students desk: Assistance for exchange and study abroad students
  • Housing Office desk: Take care of last-minute university housing formalities
  • Orientation week desk: Register for an orientation week
  • Insurance desk: Check you have sufficient insurance or purchase a student insurance policy
  • International Student Advisers desk: Assistance registering with a local GP (doctor), general tips on settling in
  • Rabobank desk: Open a Dutch bank account, by appointment only - schedule a bank account appointment in Leiden on 25 January.

Further information?

If you have any questions about the warm welcome service, please send a mail to: arrival@leidenuniv.nl

Unable to arrive during the warm welcome service?

If you are unable to arrive during the warm welcome service, there’s no need for concern. With a little advance preparation, it’s easy to find way from the airport and around Leiden and The Hague.

Use the Dutch railways (NS) journey planner or this handy travel website to plan your journey.  Upon arrival, you can also visit the Leiden Tourist Information Centre or The Hague Info Store (during office hours) for assistance.

Town hall appointments

If you intend staying in the Netherlands for longer than four months, or if you have been granted a student residence permit, you must register with your local Dutch Town Hall. Find out how to make an appointment and which documents are required.

How to make an appointment

Leiden and The Hague

At the beginning of each semster, Leiden University holds special town hall registration sessions for newly-arriving students. You can sign up for a session ​​​​​​via this page a few weeks before arrival.

At other times of the year, please make an appointment directly with town hall as follows:


Call +31 (0)71 519 1793 and press 1 to make an appointment.

Other cities

Contact your town directly.

What to bring to your appointment

Important: Always make photocopies in advance. You cannot make copies at the town hall!

  • Valid passport or EU ID card – plus one copy
  • Copy of the visa/residence permit approval email you received from the university’s visa team.
  • The Hague only: Completed town hall registration form (hard copy)
  • Oegstgeest only: Original legalised birth certificate – plus one copy (see information below)
  • Original rental contract in your name. Alternatively,  the following can be accepted: 
    • Leiden only: Original landlord’s statement granting you permission to reside at that address
    • The Hague only: Statement of address completed by your landlord + Copy of landlord’s passport/ID card.  
    • Oegstgeest only: Original landlord’s statement granting you permission to reside at that address + Copy of landlord’s passport or ID card + Documentary proof of  property ownership
  • If you will not live in Leiden, Oegstgeest or The Hague, ask your local town hall exactly which documents are required.

Do I need a legalised birth certificate?  

You will only need a legalised birth certificate to register at certain town halls (see above), or in exceptional circumstances.

  • If you are from a country that has signed the Apostille Treaty:  Have your birth certificate affixed with an Apostille by the designated authority in your country. 
  • If you are from a country that has not signed the Apostille Treaty: Contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country of birth to find out what steps to take. Note that up to three different bodies may have to sign and stamp your birth certificate, so make sure to start the  process several months in advance. 

If your birth certificate is not in Dutch, English, French or German: also obtain a sworn translation.

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