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International student stories

We are convinced that you’ll have a wonderful time at Leiden University, but you don’t have to take our word for it. If you’re looking for objective opinions of what it’s like to study here, listen to what current students and alumni have said about it!

Giacomo Canetta

Giacomo Canetta from Italy

Giacomo Canetta

"I was looking for a programme with anthropological, cultural and psychological elements. South and Southeast Asian Studies covered them all. My travel experiences through Asia made my choice even easier. The programme, of course, covers a large area, but South and Southeast Asia is a dynamic area that is evolving hugely. For me, Leiden University is the place to study these topics. The lecturers really know what they are talking about. Many of them are from the Southeast Asian region and those that teach languages are all native speakers."

Chiara Zorzi

Chiara Zorzi from Italy

Chiara Zorzi

"I had always wanted to go abroad. The Dutch students at Leiden University College are really careful in not speaking Dutch in front of us international students, and they are very open towards us. The Hague is a nice city for someone who is internationally oriented. Everyone speaks English and you don’t feel like a stranger here. I have my own room, but there are 27 students living on the same floor. We often get together in the common room, either for dinner or just casually to talk about academic or non-academic subjects. And sometimes we go for drinks in the main square in the centre of The Hague."

Haoran Ding

Haoran Ding from China

Haoran Ding

"I feel so blessed that I have the chance to work with all these motivated and talented classmates. I didn’t only learn a lot from the high quality courses Leiden University provides, but also got inspired by my lovely diverse classmates. Right now I’m sitting in our beautiful library looking back at the first year of my study and I don’t regret my decision to choose Leiden."

Lexi Cleveland from USA

MA student North American Studies

Lexi Cleveland from USA

"North American Studies is a relatively small program which allowed for me to become great friends with all of my classmates. Moving abroad to study means having to make a new network of friends in an unfamiliar culture; although this seemed daunting at first students were actively working to befriend each other from the very start. Likewise, not only are the faculty members experts in their fields but they are also wonderful mentors who take a real interest in meeting the needs of their pupils. There was a real sense of community within the program and both faculty and peers went out of their way to help me succeed."

Adrian Zacharias

Adrian Zacharias from Germany

Adrian Zacharias

"A perk of this programme is definitely its location. Entirely taught on Campus The Hague of Leiden University it offers a great opportunity for students or recent graduates to pursue a career in one of the many international organizations based in the city or yet private companies in proximity of these institutions. The lecturers are particularly easy to approach and always open to give feedback on your work or give assistance on other academic matters."

What does student life look like at Leiden University?

Our students tell you all about it themselves in the following video

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Leiden through the eyes of Matthew Fields

Matthew Fields, from Philadelphia, US, came to Leiden to study astronomy as part of the Euroscholars scheme. 'I came here to gain valuable research experience, and I haven't been disappointed!' Read his story here. 

Dealing with the Dutch

Learning to cycle without a handbrake, saying sorry if you're late for a lecture and fathoming out the weird sounds of Dutch. Read the experiences of international students in their first week at Leiden University. 

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