Universiteit Leiden

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International Relations (MA)

Student life

Your time at Leiden is about more than just studying. Some of your best experiences will stem from being a part of our lively and diverse student community, as well as from life in the beautiful city of Leiden.

Life in Leiden

Picturesque and the perfect size, Leiden is the ideal place to spend your university days. The Faculty of Humanities is located within the heart of the city, where dozens of cafes, shops and bars line its historic laneways and leafy canals. Small enough to run into familiar faces, but big enough to keep offering surprises – you will treasure your time at Leiden. And for adventures further afield, the major cities of The Hague and Amsterdam are a short train ride away, along with Schiphol Airport, which is just half an hour away by train.

Our study and student associations organise a huge variety of social, cultural, and study events to keep you busy all year round. You can also join the University Sports Centre, which offers scheduled group sports and fitness classes, amongst other activities.

Welcome and orientation programme

In August and February each year, Leiden University hosts the English-language Orientation Week Leiden (OWL), which welcomes both international and Dutch students. The OWL is an excellent way to get to know Leiden University, the city, and other students.

Study associations

Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities has a number of study associations run by students and related to a particular department or programme. Study associations organise social activities such as informal gatherings, sports events, and parties, as well as study-related activities such as excursions and study trips.

The study association related to International Relations is Leiden ISSA

International Student Associations

Leiden has several student organisations that specifically cater for international students. These associations organise regular social events and activities that help create the strong sense of community that exists within our international student body. The main two organisations are:

International Student Network (ISN)
ISN Leiden is an international student organisation which hosts a range of activities and programmes. They also have a buddy programme which provides new students with the right support to assimilate into Leiden and the university.

AEGEE Leiden
AEGEE is a leading European student association with sister organisations in over 40 countries across Europe. AEGEE organises many activities in Leiden, from dinners and pool nights to boat trips and guest lectures. 

For an overview of all of our student associations, please visit our Student assocations page.

Humanities Master’s Buddy Programme

The Humanities Master’s Buddy Programme has been set up by the Faculty of Humanities to help all students who are new to the university to integrate quickly and easily into university life. Through the programme you will learn everything you need to know about the university, the student community, and the practical side of life in Leiden.