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Top international students receive LExS scholarship

International students who have been awarded a LExS scholarship from Leiden University were welcomed in the Academy Building on 5 September. The 50 students were presented with a certificate symbolising their scholarship.

Taking a master's in Leiden

The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme (LExS) is aimed at excellent students who want to take a master's in Leiden. A scholarship consists of a partial subsidy for tuition fees, and in exceptional cases it may also include an amount for living expenses.  The certificates were presented by Kutsal Yesilkagit, Dean of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs and Professor of International Governance; the award is usually presented by the Vice-Rector of the Executive Board, but the new Vice-Rector, Hester Bijl, does not take up the post until 1 November.

Faculties decide

This year, 750 students from all parts of the world applied for a scholarship; ultimately it is the faculties that decide which students will be the lucky recipients. More than 75 different nationalities were represented among the international students taking part in the introduction week. In total, the University has more than 100 different nationalities.

After the ceremony in the afternoon in the Academy Building, the group attended the opening of the 2016-2017 Academic Year in the Pieterskerk. Five students introduce themselves.

Ezgi Erol, Turkey, Clinical Psychology

Why Leiden?
‘I looked at where would be the best place to go and found that Leiden University is the leading university in the world if you want to study psychology. I had already visited the Netherlands and felt it was a safe and pleasant place to be. Friends have also studied here and were really positive about Leiden.'

Is there anything you've eaten in the Netherlands that you didn't know and that you found very tasty or absolutely awful?
‘Cheese. It's very different from in Turkey: yellow and fatty. It does taste good, although I still miss Turkish cheese.'

Juan Manuel Estrada Sanchez, Mexico, Air and Space Law

Why Leiden?
‘The master's in Leiden has a very good reputation. McGill University in Canada has, too, but I wanted to come to Europe to have a totally new experience. Not only that, Professor Pablo Mendes De Leon at Leiden University is a well-known expert in the air transport industry, and he teaches here. Another benefit is that the programme can include both private and public law. The new experience I mentioned, is something I'm already gaining in the impressive buildings, both at the Law Faculty and here in the Academy Building. In Mexico university buildings are modern.'

Is there anything you've eaten in the Netherlands that you didn't know and that you found very tasty or absolutely awful?
‘Not yet, but I love all kinds of beer so I'm sure that time will come.'

Yao Yue, China, Industrial Ecology

Why Leiden?
‘One of my friends studied Industrial Ecology here and told me about it. I majored in the environment at my university in China; it's an important topic. What strikes me here is that everything is so clean. Another good thing is that I've been really lucky with my study adviser, who's very friendly.'

Is there anything you've eaten in the Netherlands that you didn't know and that you found very tasty or absolutely awful?
‘Not yet but I am going to try some bread. In China we eat noodles and rice, but no bread. I'm very curious about it.'

Said Reza Huseini

Said Reza Huseini, Afghanistan, Global History

Why Leiden?
‘Because it's got everything I need for my studies.  In terms of my research, Leiden is perfect. I have access to the libraries, archives and museums in the Netherlands and in other European countries. Moreover, the History Department in Leiden has a circle of well-known scholars who always look for new ideas. When it comes to study of the early modern history, particularly in the field of Indo-Persian studies, then Leiden is one of the world's leading universities. And this is the reason that I am here.'

'I grew up in Balkh (an ancient city and centre of Buddhism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism in Afghanistan-ed.), traveled in Central Asia and the Middle East, then studied in India before coming to Leiden. In other words, I moved from one multicultural zone to another. The cultural diversity of the regions where I lived made me realise that one can be a "universal citizen". The desire to know about other places - their people, languages, cultures and above all their mentalities - is something that Leiden University values highly. In a way, this university is still the herald of such kinds of studies. Here, I can see that history is an interconnected process that all human beings have contributed to. Therefore, we might start thinking of all of us being members of a universal family that can live in harmony with each other while accepting and respecting all differences. This is what "Universal Peace" or Sulh-i Kul is about, and this is what history teaches us.'

Is there anything you've eaten in the Netherlands that you didn't know and that you found very tasty or absolutely awful?
‘Dutch 'kroketjes', I like them a lot. The only thing is I'm not sure how to eat them but I usually flatten them between two slices of bread.'

Iulia-Georgiana Croitoru, Romania, International European Business Law

Why Leiden?
‘I did my bachelor's in Groningen and then started to look at where I wanted to do my master's. That's how I came to Leiden. You're close to all the international centres like The Hague and Brussels, which for me is important. I had already visited Leiden and thought it was beautiful, as well as being very open and quiet. There are very typical Dutch things here, like windmills. 

'The lectures have already started. This morning we had a lecture by Christa Tobler, Professor of European Law. There were around 45 students in the group, not too many so there was a lot of interaction. I've been here two weeks now and I'm really loving it.'

Is there anything you've eaten in the Netherlands that you didn't know and that you found very tasty or absolutely awful?
‘Herring! Don't make me get anywhere near it!  I love Dutch "stamppot" though.'

(DJ and CH)

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