Make it an epic EL CID
This year a record number of students - more than 3,500 - will be taking part in the EL CID introduction week. Who are they and why did they opt for Leiden University? 'I want to get the absolute most out of my student time.'
Xue ni & Joyce
On the edge of the Beestenmarkt Xue ni and Joyce watch how thousands of first-years form groups. Both are going to be studying Psychology. Xue ni's choice for Leiden was very 'impulsive'. 'I had never been to Leiden and I made the decision when I was abroad. It really is a leap in the dark.' Coming from Maastricht, she was keen to study at a real student city in the Randstad area. She intends to join a student association this week. 'I want to get the absolute maximum out of my student time.' Joyce already knows about student life in Leiden from her brother, who also studies here. Even so, the first day can be a bit tense. 'I've been looking forward to the EL CID, but this morning I did feel a bit nervous when I saw all those unfamiliar faces. Luckily, I have my group to fall back on.'
Quintin & Tim
They're standing next to the loudspeakers and have to shout to make themselves heard. Psychology student Tim also knew about Leiden from his brother who is a student here. So far he has no strong preferences. 'I'm just going to jump straight in this week and discover all I can.' Quintin still has to recover from the first-year weekend he has just been part of in Delft. He is studying Molecular Science & Technology, a combined Chemistry programme at the Technical University Delft and Leiden University. 'It's a wide-ranging and diverse programme.' He wants to get to know both cities thoroughly because during the course of the programme he can opt for one city. That's good reason for Quintin, even though he's still feeling a bit delicate after that Delft weekend, to throw himself into student life in Leiden.
Mentor Michael is really in the mood. He's dancing and jumping around to the rousing music and goes completely wild when the 'official' EL CID number for this year - Only One by Sigala featuring Digital Farm Animals - starts to blare out. Why did he become a mentor? 'My own EL CID was epic. Student life is a fantastic time and I hope my EL CID group will have an epic EL CID too.' What's he going to do to make sure that happens? 'My tactic is to make them as enthusiastic as possible and to have a plan to wake them up if they start to flag. Otherwise there's a risk that they'll all go their own way.' His first-years still seem a bit shy, but with such an enthusiastic mentor, the ice is sure to break before long.
Emma & Justine
These two have only just met, but they have plenty to talk about: they are both studying BioPharmaceutical Sciences. Emma is from Assen and is the only one of her friends to choose Leiden. 'Thanks to the EL CID, I can meet a lot of students in one go.' And she's lucky enough to already have a room in a student house in the centre. For Justine, it's a different story. 'I want to stay living at home the first year, so it's probably not such a good idea to join a student association. But I'm definitely going to take a good look at all that's going on. I like the idea of Augustinus or a rowing club.'
Having stopped his Econometrics programme in Rotterdam, David is keen to get started with History in Leiden. From the smile on his face, he's looking forward to getting to know the rest of his group. 'This time I've chosen what I'm passionate about: History. I think it will be a much better match for me. And I prefer to study in a smaller city where student life is evident all around you and I don't first have to spend 20 minutes in the metro to meet fellow students.'