Leiden: a university city

Students in Leiden can rely on personal attention and guidance in both their academic and their personal life. The University provides a wide range of services including student advice and counselling, information services, sports and cultural activities. The links provided below refer to the website "International Students in Leiden".

University city

Life in Leiden is greatly influenced by the relatively large number of students, as most of them both live and study in the historic city of Leiden. You will almost always run into someone you know when you go shopping or when you go out at night. Since Leiden is a small city, all the university buildings  are within walking or cycling distance.  Given the city's safe environment and friendly atmosphere, students generally feel at home here very quickly.

Leiden is located just eight miles inland from the North Sea coast, within easy distance of the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht.  The Hague can be reached by train in 12 minutes, Schiphol Airport in 20 minutes and Amsterdam in 45 minutes.

Finding your way in Leiden

Plexus Centre for Leiden Students

At Plexus student centre (only in Dutch) you can find study areas, computer facilities, a fitness centre and a cafeteria; the centre also houses the student counsellors and advisers, an ombudsman and a wide range of student societies. Plexus is close to the heart of the University, the Academy Building, and is an ideal place to meet up with other students. 

Study Facilities

Registered students can use all the library facilities, including the University Central Library and the faculty or departmental libraries.  Internet access is available in the various computer rooms and study areas

As a Leiden student, you have access to the University Leiden Community Network (ULCN), which includes an email account where you will receive emails about any class changes or general University matters and news. After registration, you have access to this network with your "U-account" that you will receive with your Student ID.

Study Support & Activities

For admission you can contact your international programme officer at the Office for Student Education Affairs. 
Sign up for workshops and individual counselling given by the international counsellor or visit the international student adviser for information on finding your way in the University or activities for international students.
It is also possible to join one of the many social societies and clubs or student associations for study-related activities.

If you have a physical or psychological disability, chronic illness or dyslexia you can contact the Fenestra Disability Centre for tailor-made advice before or in the early stages of your application. The Student Career Service supports students and alumni of Leiden University in exploring and making effective career choices.

Student Life

Leiden is a typical student city and has a rich student life, including many cultural activities, sports and things to do. The University sports centre offers various outdoor and indoor facilities and classes. International Student Societies also organise social activities both for international and Dutch students. Many students are members of a student association. International students can also sign up at ISN to join the buddy programme.

Living in the Netherlands

Living in a new environment different from your own can be challenging as well as culturally enriching. To help you to learn more about what to expect, we recommend you visit the pages compiled by the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic): Study in Holland.


Please email us if you have any suggestions, or if you are unable to find what you were looking for in the information above.

Last Modified: 02-06-2015