Make your choice! Three introduction weeks for students at Leiden University

Leiden or The Hague? Dutch or English? These two questions decide which introduction week new students at Leiden University can best choose: EL CID, HOP or OWL.

‘A flying start for both your academic and your social life here.' This is how Willem te Beest, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of Leiden University, describes taking part in an introduction week. It is not compulsory, but the university definitely does advise new students to join in.  You can take part in all three of the weeks, but joining at least one of them will give you an experience you will never forget. You can read below about which week will suit you best.


Leiden – (mainly) Dutch– 15-19 August

The Enige Leidse Commissie Introductie Dagen (EL CID) has organised the introduction week for Leiden University students since 1970. Since 2014 students at Leiden University of Applied Sciences have also joined the event, which turns the whole city centre into one lively student party.

The theme of the 2016 EL CID week is Hit the Road, a reference to the historic American Route 66 highway. On the Tuesday of the introduction week the students will follow a route - part of the way by boat - that takes in eight of top Leiden's cultural locations. On Wednesday they will visit their faculty or cluster and get to know a bit about their study programme. On Thursday there is what many people regard at the highlight of the week: the Leiden First-Years' Festival. This year on the site next to CORPUS, with Leiden's famous Barry Badpak, DJ The Antidote andPuinhoop Kollektic. And not forgetting the food trucks!

You can register online until 11 August; after that you need to come along to the office.

El CID website

The Hague – Dutch & English – 22-26 August

Leiden University has locations in two cities: Leiden and The Hague.  This is the first year the university is offering a full introduction week in The Hague: the HOPweek. This week is specially for students of the bachelor's programmes in Public Administration, Leiden University College (LUC), International Studies and Computer Science and Economics.  Students from the master's programmes taught in The Hague can also take part.

After a initial introduction, the HOP participants will compete against one another in a quiz evening. The following days will include an introduction to The Hague during the CityHOP and a pub crawl, as well as a visit to the university. On Wednesday evening everyone will congregate in Scheveningen for a real beach party. The last-night party on Friday evening will take place in a club in The Hague: HOP Till You Drop!

You can register online until 15 August; after that, you can come along to the office.

HOP website


Leiden – English – 29 August-2 September

Enjoy five days of fun, music, culture, sports, games and making new friends. That's the Orientation Week Leiden, or OWL. The week is specially for new international students at Leiden University, but Dutch master's students are also very welcome!

Do you know what 'gezellig' means and how Dutch people like to 'borrelen'?  For a soft landing in the Netherlands, OWL offers things like a bike sale and a session on Dealing with the Dutch. The week would not be complete without a pub crawl through Leiden: the CrOWL. You can also expect pizzas, a pool party and a pub quiz. Not to mention a Breezy Bubble Brunch, and of course a morning to get know your own faculty. OWL also finishes the week with a bang: the Welcome to Holland Party.

You can register online until 22 August; after that, you can come along to the office.

OWL website

Last Modified: 02-08-2016