Leiden University

Leiden University
with accommodation for their students since 2015

Get to know this university
its surroundings and accommodation

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  • Was founded in 1575

  • Ranked 109th place in the QS World Ranking

  • 26,900 students

  • Students of 115 nationalities

  • 7 faculties

  • Offers courses in English, including 10 Bachelor’s programs

  • Has partnered with Housing Anywhere since December 2015

General Information

Campus facilities

Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, was founded in 1575 by William, the Prince of Orange. The university continued to grow and collect honors until, at the end of the 19th century, it was easily considered to be one of the top universities in all of the Netherlands. It boasts a total of seven different faculties in the sciences, arts and social sciences.

Some of the most popular facilities at the university include:

  • The Leiden University Library

  • Lecture, study and computer rooms

  • The university shop

  • Gym and sport facilities

  • Faculty clubs

Since the university does not truly have one main campus, the different facilities are located in several areas throughout the city. While there are plenty of modes of transportation available, Leiden is a small city, so it is very simple for students to get from one building to the next by walking, riding a bike or taking the bus.

Nestled in Leiden’s city centre, the heart of student activities is definitely Plexus, which is actually managed by the students themselves. In close proximity to the Academy Building, Plexus is known for being the hub for all student associations and the ideal location for their headquarters.

While at Plexus, you can expect to find:

  • An information desk for students

  • The university shop

  • A fitness centre

  • Four study halls

  • Three state-of-the-art computer rooms

The University Sports Centre (USC) is a popular facility for active students, boasting over 50 forms of sports and group activities or lessons. While you may find the expected offerings like tennis, judo and boxing, they also feature more unique, newer options like Zumba, Riverdance and Ultimate Frisbee.

Both the students and staff members of Leiden University of Applied Sciences and Leiden University may apply for sports cards, enabling them to be able to take part in all of the activities. There are two gym locations, both called PlexFit, with one in the city centre and the other in Einsteinweg.

The students and staff members of Faculty Campus The Hague (FCDH) can also visit the Library Learning Center in The Hague at the main building, which is located at Schouwburgstraat 2. The centre offers everything that students might need to make studying more enjoyable, including 14 different computer stations.

You can learn more about Leiden by reading on here.


Originally, the university placed the majority of its focus on studies centered on medical and biological premises, utilizing the Hortus Botanicus as an important reference. Leiden University is also proud to show off the oldest botanical garden in the world.

With seven faculties, six of them are conveniently located in Leiden. They include Archeology, Law, Social Sciences, Philosophy, Math and Physics, and Medicines. The Hague is home to the Governance and Global Affairs, as well as Leiden University College.

For more information on the courses that Leiden University has to offer, check their website.

International dimension

As time progresses, Leiden is becoming must more internationally focused, welcoming in a great number of students who are studying abroad. Currently, it offers 10 Bachelor degree studies, including:

  • Dutch Studies

  • Arts, Media and Society

  • Archaeology

  • International Relations and Organisations

  • International Studies

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges

  • Psychology

  • Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Security Studies

  • South and Southeast Asian Studies

Along with these esteemed international courses, Leiden University also has several additional schools that are globally located. They include the Netherlands Institute Morocco, the KITLV Jakarta in Indonesia and the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo.

Also keep in mind that when it comes to other Bachelor’s programmes that are offered at the university, it is very important to be able to read and speak the Dutch language with a level of ease. One of the most popular programmes for incoming international students is the International Relations and Organisations programme.

International Bachelor in Psychology

This course starts off in the first year with a basic overview that covers every aspect of the in-depth field of Psychology. The second year will entail learning the professional skills that are used most by psychologists working in the field. In the third year, you will begin to make choices that should include courses that will pertain more to your individualized path of study, rather than to Psychology as a whole. The Bachelor’s programme will culminate in the completion of a Bachelor project, written individually by each student.

International Studies

Divided into three main courses for International Studies, these include language training, core courses and area courses. Let’s learn a bit about each one!

  • The core courses are mandatory for each student, regardless of the chosen path of study. These courses include: Philosophy of Science, Cultural Studies, and Economics and Global History.

  • In direct contrast, the area courses will specifically feature the global region that the student selects, addressing politics, history, culture and the overall economy of that particular location.

  • The language classes place a focal point on ensuring that, in the time allotted, you maximize the improvement of your writing, reading and speaking skills.

Arts, Media and Society

During the initial semester of Arts, Media and Society, you will develop a basic knowledge and a good understanding of the field of Art History. In the following year, you will begin to place more of a focus on issues that arise in globalized and technical areas.

During the final year, you will begin to rapidly advance all knowledge and immediate comprehension of art, media and society, including the manner in which they intersect.

The Arts, Media and Society programme also offers an academic semester of your own choosing. This is the time to study at another international university, take on an internship or enroll in a Minor programme within a different faculty at Leiden University.

To learn more information on incoming international students, be sure to check out informative city guides that are geared toward helping you to become more familiar in Leiden.

How to get to the university

Faculty Archeology

Address: Van Steenis Building; Einsteinweg 2

How to get there: Departing from Leiden Centraal, take Bus 31 toward Katwijk. The Archeology faculty campus is less than a 4-minute walk away.

Faculty Governance and Global Affairs

Address: Anna van Buerenplein 301

How to get there: This faculty is located directly across from The Hague central station and can be reached on foot.

Faculty Humanities/Psychology

Address: Arsenaal building; Arsenaalstraat 10

How to get there: Take Bus 5 from Leiden Centraal reaching Voorschoten Starrenburg.

Address: Johan Huizinga building; Doelensteeg 16

How to get there: Take Bus 1 from the central station going toward Leiderdorp.

Address: Lipsius Building, Cleveringaplaats 1

How to get there: This is a 10-minute walk from Leiden Central Station.

You can also take Bus 1 from the train station, exiting at "Paterstraat", or take Bus 5 or 6, exiting at “Noordeinde”.

Address: Matthias de Vrieshof, Matthias de Vrieshof 3

How to get there: The faculty is a 5 to 10-minute walk from Leiden Central Station. You can also take Bus 5 in toward Voorschoten Starrenburg.

Address: P.N. van Eyckhof

How to get there: You can easily walk in 15 minutes or less, or you can take Bus 5. It will be a 6-minute walk to reach the faculty.

Address: Rapenbrug 38

How to get there: One of the best ways to reach the faculty is with a 5 to 10-minute walk. If you’d rather take a ride, use Bus 5 going toward Voorschoten from a central station.

Faculty: Governance and Global Affairs

Address: Turfmarkt 99

How to get there: Walk for approximately 6 minutes in the direction of Oude Vest, out of the "Stationweg". You can also opt to take Bus 182 toward Alphen a/d Rijn.

Faculty Social and Behavioural Sciences

Address: Pieter de la Court Building; Wassenaarseweg 52

How to get there: Walk for approximately 5 to 6 minutes from the central station and through the roundabout, into the back entrance.

To get around Leiden like a local in no time, be sure to check out the transportation page for Leiden and its surrounding areas.

University accommodation

Student neighborhoods

Leiden has a wide variety of neighborhoods that are just perfect for international students living in Leiden. Whether you want to stay close to the university in the city centre, or would like to find more budget-conscious options with many modes of transportation, the possibilities are endless.

Plus, did you know that we also have a dedicated Leiden City Guide, where you can find plenty of additional information? Check out the link and find out more about the unique neighborhoods that Leiden has to offer.

Common housing practices

Finding a place in Leiden can often be very difficult. Rooms are typically in very high demand, especially in the city centre. Fortunately, Housing Anywhere can help you locate housing.

Let’s take a look at a few things that can make your hunt easier!

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to begin your search. Always begin early, which means at least 2-3 months before you actually plan on relocating.

Be sure to check our section ‘student rooms available near uni’ .

  • The more landlords or property owners that you reach out to, the more likely are your chances of acceptance. Unfortunately, students rarely get their first pick when it comes to finding housing.

  • Housing Anywhere is an easy-to-use service that allows you to book your room, even before you can view it. If you begin to move in and find that the room is not exactly as advertised, you will have 48 hours to notify us so that we can offer you a prompt refund. However, this hardly ever happens. We have great relationships with our landlords, and we trust them completely.

    To learn more about finding housing in the Netherlands and what is involved, read on here.

Student associations

  • BASIS (Bachelor Students of International Studies) is conveniently located in The Hague.

BASIS sets about to bring a focus to academic knowledge within the student body, while also increasing the social interaction between its members. Therefore, BASIS organizes a large number of activities throughout the year, pertaining to both social and academic interests.

  • ISN (International Student Network Leiden) is located in Leiden.

The International Student Network (ISN) is connected to the much-larger Erasmus Student Network (ESN). ESN represents one of the largest interdisciplinary student associations throughout all of Europe. Additionally, they offer the ever-popular ISN Buddy Programme, which provides personalized assistance for all exchange students.

  • AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l'Europe) urges young

people who live in or are studying in Europe to really leave their marks on society.

AEGEE offers up a platform for young leaders to meet and mingle, exchanging ideas and fully immersing themselves in learning environments.

  • Leiden United

Leiden United’s main goal is to build a bridge between local Dutch students and incoming international students. This creates the ideal opportunity for international students to meet a myriad of people from multiple countries and diverse cultures.

  • Leiden Debating Union

The Leiden Debating Union is an international student association that is fully English-speaking. Members typically meet up to twice per week for the purpose of debate, utilizing the British parliamentary style.

Sports Associations

The University Sports Centre (USC) is Leiden’s own sports association. They host events, parties, trips and sporting weekends, along with setting up competitions and training sessions.


Be sure to keep track of the university’s agenda!

But don’t forget to get out and about, exploring everything that Leiden has to offer! You can learn more about Leiden’s sights here.

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