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Study Abroad at the Netherlands Oldest University

By Rachel Nash

Posted: 31st October 2012 16:20

More than just windmills and clogs, The Netherlands is home to Leiden University, the oldest one in the country and features 88th on the global university leader board.  Not bad for a University that once came from humble beginnings. 

Leiden University, located in the city of Leiden was a gift from William the Silent (a Dutch Prince) during Spanish sieges in the 16th century.  Scholars such as Joseph Scaliger and David Ruhnken helped to raise the universities profile, encouraging people to think highly of the institute.  At present day, its reputation doesn’t falter.  Believing international character strengths the reputation of Leiden, the university encourages an international student body. 

Because the University lies within the EU, you won’t require a visa to study here.  You might even want to shun the international dorms, because the Dutch speak English really well so your preparation is cut in half.  Leiden accepts all students on a ‘study aboard’ scheme, as an ‘exchange student’ and those who wish to study for the full three-year course.  The tuition fees differ depending on your country, but the fee is typically the same as the ‘study abroad’ scheme.  The university itself has no central campus but instead the buildings are dotted around the city.  Popular courses include psychics, maths, medicine and philosophy amongst others. 

Leiden is situated not far from Amsterdam so regular trips to the city don’t disappoint international students.  Rather than head straight to the seedy red light district and cafe’s that are higher than kites, appreciate the cultural city ahead of you.  Cruises offered along the canals are popular as is the Van Gogh museum that gets thousands or visits every year.  Edam and Gouda cheese are the nation’s speciality, so don’t forget to indulge whilst you ride your bike around Leiden. 

Still not convinced the University is for you? How about this? Leiden University is credited for its famous Nobel Prize winners and leading scientists.  Professor Heike Karmerlingh Onnes was the first to succeed in liquefying helium and was awarded the Nobel Prize for psychics in 1913 amongst others during the 20th century.  Albert Einstein was fond of the university too, one of his manuscripts on the quantum theory was found in Leiden’s libraries in 2005. 

So if you fancy yourself as the next Albert Einstein (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t) order a prospectus from the Leiden University website here