University Counselor – Leiden University

By 2019-11-29 11:44:51

We know that choosing a university is one of the most important decisions in a young person’s life. In collaboration with Lamonda Lewis, High School Counsellor, we present a new university each month to inform you of the many options available. This month we highlight Leiden University in the Netherlands.

University Website:

Institutional Type:
Public Research University


Leiden and The Hague, The Netherlands

Average Cost of Attendance for non-EU/ EEA Students (including tuition, room and board, etc.):

Requirements to be accepted at Leiden University

SAT/ACT/IB/A Level score range:

Leiden does not require the SAT/ACT of students who are not studying in the US. A full IB diploma is sufficient for admission to most programmes, and scores of 30 and up would be considered in more selective programmes. Leiden reqiures minimum of 3 A Levels with grade C or higher for most programmes.

English Language Requirements (DET/TOEFL/IELTS):

Vary per programme, but usually a 6.5 or 7.0 on the Academic IELTS and 90 or 100 on the iBT TOEFL will be sufficient depending on the programme.


Are merit or need based scholarships available for international students?

Leiden University has The Holland Scholarship, a merit-based 5000 Euro award in the first year only, for non-EU/EEA students. It also offers aid to admitted students who apply for assistance for the Leiden University College programme.

List the programmes that your university is most known for and include any special programs that you would like to highlight?

The University has 14 English-taught programmes: BA Archaeology, BA Arts, Media and Society, BSc Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, BA Dutch Studies, BA English Language and Culture, BA International Studies, BSc International Relations and Organisations, BA/BSc Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges (Leiden University College), BA Linguistics, BA Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives, BSc Psychology, BA South and Southeast Asian Studies, BSc Security Studies, and BA Urban Studies.

How strong is your alumni network throughout Asia?

Leiden University has official alumni chapters in China and Indonesia. Smaller groups of alumni have more informal groupings in other areas.

What type of student thrives in your university setting?

Students who are critical thinkers, are open-minded, independent, a bit adventurous, and interested in people are the best fit. Students who want to make an impact on the world around them and have an international immersive experience thrive here. The University looks for academically excellent students who are able to manage their time and take personal responsibility for their success.

What are the benefits of students attending university in your location?

• The subjects that Leiden University offers are often unique, and very highly ranked. Often sometimes higher than the university itself! Therefore students looking at options in international relations/political science, humanities (such as linguistics and area studies), psychology and cultural anthropology, as well as archaeology will have the added benefit of being from world-renowned faculties as well as the university.

• Leiden is a true university city with a traditional medieval look and feel. One in ten is a student and there are so many social and cultural experiences to be had.

• Ten minutes away by train, the programmes in The Hague (Leiden University College, Urban Studies, Security Studies, International Studies, International Relations and Organisations) have the added benefit of being right in the centre of the International City of Peace, Justice and Security. Surrounded by ministries, the government, NGO’s, embassies and consulates, the Peace Palace, the International Criminal Courts, NATO; these programmes are at the centre of their industry and environment.

What percentage of graduates go into the workforce within six months of graduation?

The vast majority of students will go on to a master’s programme straight away as this is the tradition in Europe. Others will do internships or gap years. Approximately 30% will go on to work straight away and most of that group will find employment in the first 3-6 months.

What percentage of students go to graduate school after graduating?

The majority – but this changes from programme to programme. An estimate of 50-70% would cover most programmes.

What services are provided for helping international students transition into life on campus ?

The University has a large suite of services and programmes to help students feel at home and welcome when they arrive. It starts with the Orientation Week Leiden (OWL) or The Hague Orientation Programme (HOP) weeks before classes start. It is a social and academic introduction to living and studying with Leiden University. Leiden also have international student advisors, study coordinators and other counselling (psychological, financial, legal, learning/physical challenges), careers offices, mentors and more. There is a Housing Office that has a limited number of rooms, as well as helpful tips on how to find housing on your own. Students must be personally responsible and seek out these services, but they are there to help!

What are the visa requirements for a student to remain in the Netherlands to work upon graduation?

After completing a bachelor’s degree, students can apply for an ‘orientation year permit’ to stay in the Netherlands to work. This also applies to students who complete a master’s. Students have three years to apply for an orientation year permit, which means they can leave the Netherlands and apply later on if they wish within that time period. .

What level of assistance does your career centre provide in helping international students find internships and post graduate employment?

Each faculty will have a Career Service and there is one for the university overall as well. Students can take part in workshops, have CV checks, use international databases for students to find internships and relevant employment, as well as learn other job search skills. Each programme will also have career discussion and planning throughout the three year programme in order to be ready for the next step upon completion of the programme.