Dutch Student Life
After high school a lot of Dutchies go to university or HBO (Hogeschool Leiden). Leiden University was founded in 1575 which makes it the eldest university of The Netherlands. Leiden University is not the biggest university, but it has over 25.000 students and the amount of students grows every year! If you want to know more about the history of Leiden University, you can visit their website. If you want to learn more about the Dutch educational system, you can visit this website.
Besides their study, many Dutch students have a job, do sports and become member of a student association: this is some sort of club. Associations exist in many different shapes and sizes. There are social associations like Minerva and SSR, sports associations like Asopos and Njord and most studies have their own association as well.
Most students choose to become member of an association where they feel comfortable. Every association has its own structure, atmosphere and behavioural expectations from their members. Some of the associations have a week of hazing in which you have to take part: the inauguration (in Dutch: ‘ontgroening’). During this week you get to know your board members and fellow members. This week is often seen as a test for the new members. Only after participating the inauguration you can officially become a member of the association. At these associations you are often expected to join social drinks weekly.
Some associations have a clubhouse: the society (in Dutch: ‘sociëteit’). Social drinks and parties take place at the society of the association, here you will find a lot of cohorts, marking themselves by wearing the same clothes. Some of the associations have their own restaurant where you can have dinner for a small price. To enter societies, you have to be a member of the association or Leiden United, we take you to every restaurant of the five biggest associations in town!
Within the associations group formation takes place. People often become member of a cohort (in Dutch: ‘dispuut’). This is a private group of (study)friends, who come together more often and do activities together. Every cohort is different, because it is a small group of people who feel closely related to eachother. You can be asked to become member of the private group, and sometimes you can sign up for the group. At the beginning of the year new members will be chosen, places can be limited.
Every association has a board to keep the association going. The board changes every year, the old board members choose new board members. Leiden United has six board members, every person has its own function and responsibilities. Here you can have a look at our board and their functions.
Because it is a lot of work to keep an association going, most boards give away some tasks to committees. A commision is a group of people chosen by the board, this group organizes specific activities. There are a lot of different kinds of committees, for example Quintus has over 40 committees! Leiden United also has a committee, our committee organizes the activities and is led by our Activities Officer. As member of our Activities Committee, you think about the activities you want Leiden United to arrange, you find out if these are (financial) achievable and you also accompany your fellow members during activities. Application for the Activities Committee is now open, you can apply here!