Experience the Honours College: International Perspective
"My name is Lucrezia, I am 24 years old and I am originally from Italy. I moved to London when I was 20 years old, and then to the Netherlands two years ago due to my Bachelor’s degree. I have plenty of hobbies ranging from sports, outdoor activities, to visiting museums and art shows. I am very unlikely to be quiet and calm for a very long time, so as soon as I started my Bachelor's degree I considered doing some extra classes. As I was looking at the Honours College programme I was thrilled by the number and broad range of courses I could follow. However, initially I was also concerned that the fact that I do not speak Dutch would undermine my experience; but this did not happen. On the contrary, all the classes are taught in English and the material provided is also in English."
"Students come from very 'mixed' backgrounds, ethnically as well as academically speaking. As mentioned, I am a very active and enthusiastic person and my expectations have been more than fulfilled by all the courses I have taken so far. Indeed, it has given me the chances to meet other international students as well as Dutch ones with similar interests. I have to admit that I am finding myself more enthusiastic, involved, and positive towards Honours classes than towards the courses of my Bachelor’s degree, and so far I have always found a very welcoming and friendly group of students in the classes."
Lucrezia also discusses the Honours Class she is following at the moment: "For example, at the moment I am following the Honours Class: "Who Owns Life?", a biotechnology class that discusses the ethical principles challenged by new biotechnologies, but at the same time it includes laboratory days in which some bio 'techniques' are actually being performed. The group consists of half Dutch students and half internationals, but all conversations are in English and we are all helping each other, especially during lab days as most of us had never even put on a lab coat before. Thus, needless to say that being an international student in the Honours programme is great, not just for the courses itself but also for the chances of meeting other fellow students from all backgrounds and enriching your experience abroad as a Leiden University student."
Elizaveta, a Finnish student also in the Honours Class "Who Owns Life?", agrees to the accessibility of the courses for international students: "Being an international student in Leiden University is always fun! Add a little "honours" to that, and it becomes even more amazing. I was positively surprised by the diversity of courses offered in English; and the lack of requirements for these courses. In my case, coming from the humanities faculty did not restrict me from taking a course in the field of (natural) sciences. The language barrier was also something I feared beforehand. Sometimes when a course is offered in English, the quality deteriorates. However, that is not the case with my courses! Overall, the Honours programme at Leiden was a great experience for me and something to definitely add on my CV!"