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Student story: first days in Leiden

Student stories 11 September 2011, 00:00

There are waterways throughout the city Leiden and I feel myself like a calm stream of water while walking around the lovely city.

There are waterways throughout the city Leiden and I feel myself like a calm stream of water while walking around the lovely city. I do not walk but rather flow easily, effortlessly and with great pleasure and curiosity.

When I first came to Leiden I did not have an apartment yet. After visiting some very small apartments I decided to put a note on the Bulletin board at the university saying that I am looking for an apartment next to university. At evening I got a phone call from the apartment's owner, asking me if I am still interested in renting a place next to university. Now I'm writing this article from my lovely apartment.

Lucky I had put the note. While writing, I'm looking from time to time out of three large windows, and I see a floating canal, large trees and people riding their bicycle and sailing boats. Again, I feel the magic in the air, the easy flow of the water…

Introduction days at Leiden

I start my Master in Art History in two days. I met some of my classmates in two introduction days last week. They are from all over the world, and I find it exciting; I came to Holland and feel like I'm experiencing other cultures at the same time. I enjoyed these two days. The group's guides led us within the university and the city of Leiden.

There were lectures about different topics concerning Leiden University and the humanities faculty. I really liked the lecture on Dutch culture, I learned that the Dutch like to keep things simple and they are themselves quite direct and "simple".

One funny statement I took from the lecture is: Doe maar gewoon je doet al gek genoeg. Means: Act normally because you're behaving strange enough. The Dutch are probably influenced by the watery landscape surrounding them, and want to live calm and balanced life (who doesn't actually?), in a watery ground.

I feel that the landscape also affects me. My nickname is Nat, in Dutch it means wet. I hope that I'll keep on floating through the city and through the university time smoothly and enjoy every minute of it.

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