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Become a Science Buddy Fall 2020/2021

26 June 2020

Are you ready to become a SCIENCE Buddy for the fall semester 2020/2021? The SCIENCE Buddy Programme is organized by the Science International Office offered to all new international students for the upcoming semester of the Faculty of Science, Leiden University. A SCIENCE Buddy is a current student of the Faculty of Science, who is easily approachable and can share his or her experience with our new international students.

What it means to be a Science Buddy (during Fall semester 2020)

As a Science Buddy you get matched to a few international students who you help feel more at home at Leiden University. You help them with day-to-day questions and, if possible, go out to do stuff, such as take a walk in the park. Most of all, you are a listening ear to your internationals and reach out to them whenever necessary. The Science International Office supports the buddies and can be referred to by the buddies.

Due to the COVID pandemic, upcoming semester’s Science Buddy Programme will be different than normal. As there will be a larger focus on online education, the programme will mostly take place online with online buddy contact and digital activities organized by the International Office, such as games and drinks. Where possible, we will try to set up offline meetings and activitites. 
The first contact with your buddies will be mid August in order for you to help them before they start with their semester. Also, if international students decide to travel to the Netherlands, it would be very helpful if you can give them a warm welcome! You help them with finding their way around the city, show them their student housing, university buildings, and other places-to-be.
Being a Buddy is not only a great way to give back, it is also a good way to learn more about other cultures, start your international network, and practice your own language skills. If you are interested, we would like to offer you an intercultural communication workshop hosted by the Science International Office.

The Leiden Science Buddy Programme is an independent programme for new international students next to the COVID ‘tutor program’ for first-year BSc and MSc students organized by the different educational departments and institutes. For more info on the tutor programs, we kindly refer to the respective institutes.

Sign up via Formdesk (before 1 August). 


  • You are an enthusiastic and motivated student of the Faculty of Science
  • You are available for questions in (mid/end of) August
  • You have some time to support students—especially during the end of August and the beginning of September
  • You are available for occasional (online) activities and an (online) training session (dates to be decided)

100% of the Science Buddies who completed the evaluation form in the previous year said they recommend being a Buddy to others! International students were very positive and called the SCIENCE Buddy Programme their 1st contact with the culture and programme you choose.


Buddy application deadline                         1 August 2020
Results selection and matching                  Beginning of August
Buddy Training                                              6 / 13 August


If you cannot attend the online Buddy Training, it is possible to schedule an individual appointment. For questions, also regarding the Buddy training day, you can contact Victor van der Horst (Buddy Coordinator) and Laura Kamsma (Coordinator international students) of the Science International Office at: incoming@science.leidenuniv.nl

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