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Herring and Sinterklaas during Leiden Science Buddy Welcome Borrel

Which Italian student likes raw herring, but does not know Sinterklaas? During the Leiden Science Buddy Welcome Borrel, international students and their buddies found out over drinks and while playing a special bingo game.

During the first week of classes on 5 September, 44 participants of the Leiden Science Buddy Programme got the chance to meet at the Buddy Welcome Borrel in the Science Club. During the Borrel, the students played an icebreaker game created by the Science International Office: Find a Student Bingo. The goal was to check all the boxes of the bingo card, each box representing one of the students. For example: find a student - from Italy - who likes raw herring - who does not know Sinterklaas - from the Chemistry Department. Some studentscould supposedly even use some cycle lessons. The first three students who completed their Bingo got a small prize.

New international Computer Science student Iris: 'Starting to talk to someone you don’t know can be a bit scary for me sometimes, but this game is a fun way to start a conversation. It is also very nice to have the chance to talk to Dutch students, because I really want to make Dutch friends while I am here.'

New international Chemistry student Sara: 'I was not able to join the OWL week due to obligations at my home university. It was very useful for me to talk to other international students and Dutch students and share experiences with them.'

60 students matched

For the new semester, a total of 60 new international Science students were matched with one of the 27 Leiden Science buddies. A Leiden Science Buddy is a current student of the faculty who likes to share his or her own experiences and is easily approachable. A buddy can be a first connection in the Netherlands, catches up before the start of the Orientation Week Leiden and the study programme, and can help with different practical matters.

In November, the International Office will join the NUFFIC 'Week of the International Student', with activities for all the participants in the Science Buddy Programme.

Would you also like to become a Leiden Science Buddy for the new international students of your study programme? You can sign up to become a buddy for the students who are starting per February 2019 (deadline 1 December 2018).

More information can be found on the student website. For questions, please contact Laura Kamsma from the Science International Office: incoming@science.leidenuniv.nl.

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