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If you are a student and are worried, please know we’re here for you

The corona crisis has had a major impact, also on our university and thus on the lives of our students. Our teaching is online and we’ve been urged to avoid social contact. That is difficult, especially for our international students who are here in Leiden and The Hague without their family and friends. We understand your worries and are doing all we can to support you. Below you will find a list of where to find information, tips or a sympathetic ear.

I’m worried and feel stressed

Much is still uncertain – about the virus itself but also about the implications of the measures on your studies, for instance. Unfortunately, we do not have answers to everything, and understand that this uncertainty is frustrating and can even cause stress. On our Healthy University @ Home website, we give tips on how to stay healthy at home, both mentally and physically. For example, by listing things you can do to reduce stress, or apps to help you relaxMore information heren 

Despite social distancing, try to keep in touch with your family, friends and fellow students. Call or video call each other or make a date to catch up with your fellow students outside of digital lessons. Make sure you take time to relax. Take some exercise – in your sitting room with the USC’s online classes – or play online games with friends. For international students: ISN Leiden offers a wide range of online clubs: get exercise or do hobbies such as painting or boardgames with others in video meetings. Check out their Facebook page

If you’d like to talk to someone about your concerns, here are some options: 

  • If you have questions about returning home or what the situation means for your exchange or accommodation, contact the exchange coordinator from your faculty.
  • Join one of the Student Support Groups. You’re not alone and it can help to share your experiences with other students. Everyone is welcome to join these online support groups. Register via popcornerthehague@leidenuniv.nl (also if you are a student in Leiden). 
  • If you have questions, call or send an email to our Student Support Service: studentsupport@leidenuniv.nl or 071 – 527 8025. They can help with practical matters, but can also offer a sympathetic ear if you are worried or feel lonely. (Available on weekdays 11.00-16.00, Tuesday till 17:30) 
  • Outside office hours you can always call the national Listening Line (Luisterlijn). If you need someone sympathetic to talk to, their volunteers can help by phone, mail or chat – anonymously of course. Call 071 - 512 5202 (Leiden) or 070 - 345 4500 (Den Haag) or see the website. Please note: most volunteers do speak English, but because of the anonymity, the Luisterlijn cannot guarantee that you’ll be connected to an English speaking volunteer.
  • Rapenburg100 (Leiden Students Ekklesia) has opened the Corona Crisis Student Support Line. Available in the evenings, seven days a week. Call to talk to one of their life coaches/spiritual counsellors about what is troubling you: 071 744 01 68 (from 16 to 18 hrs. and from 20 to 22 hrs.). More information 

I have problems with or questions about remote teaching

We’ve brought together all the information for present students about remote teaching in one online dossier: Studying in times of corona. Here you will find the latest news, practical information about remote study and tips on how to download and use certain programs, but also the rules on postponing the BSA. We have also listed the FAQs

If you don’t have a good pc or laptop and have to take an online exam, you can borrow a laptop for a day. Read how to arrange this here. 

I’m scared of getting or spreading corona

If you follow the guidelines of the Dutch government and Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), you will reduce the risk of contracting or spreading corona. In summary, this means: regularly wash your hands with soap, cough or sneeze into your elbow and study or work at home as much as possible. If you do have to go outside, for instance to do shopping, keep 1.5 metres apart from others and avoid busy places. The RIVM’s information is now available in several languages: an extensive website in English and as a PDF in different languages from this page

If you have mild cold symptoms, a sore throat, coughing, sneezing or a mild fever, stay home.  If your symptoms worsen, phone your doctor. Your housemates should self-isolate as well in this case. If you don’t have a doctor in Leiden/The Hague, call the local Municipal Public Health Service (GGD): for Leiden this is GGD Hollands Midden, tel. 088 308 30 00 and for The Hague GGD Haaglanden, tel. 088 355 01 00.

I have financial problems or am worried that I will get into financial difficulty

The corona crisis is not only a public-health problem, but also a social and economic problem. We understand that if you have lost a part-time job or another source of income, this can cause financial worries.  

  • If you think you will have problems paying your rent, contact your landlord in good time to let them know. DUWO student housing has a special information page online.  
  • If you have questions about a scholarship for an exchange or internship, see the FAQs on the student website. 
  • DUO offers possibilities to increase your student loan, also with retroactive effect. For further information and answers to other questions about student loans or public transport rights see the DUO website
  • If you are worried about paying your tuition fees or have other financial concerns, please contact one of our student deans

I’m worried I won’t be able to finish my studies and about whether my bachelor’s/master’s degree will be worth the same as in other years

Everything is different about our teaching at the moment. But we as a university and most certainly your lecturers are doing all we can to ensure that the online teaching is of an equally high quality as under normal circumstances. Michiel Kreutzer, Dean of the Faculty of Science, summed this up well in his video message: ‘The teaching is different from what we were used to: working methods have changed, we only have online contact with one another and we can’t go to the lab. What the coming period will look like is uncertain, but you can rest assured that we are doing all we can to get through this crisis together. We are focusing our efforts on ensuring that your studies are delayed as little as possible and that the value of your degrees will remain the same.’ 

Finally: a message to you from our Rector Magnificus, to our international students in particular

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Watch the video on the original website or

Read the article Rector Carel Stolker is referring to here on our website

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