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Students from all around the world discover The Hague

A day at the beach, games, a visit to an embassy and a pub crawl. The activities at HOPweek help new students get to know not just The Hague but each other too.

This week 1093 students started HOPweek, the introduction week in The Hague. The 167 mentors will show them the city, the University and student life. HOPweek is for both Dutch and international students from Leiden University. At registration the names can be heard of all sorts of different countries as students introduce themselves. For the new students the different nationalities are one of the main reasons to study in The Hague – as are the many international organisations and NGOs in the city.

Mentors Agnès and Amelie wait for their group of new students.

Great student city

For Agnès from France and Amelie from Italy this was why they came to The Hague. They also wanted to study in English. They are now some way into their studies and want to show new students the city. They can’t wait to meet their group. Agnès: ‘We want to show them the places where students go. It’s nice that you can walk or cycle everywhere.’ The Hague is a great student city say the two. Amelie: ‘There are so many students from all over the world. You meet a lot of people with different experiences.’

Niklas from Switzerland likes the Dutch mentality.

Pub crawl

In the queue for registration, the students are already getting to know one another. Niklas from Switzerland is chatting to Nara from Bali about their studies. Niklas has already lived in Amsterdam and likes the Dutch mentality. ‘When I saw that you can study Political Science in The Hague it was an easy decision.’ Of all the HOPweek activities, Niklas is looking forward most to the pub crawl. ‘It’ll be fun to get to know lots of people.’

Nara is studying in The Hague because of its long history with Indonesia.


Nara is an exchange student and is going to study Public Policy. ‘I love The Hague. I want to study here because it’s the centre of public administration and because of the long history between Indonesia and The Hague.’  Alongside studying in the city, Nara will live there too. ‘A friend of mine is an exchange student and he’s gone to Singapore. I’m living in his room in The Hague. I’ve been really lucky. It’s crazy finding a room.’

The open day was online, so for Dagmar HOPweek is a chance to get to know the University.

Embassy visit

Dagmar, an International Studies student from the Netherlands, would like a room in The Hague but for now is living with a friend in Rotterdam. For her HOPweek is a chance to get to know the University and the city. ‘The open day was online because of covid, so I haven’t seen the University at all. I want to know where I’ll have to go.’ She’s looking forward most to the HOPweek pub crawl. ‘And I also like the idea of visiting the embassy. I might want to work for one later.’

Once all the groups have gathered and everyone has registered, the first HOPweek activity can begin: the city tour. And a tour of The Hague wouldn’t be complete without Hofvijver lake.

Text: Dagmar Aarts
Photos: Fien Leeflang

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