FAQ 2020 Summer OWL

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you unsure about some things about this Summer OWL? Here we collected answers to your most frequently asked questions. Note that some of the questions and answers are meant for Physical attendance only.

Corona measures

What safety measures does OWL take?

You can find the measures we take and the measures we expect participants to stick to here

Where do I find information on whether my country is deemed safe?

You can find the latest information on European and Dutch government regulations here

What other measures in the Netherlands should I be aware of?

You can read about Dutch measures you should be aware of here

What happens if circumstances change and I can no longer attend physical OWL?

If circumstances change regarding the Corona status of your country after signing up, you will receive a full refund. Beware, if the status was already in place when you signed up, you will not receive a refund. We advise you to wait as long as possible if you are unsure. Registration stays open until the 15th of August.

Can I still participate in the online activities if I signed up for the physical programme?

Part of the week is only online and intended for ALL participants so if you register for the Physical OWL, you are automatically signed up for Online OWL. The Online OWL is an app that functions as a platform which offers many options. Registration for the physical a-la carte events are also through the app.


How do i register for OWL

OWL participation is by invitation only. You will receive an invitation through email with information and a link to sign up.
At a later stage we will send everyone who signed up for the online or physical OWL the access link to the OWL app which is where the online programme is offered. We invite all international students who are coming in new to start the fall semester at Leiden University. We use the official University database to target the intended students. We update this list weekly and re-send invitations throughout the summer.

How does the online OWL work?

Online OWL is a platform we created in the form of an app. This app can be downloaded from the app store and is available for IOS and Android. It is downloadable on mobile devices but also on laptops and desktops. We will offer virtual activities and livestreams through this app and for the physical participants it is also where you sign up for the optional activities. A few days prior to the start of OWL we will send all registered participants (both online and physical) an email with access to the app and a short instruction.

How much does it cost to participate in the Orientation Week Programme?

The participation in Online OWL is free of charge, the fee for physical OWL is 20,-
If you sign up for Physical OWL the link takes you to our registration system; you need to complete the form and then click the payment link to complete registration. Our system accepts all major credit cards and IDEAL as ways of payment.

What else can I sign up for?

Besides the (physical) OWL itself you will also find options to sign up for a Leidse Pas and a USC Sports Card
Note: These additional purchases are only intended for participants who sign up for the physical OWL as they are only useful for students who are physically in Leiden

Does this invitation mean i have been accepted to Leiden University?

The invitation is in no way an official confirmation of acceptance to Leiden University. We take our information from the database and invite anyone who has applied, regardless of acceptance or not. We do this because the acceptance procedure is sometimes lengthy or halted due to administrative delays and we don’t want anyone to miss out because of this.
If you are still awaiting a decision on acceptance, we urge you to consider carefully before signing up! You can wait until the last moment to sign up as participant. Although we do close the registration via our website on the 15th of August, we never close the actual registration and you can always join by signing up in person.

I didn't receive an invitation, what do i do?

Don’t worry! Although we sent the first invitations in June, we regularly update and re-send the invitation. If your process of acceptance was delayed you might receive an invitation at a later stage. Please do make sure you have taken all the steps to complete your registration at Leiden University (what you need to do is stated in your acceptance letter).
You are advised to contact us if you have not received an invite by the 10th of August!

I missed OWL before when I came in new to Leiden. Can I join this Summer OWL 2020?

If you were invited to join a previous OWL, it means you are no longer a new student starting for the first time in Leiden. The OWL is meant to provide a good start to students who have just arrived in Leiden so it is not possible to join the OWL if you are not part of the new group starting in September 2020. If you want to meet (new) people to expand your social network, you can sign up to be Guide or Crew!

How do I cancel/deregister from Orientation Week?

For the online OWL which does not require you to pay a fee, we request that you inform us by sending an email to participants@owl.leidenuniv.nl.
For the physical OWL a fee of 20,- is required. Once you paid the fee, your registration is final. There are no refunds possible for the fee and any additional purchases except in certain specific cases in which you will receive a full refund of the fee and any additional purchases (Leidse Pas and USC Sports card):
– We have to cancel the physical OWL week due to changes in Dutch/University Corona policy and will only offer the Online OWL.
– Due to the safety status of your country in connection with Corona changing from safe to unsafe between your time of registration and the actual OWL. Beware, if you signed up while your country had an unsafe status, this does not grant you a refund We suggest you check carefully before you sign up: CORONA RULES NETHERLANDS & EU
– If academic or personal changes occurred between your time of registration and the actual OWL, preventing you from being able to study at Leiden university at all. We advise you to wait until you are sure of your status before signing up for OWL. If you are not sure about your status and the deadline of August 14th (registration is closed per August 15th) is approaching rapidly, you can contact us at participants@owl.leidenuniv.nl . For personal changes you can also send us an email.

How do I report changes?

If you have relevant changes that will affect your participation in the Orientation week (namely change of e-mail address or course/faculty), please let us know as soon as possible by sending an email to: participants@owl.leidenuniv.nl.

I signed up but haven't heard anything yet. Was there a problem with my registration?

Because we keep the online registration open until the 14th of August( registration is closed per the 15th, we won’t be able to form or finalise the groups until the week after that date. Therefore you will only receive an email with additional information a few days prior to the start of the OWL.

Owl groups- physical OWL 

How do I know which OWL group I am in?

A couple of days prior to the start of the Orientation Week we will send you an e-mail with more information. In this email, you will receive the names and contact details for your guides, your group number and you will be informed about your first meeting point with your group.

Can I change groups because I know someone who is in another group?

AFTER you have received your group number it is NO longer possible to change groups. The number of people in one group is strictly limited due to COVID-19 measures. You can let us know beforehand that you would like to be in the same group as someone you know by emailing to participants@owl.leidenuniv.nl. As long as you belong to the same faculty it should be no problem. If you have been assigned to a group that is not from your faculty, please inform us as soon as possible!!

Can I just join the physical activities at any given time?

No. There will be limited places for every physical activity during the week. In order to make sure that you can participate in your favourite activities, there will be time slots for you to sign up for. You can sign up for an activity via our app. However, if you have not signed up for a time slot, you cannot participate in that activity at that time. OWL takes COVID-19 measures very seriously and we do everything to avoid crowds at our events. Therefore, names will be checked on locations. This also means we ask you to cancel if you cannot attend after all.

General Questions

My flight got cancelled and I will be late for the physical programme! Can I still join?

The physical OWL programme starts with the registration on Monday, 24th of August. If you can only join later during the week, it is not a problem if you let us know in advance. We will inform you what to do upon arrival and we will contact the guide of your OWL group and let them know that you will be late.

Will I be able to get accommodation for the OWL week?

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the OWL cannot provide accommodation this Summer. You are very much advised to have your accommodation settled by the time the physical OWL starts. If you meet with housing problems, please contact the Student Affairs Front Office.

Does OWL provide food during the physical programme?

There will not be (organised) meals provided for the participants of the physical programme. You are advised to arrange your own lunch and dinner if you happen to attend activities that coincide with your usual lunch or dinner time. The main reason for this is that food distribution poses a hygienic and logistical risk that we deem great and frankly unnecessary. The fact we do not provide food is reflected in the low fee we ask for attending physical OWL.

I have a question/problem during the (physical) OWL. Who do I contact?

During the week we have the OWL headquarters set up at Plexus Student Center, Kaiserstraat 25. A Coordination Team will be available to help you by answering your emails, phone calls and in person. The contact details will be in the information email you receive just before the start of the OWL and it will be in the programme booklet you receive at the beginning of the week. Your Guide can also help you to arrange things or bring you to the CT. If you have questions before the start of the week you can email us at participants@owl.leidenuniv.nl

I have a disability, can I still participate in the physical OWL?

Yes, you can still join the Orientation Week! Let us know via email about your disability as soon as possible. This will allow us to take your needs into consideration. We will always make sure that you are placed within a group with experienced and competent Guides. Also, keep in mind that you are not obliged to participate in every single activity. However, please inform your guides if you decide not to participate in an event. If you have any doubts or questions you can contact us at participants@owl.leidenuniv.nl

General Terms and Conditions

Leiden University and the OWL have the following Terms & Conditions.
For usage of the OWL app you will be asked to sign an additional agreement on online conduct.

Drugs & alcohol policy physical OWL

During the Orientation Week all use of drugs is prohibited. If participants or anyone involved in the OWL week (Guides, Crew, Student organisations etc.) is caught holding or using drugs there will be severe consequences: they will be excluded from further participation/involvement in the OWL.
Alcohol is prohibited for everyone under 18. If participants under 18 are caught in possession of or drinking alcohol during OWL events, or if anyone involved in the OWL week is caught providing alcohol to minors at OWL events, there will be severe consequences; they will be excluded from further participation/ involvement in the OWL.
All the Guides will receive an instruction for responsible alcohol use during the Guides & Crew training before the start of the OWL week and are responsible for the welfare of participants in their group. The abuse of alcohol might have consequences for both the responsible guides and the offending participant(s).
Although we may serve alcohol during the OWL week, we always have non-alcoholic drinks available at any and all these events as well.