Summer OWL 2020

The Summer OWL will be held from the 24th to the 28th of August ’20, the last week before the start of the Academic year. During the OWL week, you will be introduced to your faculty, Leiden and the Dutch student life in general. Being a part of the OWL experience will help you meet your fellow incoming students, so for the best possible start to the new chapter of your life as a student at a Dutch University we highly recommend you participate in the OWL.

You probably want to know what the Orientation Week will look like! After all, the measures taken by the Dutch government against the spread of the coronavirus also have consequences for Leiden University and thus for the introduction period. The university together with the municipality, the study and student associations, and many other parties has done its utmost to develop the best possible programme to suit everyone’s needs: this year we are offering a blended week which can be completely followed online if you are joining from home, and also a variation of OWL on location if you are able to come to Leiden.

Virtual OWL
We are organising a virtual OWL for all. We want all of our students to get to know the University and to be able to meet fellow students while attending fun events online. It is an online a-la-carte OWL, free of charge! It will contain, amongst others, a livestream of the official Word of Welcome by the Mayor of Leiden and Leiden University representatives. There will be various live events like an information session on associations, a faculty welcome, a career event and various workshops from cooking a typical student meal to learning about Dutch culture. An important function of the online platform will be to connect you with other students by offering designated chat channels and a “speed friending” option.

Virtual OWL registration
We offer this programme through a secured app which will give you access to the online OWL programme and to personalised parts that are relevant to you on the basis of your study/study phase. Once you signed up for the Virtual OWL through the link in the invitation, you will receive access to the app shortly before the OWL starts. You can download it on your PC or laptop as well as on your phone or tablet and you will be asked to register for it once. Deadline for registration is the 15th of August  which means last chance to sign up is Friday the 14th!

OWL on location
For students who are able to join OWL physically because they are already residing in or near Leiden during OWL, we have some additional programme parts on location. This programme of OWL will consist of 3 aspects: firstly, you will be placed in a group with 7 other students, guided by 2 Guides which makes you part of a group of 10 students. With this group you will have some fixed on location events in Leiden throughout the week (for example a boat tour and a city walk). The second aspect is an a-la-cart on location OWL programme. This means we offer a variety of on location events (bike tour, sports classes, workshops) which you can sign up for through the app during the week on an individual basis. The third aspect is the virtual OWL as some programme parts of the week are offered virtual for everyone. Make sure that you have housing available during the week as we are not able to offer any housing or temporary dorms due to the corona measures. Also make sure that you adhere to the safety rules set in place by the Dutch government: if you are from outside the EU or not from one of the 15 countries that the EU has deemed safe, you are required to spend 2 weeks in self-quarantine. This means you need to arrive in the Netherlands at the latest on the 10th of August to be able to attend the physical OWL!

On location-Physical OWL registration

Participation in the OWL on location programme will cost 20€ which includes a starter pack.

Please only tick one box: You only need to sign up for the physical OWL, the online OWL is automatically added. Once you signed up for the On location-Physical OWL through the link in the invitation, you will receive access to the app shortly before the OWL starts. You can download it on your PC or laptop as well as on your phone or tablet and you will be asked to register for it once. Your group schedule and all the information you need will appear in the app.

The registration for physical OWL will be closed on the 15th of August so we can finalise the groups at that time. So last chance to sign up is Friday the 14th!


If you are coming to Leiden you can also order the LeidsePas discount card and the Sports card from the USC.


If you are not joining Summer OWL 2020 at all you can send an email to and we will exclude you from receiving further emails.


Beware that this week is non-refundable unless it is due to the changed Corona circumstances. In case of changing circumstances or rules in the Netherlands which would force us to cancel the physical OWL, we would Be sure you adhere to the Corona safety rules of the Netherlands, and that you have your academic requirements, flights and accommodation taken care of before signing up.



* Disclaimer: Please note that the invitation or acceptance to the Orientation Week Programme does not mean you have been accepted to Leiden University. You can only register for the Orientation Week if you have been admitted to a study or programme at Leiden University and expect to meet all your conditions of admission (if applicable) before the start date of your study programme. If you are not sure about your admission status, please check your status in the online application portal (uSis) or contact the Student Information Centre via the Contact form Front Office or +31 (0)71 527 80 11.

Registration** will be completed after we receive your payment (be ready to pay once you open the link).