Student life

All set to start studying in the TopDutch region? Don’t worry, it won’t be all hard work! Here’s a guide to being an international student in the Northern Netherlands.


Aclo student sport center ©UG, photo: Silvio Zangerini

Student associations

Erasmus Student Network - ESN
Arriving as an international in a new country can be a bit scary, but once you get here you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make friends and learn Dutch culture. The ESN is an international student network that exists in all major student cities across Europe. In the TopDutch region we have a sector in Groningen and Leeuwarden. They organize everything to help international students integrate; from parties to trips to cultural events. 

Study Associations
Most studies or departments in the TopDutch region have their own student-run associations. You can join these from your first year and choose to be an active (involved in organization and communication) or passive (joining in for events and lectures) member. They organize events related to your study such as lectures and networking events, and also often integration events such as parties or social activities and trips.

Introduction events for international students

Introduction weeks
To help international students navigate their first week in Groningen, ESN hosts the biggest introduction week for international students in Groningen. If you’re wanting to get to know fellow Dutch students as well, the KEI-week is the general introduction week for all incoming students in Groningen.  

Studying in Leeuwarden? Then, you can join the general introduction week “LEIP!” or those specifically organized by your university.

Many faculties also organize their own introduction events for new (international) students. So, keep an eye on information provided by your faculty or degree program. Wherever you’ll study and whatever introduction program you’ll choose, it’ll be a great way to ease into life in the TopDutch region, make friends and get a first glimpse of student life.

Introduction weeks usually take place just before the start of the semester in August/September or February. You can simply get a ticket via the respective websites.