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European Law is a one-year Master’s specialisation at the internationally renowned Leiden Law School at Leiden University. The programme distinguishes itself by its multidisciplinary approach, covering substantive and institutional EU law as well as economic law and human rights within a EU perspective.
European law is an exciting and rapidly developing discipline. There are few areas of national law and policy within Europe that remain untouched by the influence of European legislation. The scope of EU law, however is even wider, as Europe is becoming an increasingly important actor on the international stage.
In this programme, you will focus on the various aspects of European Law, as well as the European protection of human rights. You will study topics ranging from EU
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A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.
Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Together with academics and fellow students from all over the world, you will actively address these challenges. We keep an open mind, do not shy away from difficult discussions and allow one another the space to disagree. We expect the same active, open-minded and critical attitude from you.Read more
Before deciding for this master programme I checked the ranking, of course. But then, I saw the Leiden University team pleading at the European Law Moot Court Competition and that was what convinced me.
I was not disappointed, because this master really strikes the balance between the theoretical knowledge needed to work in the EU environment and the practical skills needed to apply EU law.
While you have a broad view on how the institutions work, the power play between them, you also have the freedom to choose your own area of interest and to conduct further research on that.
This is what actually gives you the chance to gain in depth knowledge on the currently debated topics and to discuss any further issues you might encounter with your lecturers.
It’s a very dynamic programme where you learn how to write submissions and how to plead in a moot court. You do not only have the traditional perspective of the applicant or defendant, but you also learn how to write and talk like an Advocate General and a judge. And the crucial aspect for your evolution is the feedback received for your work that allows to improve your skills.
Housing is a crucial aspect that you need to take care of. It is not easy to find accommodation in Leiden, this is why is recommendable to start early. You can apply to the housing offered by Leiden University or you can search on your own. The first option are agencies, which will help you find something suitable in exchange of a fee. The other option is the Facebook group called “Leiden Housing” where people leaving the city rent their rooms.
If you don't find something available in Leiden you can also choose to live in Hague, which is a lively city only 10 minutes away by train.
Choosing to study abroad is one of the most important and bravest decisions students can make during their lives. The experience is surrounded by all kinds of assumptions, so don’t be a victim to the “expectations vs. realities” syndrome that can dampen your time studying abroad. For those who will study in Leiden, let’s start with a warning: you are expected to write several “never know that saying goodbye would be so hard” posts in the following months, especially when you like nostalgic and a little emotional. So, be prepared!
I remember one day I was cycling around in Leiden and I saw a friend walking and saying “Hellooo!!”. As I greeted him back, I was smiling since this was not the kind of thing that would happen in Jakarta since the population is so crowded. In another day, you will jump into public transportation like bus or train and the driver or official will welcoming you with “hello” or “goedemiddag” (good afternoon in Dutch). They are very kind and friendly which make you feel warm, far away from feeling insecure with stranger. This feeling make me realize that I will miss this kind of belonging and peaceful community. You may not know people around you when you are strolling around alone in Leiden, but you will never feel lonely.
I am a Jakarta-born and I love its chaotic vibe. One year living in Leiden makes me admit that this past year have changed me to appreciate what a small city gives. You will comfortably appreciate your time, enjoying nature, walking and biking, smiling to stranger and care with your surroundings without curiosity. When and if you do come to study in Leiden, I can guarantee that you will be part of wonderful community and have big family before you know.
As a Luxembourgish law student, the choice of completing a Masters in European Law at Leiden University was without a doubt a valuable contribution to my academic path. The LLM covers numerous subjects, ranging from European Human Rights to Competition Law thus allowing to gain an overview of the entire European legal framework.
The set up of the programme provides students with the opportunity to visit the main European Institutions and grow in a cosmopolitan environment while getting acquainted with an academic staff invested in their students' success. The Masters struck me by its flexibility, enabling students to combine extra-curricular activities with their studies, such as Model United Nations conferences, while at the same time requiring discipline.
For those who are seeking a challenging course in a truly international environment, I can wholeheartedly recommend Leiden University. It will allow you to explore the Netherlands through academic, cultural and maybe even professional lenses.
My housing experience
The small city of Leiden in the Province of South Holland is hosting over 20'000 students. This inevitably brings about concerns when it comes to providing a studio or shared housing to each and everyone of them. Luckily for international students, the number also includes a considerable amount of Dutch nationals who may reside in cities nearby such as The Hague or still live in their family homes.
My advice to prospective students comes down to this: Look for an apartment as soon as you are accepted at the University, and do not hesitate to pay rent a month early if you have to. In August, you do not wish to be part of the remaining couple of students that have to settle for the tiniest (and often dirtiest) overpriced last studio offered by a housing agency.
When it comes to the location, everything in Leiden is easily reachable by bike (for which you should by a decent lock), so even if your future house is outside the Leiden river walls, it won't stop you from having a fun experience in this beautiful city.
In the hope that this advice will allow you to comfortably start you year and enjoy the OWL week to its fullest, good luck !
There are many activities provided at Leiden University to supplement the regular requirements of the different programmes. During my LL.M. Public International Law studies at Leiden University I had the chance to be selected for two of those. I can highly recommend both of them, which is why I will briefly introduce them here.
The first one is the International Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum of Leiden University. Every semester there is a new call for participants and this semester there was an intake of nine students. Selected students are split up in teams and work on a project which is commissioned by an external actor, such as for example the Netherlands Red Cross or the ICRC. My two team members and I have recently submitted our project, which was commissioned by Amnesty International. In the process of researching and drafting our final report we are gaining valuable experience in applying IHL theory to the practical issues raised by our commissioner. It is very gratifying to know that our research is valued and that it serves Amnesty International in their work.
The second one is the International Leiden Leadership Programme (ILLP) of the Leiden University Honours Academy. While the Dutch version (LLP) runs for the whole year, the ILLP is directed at international students and lasts for more or less one semester. Additionally to the analysis of our personalities and leadership styles we have become familiar with our strengths and weaknesses and matters such as team work, communication, types of conflict management and listening. During the ILLP students have the chance to work on two different projects, which are a self-evaluation and a “personal roadmap for leadership”. The seminars and the two projects have provided me with a solid framework for my personal development and have allowed me to become a more empathic and confident person.
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