Do you want to feel like a king or queen? Then apply for the Summer University of AEGEE-Leiden, which takes place in the city where the Dutch royals study. From 1st till 14th of July you will get a deep insight into Dutch culture. Next to the beautiful city of Leiden you will have great excursions, go sailing and immerse into Dutch culture – you will also get a bike for two weeks. Organiser Saskia van Groesen: “The combination of an awesome programme and experienced – and above all very social and happy – organizers will make this SU one of the best this year.”

Saskia van Groesen
Saskia van Groesen

Golden Times: Saskia, why will the SU of AEGEE-Leiden be one of the best Summer Universities this year?
Saskia van Groesen: We offer a lot of variation: cycling for two weeks and thus experience the Dutch way of moving around, visiting several cities as compared to staying in one city or on the same beach for two weeks, activities ranging from a serious Dutch language course to a relaxing day of sailing, and don’t forget the awesome parties we plan. Besides that, the Summer University is organized by very experienced members who all organized one or more Summer Universities and New Year Events in the past years. We therefore know what participants like and will do everything to provide them with this. The combination of an awesome programme and experienced – and above all very social and happy – organizers will make this SU one of the best this year.

Golden Times: The title sounds a bit odd – “Royalicious: Ruling like a boss”. What does the title mean?
Saskia (smiles): This is a very valid question. We were brainstorming about a theme, and figured we wanted to do something with the fact that this year we will get a new King and Queen. The Kingdom of the Netherlands exists for 200 years and Leiden is the city were the members of the Royal Family study. Also, the title of the event had to be attractive. That’s how we ended up with Royalicious. The second part Ruling like a boss, is mostly because we like the song by The Lonely Island. However, we also figured that we wanted the participants to feel special and let this SU be the best one this year. That’s why we added Ruling like a boss, for in Dutch student language this more or less means “being awesome”.


Golden Times: Will the participants have the chance to see some real royals doing the SU? Or will it rather be that the participants feel like kings and queens of the city?
Saskia: Unfortunately, they won’t be able to see “real royals”. As the official abdication ceremony is already in April and the Royal Family is being protected from the public view, we won’t be able to see them. However, we will visit the royal palace in Amsterdam – by then the King’s working palace. And we will show the participants other Royal Family related places in all the cities we visit, but we ensure that the theme won’t be too present. Besides that, of course we will do what we can to make the participants feel like Queens and Kings, and organise royal parties and orange theme parties to enhance this feeling.

SU Leiden Canal
Canal in Leiden

Golden Times: Which other main themes will your SU have?
Saskia: We want to get the participants acquainted with Dutch life and Dutch student life. That’s why they have their own bicycles as means of transportation for two weeks, sleep in student houses of AEGEE-Leiden members and perhaps even visit the building of a large student association. Of course, eating stroopwafels, experiencing Amsterdam and learning the Dutch language are also part of this theme. As a third element, we want the participants to experience as many different parts of the Netherlands as possible. We will take them to four different cities, to the country side for a weekend and also to the beach. Furthermore, we will give a workshop about “what most tourist think they know about The Netherlands, but really don’t know”, and consequently explain a thing or two about drugs and show the participants around in the red light district in a proper and informative way.

Golden Times: Leiden is definitely one of the most beautiful Dutch cities. How would you describe the city to an AEGEE member that has never been there in three sentences?
Saskia: Leiden is the oldest university city of the Netherlands, with a lot of historic places and a vibrant culture. Its canals and old buildings make Leiden seem like a smaller, but cosier edition of Amsterdam. Not only does it offer possibilities for cultural activities, city night life and great parks and outdoor activities, because it is so close to other big cities and the beach, it’s the ideal centre to live and travel from.

SU Leiden organisers
The organisers of SU Leiden

Golden Times: On your website you write about an “Interactive City Tour Deluxe 3.0”. What is that?
Saskia: It is not just a city tour, like your average guided tour in which you walk and someone tells you things. It is an interactive city tour that combines game elements, with educational elements, good Dutch food and therefore is the perfect way to get to know a city in a fun way. Through tasks you visit different parts of the city were you get information, have to use your freshly obtained Dutch language skills and play games.

Golden Times: Which other cities will the SU participants see?
Saskia: Besides Leiden the participants will visit Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam when it comes to the major cities. We will also spend some time on the country side, were the participants will visit some smaller villages as well.

Golden Times: Which other programme part will the participants look most forward to?
Saskia: This could be anything, depending on what a participant likes to do most. In our opinion as organisers, the city trips, the country-side weekend and the sailing are highlights in the programme.

Golden Times: How much Dutch will the participants learn in the language course?
Saskia: The basic Dutch you need to know to get around and have a small conversation in Dutch. And of course some awesome “must know” Dutch phrases.

SU Leiden Zijlpoort
Gate in Leiden

Golden Times: The participants will get a bicycle for two weeks, they will be sailing and rowing… It seems you want to keep the participants moving a lot?
Saskia: The bike is one of the main means of transportation in the Netherlands. Having a bike is convenient and practical. Instead of the regular walking you do in SUs, our participants will cycle and as a bonus experience this vital part of Dutch culture. The sailing on lakes or the sea and rowing in the canals is also about relaxing, having fun and experiencing Dutch culture. We want the participants to experience all of this, not so much to keep them moving for the sake of moving.

Golden Times: You must be busy organizing the event already. How is the atmosphere in your organizing team? 
Saskia: It is great. We have a very diverse team, with a lot of “all stars” – which are experienced AEGEE-Leiden members who already organised several SUs. This means while planning this new SU, also brings back a lot of fun memories about previous events. Combining laughter with creativity and a positive working spirit – we want to have everything arranged as soon as possible – makes it an awesome team. You can follow our preperations on

Golden Times: How much is the participation fee?
Saskia: 130 Euro and an optional fee of 30 Euro for those participants who want to do some extra things, like getting a guided tour through the Royal Palace in Amsterdam and visit the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam.