A Guide for Accompanying Partners: Making the Most of Your Time in Leiden

| Leiden International Centre

Moving abroad is a great opportunity and a fun adventure, but it’s also a challenge. And for those moving because of their partner's career, the challenge can be even bigger. For accompanying partners, feelings of isolation can be enhanced by the lack of a good network, searching for employment, and an abundance of free time. With this guide we want to try and help you discover Leiden and the new opportunities it can offer you.

Looking for a job

If you moved to the Netherlands to follow your partner, you might want to find a job here yourself. To help you with that, we have compiled a webpage with all the information you need to know about working in Leiden. In particular, we suggest taking a look at our page dedicated to finding a job in the region. And don't forget to check our events page for any upcoming workshops and career fairs.

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering at a local organisation can be a great way to start using your skills and experience and discover new passions. Volunteering will allow you to meet new people, both international and Dutch, and to build your own community in the Leiden region. In addition, volunteer work is a great way to boost your CV while you are looking for new job opportunities in the Netherlands.

Discover volunteering opportunities


Moving to a new country can be stressful, so it is good to find a distraction! As the accompanying partner you might be the one left having to deal with a lot of the administrative procedures in moving countries. Be sure to take a break from these time consuming and oftentimes stressful activities. Below, we have prepared for you a list of the fun hobbies you can join in Leiden and the surrounding areas.

To the hobby list


Keeping to a routine can often help with the transition to a new culture. Finding ways to keep fit and active can be a great way to improve your mental health whilst providing normality to your day. Why not look for a sportsclub to join in Leiden? You may wish to continue your training in a familiar sport, but there are also plenty of opportunities to discover new activities. The most popular sports in the Netherlands are football, field hockey, and volleyball, but you could also try the growing popularity of cricket or the more traditional ice skating.

Joining a sports club is also widely acknoweldged to be the best way to make friends with Dutch people!

Learn more about local sports clubs
Sports field

Meet other internationals

Not only are they sharing the same experience as you, but they will also have helpful tips about living here. A great starting point is coming to our Meet & Mingle events. Every month, we organise this free social event, with drinks, snacks, games and a lot of friendly internationals! In addition, there are a lot of international groups in Leiden like ExpatRepublic who frequently organise meet ups and seminars for the international community.

Learn more about Leiden's international communities

Discover the region

Why not use your free time to explore your new surroundings? The region around Leiden is rich in historical buildings, charming landscapes, and lots of interesting museums. There is always something to see and do, whether you are exploring the region by walking or with your bike. You can also buy a museum card and visit the many museums in the city of Leiden, and more than 400 museums all over the country.

Discover the Leiden region

Learn the language

Finally, you can immerse yourself in Dutch culture and start learning the language. Speaking Dutch really helps in integrating in the region and will make you feel more at home. If you don’t know where to start, you can have a look at our guide on learning Dutch. If you want to practice, you can encourage Dutch speakers to help you with our pins Praat Nederlands met me ("Speak Dutch to me"), available at our Meet & Mingles and the VVV - Tourist Information.

Learn more about Dutch language and culture