First year experience and Leads programs


School is (mostly) about Academics, and we believe you get the finest education at Webster Leiden Campus. On top of Global education, Webster Leiden Campus offers our students a variety of benefits and opportunities through extra-curricular activities and student-led programs to round out your education and prepare you for a successful career.

The Mandatory First-Year Experience will provide all freshman students information and hands-on experience in time management, community engagement, university services, and career planning through participation in campus organizations. The program also offers opportunities to face challenges such as homesickness, procrastination, language barriers, and safety and well-being. Staff and faculty share their skills regularly by hosting workshops on PowerPoint, Excel, Linked In, and more to prepare students for success in the classroom.

New students will be required to complete the FYE Program in the first year of study and may continue into the Webster Leadership Program (LEADS) for Second, Third, and Fourth Year Experiences.

During their first year, students will find themselves participating in their Department Club or Organization from start to finish in events and seminars. Students will play an intricate part of their program's academic planning and obtaining skills relating to classes and various career opportunities associated with the department. First-year students are also welcome to join other department events and workshops offered to enhance the experience further.

Webster Leiden will also offer a selection of mandatory workshops on Safety such as Title IX understanding, Bystander Intervention, The General Data Protection Regulation, and Leiden Safety.

For more information on campus, safety visit our online Student handbook;

 Approved Clubs and Department Organizations

Students must complete a year of participation and involvement assisting in the organization of club events and attending meetings from one of the following:

  • Student Government Association
  • International Relations Club
  • Psychology Association
  • International Business Association
  • Media & Student Website Club
  • Model United Nations Organization
  • GreenWeb

Workshop Examples   (subject to availability and change)

Students must attend two Academic Success and two WBSS workshops offered in their first year of study (4 in total)

            Academic Success WS

  • Creating PowerPoints that POP and Presentation Skills
  • Finding your way around Excel (parts 1&2)
  • Reading and Note-taking Strategies
  • Test-taking Skills
  • Getting to know your CANVAS and Connections
  • Social Support, Motivation, and Goal Setting
  • Understanding your Degree Audit
  • Academic Honesty
  • Get the most out of your library

Well-being and Social Success WS

  • Community Service Days
  • Procrastination 
  • Stress resilience Toolbox:

  • Be aware of your limits. High achievers and helpers have the highest rates of burnout and compulsive behaviors.
  • Allow time for self-care. When distressed, basic self-care (regular sleep patterns, nutrition, exercise, enjoyable outlets) often falls to the bottom or our priorities. However, these four lifestyle practices will effectively help you work through distress.
  • Lend support and receive support. Being a rock or an island will only intensify distress.
  • Active in activities/hobbies that you enjoy. What you find enjoyable will replenish our internal energy sources so that we can be more productive in other life domains.

• Time Management
• Making Self-care a priority
• Dutch language Basics, A trip to the Market

  • Stopping someone from harming you
  • Preparing to defend yourself against someone you know
  • Standing and ground techniques
  • Self-defense against single attackers 
  • Male and Female focused Round Table Discussion 
  • Safety Tips, Sexual Health, Integration as an Expat

Safety on Campus Workshops (students must attend online and in the classroom)

  • Title IX and the Clery Act
  • Bystander Intervention and Risk Assessment
  • GDPR
  • Coffee with Officer Dennis


Webster Leads Certificate

Students may continue the campus experience by joining the WebsterLeads Program in their second, third, and fourth year of Studies.

For 20 years, WebsterLEADS has engaged students in an on-going application of scholarship and practical leadership experiences that develops a foundation from which they will change the world. LEADS is an acronym that stands for Learn Evolve Apply Develop and Serve. This is used to encompass everything you will participate in and gain during the program.

Leadership Certificate

WebsterLEADS provides a self-paced, co-curricular, leadership education experience that students complete with the guidance of peers and veteran WebsterLEADS participants. Each participant's involvement culminates with receiving the Leadership Certificate, which is awarded when students complete the entire curriculum and usually coincides with graduation.

If you are a transfer student, you likely have less than three years here...but no worries! In the same way you transfer academic credit from your previous institution and apply it toward your Webster degree, you may be able to transfer previous involvements and experiences from your previous institution and have it apply to some components of the Leadership Certificate.

Students who complete any component at a different site than while studying abroad will be eligible to have their Certificate designated with the special recognition of Leadership Certificate with Global Distinction.

The WebsterLEADS Program Requirements

Core Components

Achieving the WebsterLEADS Leadership Certificate requires completion of the Core Components below, repeating two components, and additional Webster Leiden requirements.

The Core Components of the program include:


Participants take one course during their Webster career and it is normally taken in the second year of study in Leiden.

EDEX 2750 Student Leadership Development (3cr.)

A semester-long course in leadership skills assessment, leadership theory, interpersonal communications, leading in a diverse community, teamwork, ethical decision making, motivation, organizational dynamics, goal setting, and promotion. May be taken as part of the leadership certificate program or separately. Prerequisite: Permission of the coordinator of the leadership program, Student Services Coordinator; Christine Benninger


These provide interactive, reflective, and learning community approaches to understanding leadership. The Program Director at each campus can tell you specific dates for retreat for your campus. Webster European Retreat is usually held during Fall Break for Second and Third-year students.

Senior Retreat is held for fourth-year students in the Spring semester and is required for the LEADS program. 3rd-year students may participate with prior approval from the program coordinator.


Workshops are offered at key points throughout the year and will focus on career-related issues such as personal budgeting, resume writing, networking, and interviewing. Certificate participants must attend four workshops to complete this particular requirement. Program Directors will promote workshop opportunities on each campus throughout the year.


The most common way is that students complete forty hours of service with a non-profit agency or organization that is local to the campus community - or with a group somewhere else (perhaps near home) with whom they already have an existing relationship. Students submit a proposal for their SLP that must receive approval of the Program Director at the campus where the service will take place, and will complete reflection of their experience when it is completed.


The Practical Leadership Experience (PLE) is a concrete application of a student's leadership knowledge and skills that enhances the campus community and directly contributes to campus student life. Students are required to complete a PLE in a position of leadership on campus, which must least a minimum of a full academic semester (exceptions made for Orientation Leaders at any campus).

Leiden Campus Requirements

  • NSO Student Team Participation
  •  All LEADS students will be required to attend one session per year in and participate in an open discussion on Dealing with Ethical Dilemmas on Campus.
  • Participation in Town Hall Meetings
  • All students join F2F and virtually to pose questions and comments to the Managing Directors and the Student Services Coordinator.
  • Participation in the Webster European Summit when held in Leiden (once every three years)
  • A spring two event held in collaboration with and rotating between the Leiden, Vienna and Geneva campuses. The weekend long event consists of a Student Government Workshop and Campus presentation, A Soccer Tournament, Webster’s Got Talent, and a Graduate student component.

See documents for more information:

Leads Checklist

Sample year schedule