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About Us

The Leiden United Board of 2023 – 2024

Meet The Team

Shanté Neese

The president oversees everything in the association, takes care of the paperwork, and is usually the contact person for official meetings with third parties. Besides that, the president also facilitates communication between the board members.

​​My name is Shanté and I am a fourth year student of the South and Southeast Asian studies bachelor’s program. I am half Dutch and half Indonesian, so I grew up with two cultures. I love learning about new cultures, trying new food and meeting people from all over the world. That is also why I became part of Leiden United three years ago. Leiden United is such a vibrant and dynamic association, with people from all parts of the world. This year I am going to commit myself to offering you a wonderful time in the Netherlands. I can’t wait to meet all of you!

Lukas Schültzke

The treasurer is responsible for all things connected to money. These includes things like confirming budgets, taking care of invoices, and keeping track of finances in general.

My name is Lukas and I study psychology in the clinical and medical research master. After only one year at Leiden United I decided to give back some of the hospitality that was given to me and be on this years board. I am excited to meet so many new faces that all have their own stories to share. Having spent my youth in both Turkey and my homecountry Germany I am familliar with the struggles of adapting to a new environment and talking to new people. I wish for Leiden United to be a lovely space for everyone in which new contacts are formed and internationals can bond more with the local dutchness.​

Preston Hull

The assessor external is in contact with the five big student associations in Leiden and is
responsible for scheduling the dinners for the foodie membership.

My name is Preston, and I study Computer Science and Engineering at the TU Delft. I completed a minor of Law, Culture, and Development in Leiden last semester. I joined Leiden United a semester ago to have an opportunity to meet new friends in Leiden, join fun activities, and try the dinners at Leiden’s well-known student associations. I became Assessor External of Leiden United to make these dinners happen for our members and to plan collaborations.

Beyza Celep
Head of committees

The Head of Committees oversees and is responsible for the Leiden United Activities
Committee (LUAC) and the Alumni Committee (ALUCO). The Head of Committees also is
the bridge between board and the LUAC as well as ALUCO.

My name is Beyza and I study Data science and AI. During my first year of my bachelor’s program, I became a member of Leiden United and have been a member since. I am truly honoured to be part of LU community that I’ve had the privilege of connecting with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, each bringing their unique perspectives and stories to the table.​

History and goals

​The student association Leiden United started back in 2012 as an idea by Tessa Brüggeman, Merel Ruissen and Femke Kapteijn to connect international and Dutch students. After winning the 2012 Cultural Interaction Initiative Competition on Internationalization and Diversity at Leiden University, the program received funding from the Van Bergen scholarship to reach its integrative goals. The first program ran in February 2013 with a hundred participants: split equally between Dutch and international members. ​

​​Currently, Leiden United has flourished into one of the biggest international student association in Leiden with a focus on integration at Leiden University. In fact we surpassed the benchmark of 1000 members and a total of 60 different nationalities. The founders’ original encouragement for adaptation and flexibility has undoubtedly aided the success of the association. Recently, Leiden United has expanded the reach of recruitment to The Hague’s HOP week, EL CID, and OWL. We provide venues, activities, and an opportunity for those internationals wishing to connect with local students and those Dutch wishing to make friends with peers from all over the world.

Previous Boards

Leiden United wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of the boards that have preceded us. Our association is therefore heavily indebted to all the people below, who have poured their enthusiasm and energy into letting Leiden United grow into the welcoming and diverse community it is now.