ALGANT graduates reflect on their study in Leiden

More than twenty students were awarded an ALGANT diploma, the prestigious two-year master's in Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory from the Mathematical Institute of eight collaborative Universities on July 18th. At the graduation ceremony in Padua, Italy, five students who had spent their second year in Leiden, reflected on their study experience in Leiden.

In-depth academic experience

During the graduation, Sean Howe from the US gave his impression of studying in Leiden . He very much enjoyed the open and friendly atmosphere at the Leiden Maths department, and described his study programme as an ‘in-depth academic experience’. He was referring not only to his actual studies in Leiden, but also to the study experience as a whole, that included the privilege of attending conferences, workshops and summer schools all over Europe. He also felt very privileged to attend the joint thesis defences that had taken place in Padua two days before the graduation ceremony.

(left to right) Dino Festi, Valentin Zakharevich, Sean Howe, Jacopo Griggio and Marta Lucchini

(left to right) Dino Festi, Valentin Zakharevich, Sean Howe, Jacopo Griggio and Marta Lucchini

Informal and open atmosphere

Marta Lucchini from Italy agreed with Sean’s comments. She had experienced Leiden as a very welcoming city, where ‘life is relaxed’. At the Maths department, she was struck by the informal and open atmosphere.  ‘My professors treats their students as colleagues,’ she was surprised to note.

Many international students

For Valentin Zakharevich from the US one of the highlights of studying in Leiden was to meet so many international students. He was also impressed by the high academic level of Leiden University and its students.

Problem solving in Leiden

According to Dino Festi from Italy, there were a couple of downsides to the wonderful life in Leiden: the food and the weather. As a Maths student used to problem solving, Dino solved his ‘food problem’ very effectively. While studying in Leiden, he worked part-time at a local Italian restaurant. Consequently, he and his housemates enjoyed excellent late-night meals that Dino brought home from the restaurant. ‘Another solution for my generally quiet fellow Dutch students was easily found,’ Dino smiled. ‘Just give them one beer, and they relax and start talking.’

Looking forward to Leiden

A number of ALGANT students who graduated in Padua will be coming to Leiden for the first time in September 2013, either for a PhD or for work. The Mathematics department will be receiving several PhD candidates for a joint doctorate programme within the ALGANT programme. Others, like Jacopo Griggio, enjoyed his experience in Leiden so much that he will be coming back from Italy after the summer to find a job in the Netherlands.

Prof. Lenstra en Jacopo Griggio

Prof. Lenstra en Jacopo Griggio


Research theme
Fundamentals of Science


(RC - 31/7/2012)

Last Modified: 16-08-2012