Universiteit Leiden

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During your bachelor’s programme

The best time to go abroad is during the elective credits phase of your bachelor’s programme. You are then relatively unrestricted in the courses you can follow. If you obtain advance approval from your Board of Examiners, the credits you earn abroad can generally be counted towards your studies in Leiden.

During your master’s programme

You can also go abroad during your master’s programme, for example to do a research internship or project. If you are doing a two-year master, you should certainly have sufficient time to do so. During a one-year master, it may be a little more difficult.  

Start early

Going abroad during your master’s programme can be tricky for a number of reasons: not all host universities accept master students and some have strict admission criteria. The application procedure can also be very time consuming. Make sure to start gathering information as early as possible and discuss your plans with your international exchange coordinator well before the application deadline.

Second semester as plan B

Are you planning on going abroad in the first semester? It’s a good idea to also check whether going abroad in the second semester might be an option. If you don’t get a place at your preferred university in the first semester, your international exchange coordinator may, in some cases, immediately offer you a place for the second semester. Mention in your application that this would be an option for you. Discuss it in advance with your study adviser.

Consult your study programme

Are you unsure when would be the best time for you to study abroad? Discuss it with your study adviser. If you do know when you want to go, you still need to reach agreement with your study programme about how to incorporate a period of study abroad into your programme. You are not permitted to go on exchange without your programme’s approval, so it’s important to discuss your plans well in advance with your study adviser.

Photo: Andrea De Remes


During your bachelor’s degree

Third year bachelor’s
The best time to study abroad for a semester is during the third year of your Bachelor degree. You will prepare during the second year of your degree. 

Please note: if you want to go on an exchange in your third year, you must achieve all 60 EC in your first year.

Fourth year bachelor’s
It is also possible to go in the fourth year of your bachelor’s. If you have already obtained all 180 ECTS, you should apply for postponement of graduation. You do this after you have been selected or at the time you are going to obtain the 180 ECTS. 

Compulsory number of credits
Bachelor’s students may only go abroad for their elective credits. You can study  Psychology courses or complete your electives by following courses from a different degree programme. Students must take a minimum of 20 EC while they are abroad. These courses may not overlap with other bachelor’s courses and must all be at an academic level. The host university may set requirements of their own. You can find more information about Leiden University's course requirements under To arrange before departure”.

Discuss your study plan
Not sure if you meet the requirements to study abroad? Or are you not sure what the best time would be to go on an exchange? You can schedule a meeting with your study adviser to discuss your study plan.

During your master’s

The options for studying abroad during your master’s degree are limited.

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