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Health and safety

Health and safety information session

Before going abroad, you must attend a compulsory health and safety information session during which you will learn about important matters such as preparations, security and cultural awareness.

More information & registration

No info sessions July and August

In the months of July and August there will be no health and safety information sessions due to the summer break. 


University emergency number

In case of emergencies during your stay abroad, call:

+31 71 527 6666 or +31 32 033 1343 (24/7)

Which destinations may I travel to?

First check the rules in your destination

Visit your destination's government website and make sure you are permitted to enter and stay there as a student. Also check whether your host institution has any additional restrictions.  

Code green and yellow destinations

  • You are permitted to undertake study-related activities in destinations that are code green or code yellow according to Dutch government travel advice.
    Exception: Russia. Although parts of Russia are code yellow, it is not permitted to travel there at the moment. 

Code orange and red destinations

You may never undertake study-related activities in destinations that are code orange or code red according to Dutch government travel advice.

Continually monitor the situation

  • Continue checking whether there are any changes to the travel advice right up till your day of departure. Also download the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s 24/7 BZ Reis-app (in Dutch) via which you can receive notifications of any changes. 
  • If your destination changes to code orange or code red before departure, you may not go there.
  • If your destination changes to code orange or code red whilst you are in your destination, the university will get in touch with you. You are also welcome to get in touch with your international exchange coordinator yourself .  

Do not travel to an unsafe area

If you travel to a code orange or code red destination, you will not receive study credits, funding or transcript recognition for any activities you undertake there. If you are going on exchange, you may also have to pay tuition fees to your host institution. 

Make sure you have a plan B

Make sure you have an alternative plan to fall back on in case your activity abroad cannot go ahead for health and safety reasons. Check whether you could do a minor or elective course, or perhaps study abroad in a later semester. Discuss your plan B with your study adviser.

If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad

If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad, you may have to come back to The Netherlands. Leiden University will contact you to discuss your options. You are also welcome to get in touch with your international exchange or internship coordinator. Make sure to follow the guidelines in your destination at all times. 

Are you worried or experiencing problems, or do you feel unsafe? Call +31 71 527 6666 or +31 32 033 1343 (24/7).

Upon your return: follow the (quarantine) rules

Leiden University students are required to follow the Dutch government's rules for travellers returning to The Netherlands. If the government advises you to quarantine for 10 days upon your return, you may not be physically present at the university during this period. 

Take financial risks into consideration

Studying abroad is always at your own risk, also in financial terms*. You are responsible for any costs incurred for your stay abroad, even if your trip has to be cancelled or cut short due to safety reasons. This also applies if you have obtained permission to go to a code orange destination. Read more about financial risks and how you can prepare for them on the financial matters page

*Exceptions may be made for activities abroad that are a compulsory part of your study programme. 

Study abroad portal

After gaining approval from your study programme for your activity abroad, you must enter your activity in the study abroad portal. This enables Leiden University to check that you have selected a safe destination. If your destination is unsafe according to Dutch government travel advice, the university will notify you that you may not travel there. 

For information on gaining approval and using the study abroad portal, see the pages on exchangestudying abroad independently and other activities abroad.

Provide up to date contact details

It is important that the university knows where you are staying in your destination and how to reach you in case of an emergency. It is therefore essential that you enter your contact details abroad in the study abroad portal as soon as possible. Remember to keep your details updated throughout your stay, for example if you change your address or get a local telephone number.

Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Before departure, register for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs information service (in Dutch). The ministry can then reach you and send help if required in a crisis situation (such as natural disaster or political unrest). Registration is free.

Download the app

Also download the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s 24/7 BZ Reis-app (in Dutch). Via the app you can check the security situation in your destination and receive notifications if the situation changes.

Vaccinations, medication and health advice

Check the requirements and measures

Make sure to comply with any health requirements and measures for travellers, both in The Netherlands and your destination. Check the latest information on the Dutch government’s travel advice page.


Check that you have all the necessary vaccinations, whether they will remain valid/effective during your stay, and whether you can get vaccinations in your destination. 


Are you using medication? Check with the VGM whether your medication can be used and obtained in your destination. You can also contact the VGM for:

  • Vaccinations and medication (against malaria for example)
  • Personalised health advice

See the contact details on the right of this page (or at the bottom on your mobile) to find out where and when you can visit the VGM.

Health certificate

For some countries you will need a health certificate. You can request one from:

Psychological health

Do you need medication, therapy or other support whilst abroad due to psychological issues? Make sure to arrange this on time. Draw up a plan and discuss it with your international exchange coordinator. 


Arrange insurance that covers all the following:

  • All medical costs
  • Cancellation
  • Costs incurred due to disability resulting from an accident
  • Repatriation (in case of illness, death, family circumstances)
  • Legal assistance
  • Third-party liability
  • Lost or stolen luggage      

There are special student insurance policies available, for example from AON.

Read the small print before purchasing a policy!

Other things to keep in mind

  • Check whether you need to notify your insurance provider of your stay abroad. 
  • Find out how to make an insurance claim and take a claim form with you. 
  • Always take proof of insurance with you.

Important documents and telephone numbers

Make a scan of all your important documents and mail them to yourself, for example:

  • Passport/ID card
  • Visa
  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance cards
  • Credit card
  • Bank/debit card

Save important phone numbers in your telephone, for example:

  • The university’s emergency numbers: +31 71 527 6666 and +31 32 033 1343 (24/7)
  • Your insurance company’s emergency number
  • Phone numbers for blocking your credit card, bank/debit card or telephone
  • Phone number of the embassy or consulate

Online safety

Using public Wi-Fi networks

When using public Wi-Fi networks, for example in a train or café, your personal data is often not secure. You risk having your data stolen or misused. eduVPN offers protection against prying eyes and enables you to securely access protected services from outside Leiden University's network.

Read more and download eduVPN

Rules and regulations

Find out which rules and regulations apply with regard to internet use in your destination. In certain countries you can even be jailed for breaking internet-use regulations!


In general, you can study abroad if you have a disability. As with the rest of your studies, it may require a little more planning and support. 


Discuss your plans with your international exchange coordinator and Fenestra Disability Centre. They can assist you in planning your stay abroad by, for example, finding out whether your destination can offer the facilities you need and making the necessary arrangements with your host university.  

Financial support

If you will incur additional costs while studying abroad due to a disability, you can request additional funding. 

  • Are you going to a European country? Request additional funding from the Erasmus+ programme.
  • Are you going to a country outside Europe? Request additional funding via Fenestra Disability Centre.

Start early

Begin planning your stay abroad well in advance. Application deadlines are often very early and requests for additional support and facilities can be time consuming. Start early to ensure you have sufficient time to make the necessary arrangements.  

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Download the Health and Safety checklist and make sure you are well prepared. 

Take a look at this presentation with handy tips

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