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Approval and application

University-wide exchange


If you want to go abroad in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, you can apply until 23:59 on 1 December 2019.

Apply on time

Make sure your application is complete on time. If you submit your application by 26 November, you will receive a message informing you if anything is missing or incorrect before 28 November. This gives you sufficient time to make any changes before the official deadline.


To apply for a university-wide exchange programme, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are registered as a student of Leiden University;
  • You have obtained at least 60EC of your bachelor’s programme;
  • Your average grade is 7 or higher*;
  • You meet any additional requirements specified by your faculty or programme (these can be found under your faculty or programme tab).

*Exception: for the ISEP programme an average grade of 6.5 or higher is required.

Steps to take

Obtain your study programme’s approval for your study abroad plans. To do so, make an appointment with your study adviser.

Draw up a list of (up to) ten universities where you would like to study, in order of preference. Remember that lots of student want to study abroad and places are limited, so it’s wise to select at least five  universities.

You will need a recent transcript, that meets the following criteria: 

  • It must be an official transcript (not a screenshot from uSis)
  • Your grade point average (GPA) must be shown
  • In English

You can request the transcript from your faculty’s education administration office. Law students can request a transcript from their faculty international exchange coordinator.

Write a letter of motivation, explaining why you want to study at the three universities at the top of your list. There is no standard template for letters of motivation, the content and format are up to you. However your letter must meet the following  criteria:

  • In English
  • Maximum 1000 words
  • Word document or pdf

Second semester as plan B

Are you applying for the first semester, but could possibly go abroad in the second semester instead? Mention this in your letter. 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. Discuss this with your study adviser in advance.

Complete and submit the online application form, making sure to upload your letter of motivation and transcript.

You may only go on exchange with the approval of your study programme. Once you submit your application, the international exchange coordinator will ask your programme to confirm its approval.   

If you get through the selection procedure and your programme confirms its approval, you will be offered an exchange place by the international exchange coordinator. You only have a short amount of time to accept or decline the offer.

After accepting the offer, you must apply to the host university. Your international exchange coordinator will explain how.

Exchange via your faculty or study programme

For information on requirements, deadlines and application procedures, take a look under the tab of the faculty or study programme that offers the exchange programme.

Foto: Ruth Kiers
Foto: Ruth Kiers


To apply for an exchange spot through the Faculty of Humanities’ Erasmus+ programme, you need to submit evidence that your coordinator of studies approves your study abroad plan. Students of the following programmes are exempted from this requirement:

  • BA International Studies
  • BA History
  • BA German Studies

In order to ensure that our nominated students meet our partner universities' admission requirements, students must meet some minimum requirements in order to be considered for an exchange semester. Aside from that, it is important to follow the application procedure. You can find all steps of the procedure outlined below.

In order to ensure that our nominated students meet our partner universities' admission requirements, students must meet some minimum requirements in order to be considered for an exchange semester.

Minimum Requirements Erasmus+ Exchange Programme

  1. You are enrolled as a full time student in a Faculty of Humanities programme;
  2. Successful completion of the first year (60 credits) of your Faculty of Humanities programme;
  3. You have a minimum GPA of 7.0

Keeping Up Your Grades After Being Selected

It is important that you maintain your GPA after you selection. If selected by Leiden University for a partner university, you will need to apply directly to that universitý's exchange programme. Your application to the partner university will include a transcript: if your GPA does not meet the above-prescribed minimums, your application could be rejected by the partner university.

Please see here the steps you need to take to apply for a spot within the Humanities Erasmus+ Exchange Programme.

What do you need to do and to prepare?

To study abroad you need to submit your online application before the deadline.

You need to prepare and upload the following documents:

  1. Motivation letter in English or Dutch. This letter should be 1-page single-spaced including information such as: 
    • academic motivation / expectations. We need to judge the feasibility of your plans: are they realistic? 
    • personal judgement of your language proficiency (needed for all non-Dutch languages except English). Convince us that your German / French / Spanish etc. is good enough. 
    In your letter you only have to focus on the first three universities (if you have chosen up to four or five universities).
  2. Most recent transcript of records that also states your GPA (cijfergemiddelde). MA students should submit their BA transcript of records as well. You can request a transcript of records from your departmental secretary's office (onderwijsadministratie).
  3. Permission from your coordinator of studies. This permission can be a very short email saying that you are allowed to go abroad. You can also use this approval form. Students from the following programmes are exempted from this requirement:
    • BA History 
    • BA German Studies 
    • BA International Studies

A recommendation letter is not required.

You can choose up to 5 universities in one single application.

Please be aware

  • Students who are offered an exchange spot must formally accept the placement. Those students who already accepted an exchange placement may not submit an application for other exchange placements.
  • Due to the high number of applications, we unfortunately cannot hold placements for students.
  • Those students who do not accept their placements by the deadline mentioned in the offer letter will forfeit the offered placement.

It's important that you note and follow the application deadlines. Late applications will not be considered. 

February 15th (23:59) for the study abroad period during the next academic year. Please be aware that this deadline is also for those students who wish to go abroad during the second semester of that academic year!

June 15th (23:59) for the study abroad period during the second semester of the following academic year. In this round you can apply for left-over spots.

Students who have been selected by Leiden University for exchange to one of our partners must still submit an application directly to the host university in order to apply to spend a semester/year there on exchange.

Once you have been selected for an exchange placement, and have accepted the offer, the international relations office will nominate you with the partner university and send information regarding the next steps in the application process.

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