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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

Faculty exchange

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

We also still have places left for the second semester of 2019-2020. Deadline is 1 July and we work on a first come first served basis.

Apply on time
Make sure to submit your complete application before the above-mentioned deadline. You will hear the result of your application approximately one month later.

Steps to take

In order to study abroad you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You are at least a third-year bachelor’s student or a master’s student.
  • You have obtained your first-year diploma and at least 90 ECs at the time of application, and at least 120 ECs at the time you leave to study abroad.
  • Law students only: you have preferably completed the courses in contract law, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law & criminal procedure law, property law.
  • You are highly motivated.
  • You are registered as a student and paying tuition fees at Leiden University.
  • You are proficient in the language in which the courses are given at the host university. If you are unsure of your level, you can do an online test at the Academic Language Centre. 
  • You meet any other requirements set by the host university. These can be found in the Study Abroad list in Blackboard. Note that if a TOEFL/IELTS result is required, you can submit this after you have been selected. But make sure to book your test well in advance! 

You must prepare the following documents, which must be submitted with your online application: 

  • Letter of motivation (in Dutch or English – max. 2 pages)
    Write one letter of motivation, explaining why you want to study at your three preferred universities. In your letter, explain why you want to study at each of the three universities. A couple of lines per university is sufficient.
  • Permission form 
    When processing your application, the Office for International Education must access your grades in uSis. You will therefore be asked to upload this permission form (in Dutch), to allow them to do so.
  • GPA
    You will be asked to enter your GPA (grade point average). You can find this in uSis. 
  • Curriculum vitae
    Prepare a curriculum vitae (CV) containing your personal data, email address, phone number and student number
  • Proof of language proficiency
    You must submit documentary evidence of proficiency in the language in which courses are given at the host university, for example a secondary school diploma, a language certificate, or an Academic Language Centre test result.

Submit your application with the above-mentioned documentation via the online application system

Approximately one month after submitting your application, you will be notified whether you have been offered a place.  If you receive an offer of a place, you have one week in which to accept or decline it via the acceptance of offer form you will receive by email.

After you accept your place, the Office for International Education will nominate you to the host university. You will then receive information from the host university on how to submit an application to the host university and which documents are required. You will also receive details of practical matters, such as scholarships, insurances and more. 

If you have not been allocated a place at one of your three preferred universities, you will be invited to take part in a second selection round for the remaining study places. You can find information on the places currently available in Blackboard under ‘Studeren in het Buitenland (BIO)’.  

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