Universiteit Leiden

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Approval and application

Corona measures

The corona measures may affect your travel plans. Read more on the Studying in times of corona website.

University-wide exchange


If you want to go abroad in autumn 2021 or spring 2022, you can apply until 23:59 on 1 December 2020.

Apply on time

Make sure your application is complete on time. If you submit your application by 20 November, you will receive a message informing you if anything is missing or incorrect before 25 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

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 500 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.

When accepting the offer, you must agree to the Regulations on Studying Abroad. Be prepared and read these in advance. If you have any questions about the regulations, contact your international exchange coordinator.

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
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