Universiteit Leiden

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Approval and application

Corona measures

If you are planning on studying abroad, the coronavirus situation can certainly be a cause for uncertainty. By following the advice and guidelines on the Health and Safety page, you can minimise any potential (financial) risks as much as possible. Still unsure whether it’s a good idea to study abroad at the moment? Read the university’s advice.

Also take a look at the study abroad and corona FAQs.

First check your exchange programme type!

Different deadlines and procedures apply depending on whether you want to apply for destinations via a university-wide exchange programme, via a faculty exchange programme, or (if applicable) via a special exchange programme only for students on your study programme. 

  • For destinations via a university-wide exchange programme: follow the instructions and deadlines here below on the general tab.
  • For destinations via a faculty exchange programmes, or via a special exchange programme only for students on your study programme: click on your faculty or study programme tab and follow the instructions and deadlines there. 

University-wide exchange


If you want to go abroad via a university-wide exchange programme in autumn 2022 or spring 2023, you can apply until 23:59 on 1 December 2021.

Note that different deadlines apply if you are going abroad via a faculty or study programme-specific exchange programme. See your faculty or study programme tab for details.

Apply on time

Make sure your application is complete on time. Late applications will not be considered.


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

After looking through all the options, draw up a list of (up to) ten universities where you would like to study, in order of preference. Remember that lots of students want to study abroad and places are limited, so it’s wise to select at least five universities.

Letter of motivation

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
  • In pdf format

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 and make sure your study programme permits exchange in the second semester.

Transcript: only for LUC and university studies elsewhere 

In your online application you will be asked to grant us permission to view your grades in uSis. You therefore do not need to upload a transcript except in the following cases:  

  • Leiden University College (LUC): if you are, or have been, studying at LUC, request an official transcript with GPA from the LUC course administration and upload it in your application.
  • University studies elsewhere: if you have also studied at a university other than Leiden, upload your transcript from that institution. 
  • Log into uSis > click on the study abroad tile > select ‘I want to study at a partner university via an exchange programme’.
  • Enter the requested data and upload the required documents.
  • Select your (max. 10) exchange destinations in order of preference.
  • Submit your application.

If you need further explanation, consult the Manual on applying for Exchange via uSis

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.   

Once your programme confirms its approval you will be included in the selection process. You will be notified of the results by email. If you are offered a place, you will be invited to log into the study abroad portal to view the details of the offered place. Make sure to read all the information and conditions of the offer carefully.

If you have been offered a place, you must accept or decline it within 7 days in the uSis study abroad portal. If you do not accept the offer on time, it will be withdrawn. When accepting your place, 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.

Once you accept your place, Leiden University will nominate you to your host institution. You will then receive instructions on how and when to submit your application to your host institution, either from your international exchange coordinator or directly from the host itself. 

Foto: Ruth Kiers
Foto: Ruth Kiers
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