Universiteit Leiden

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Exchange programmes offer an easy way to study abroad. You’ll study at a university that has an agreement with Leiden University and, in return, a student from that university will come to study here.

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.

Characteristics of exchange programmes

  • You will apply via Leiden University and must meet certain eligibility criteria.
  • There are limited spaces available, so you are not guaranteed a place on an exchange programme. Leiden University selects students on the basis of their grades and motivation.
  • Exchange programmes are inexpensive. You will remain registered as a student of Leiden University and won’t need to pay additional tuition fees to your host university.
  • If you get advance permission from your Board of Examiners, the credits you earn can be counted towards your study programme at Leiden University.

Two types of exchange

There are two types of exchange programme:

  1. University-wide
  2. Via a faculty or study programme

Characteristics of university-wide exchange

  • As a rule, for students of all disciplines. Conditions may apply.
  • At your host university, you can generally follow courses offered by any programme or faculty.
  • All destinations are outside Europe.
  • The programme is organised by the international exchange coordinator for university-wide exchange, whom you can contact with any questions.

Characteristics of exchange via a faculty or study programme

  • Only for students from specific study programmes or faculties.
  • You may only follow courses offered by specific study programmes or faculties at your host university.
  • Destinations are both within Europe (Erasmus+) and outside Europe.
  • The programme is organised by the international exchange coordinator at your faculty or programme, whom you can contact with any questions.
Exchange in South Korea. (Photo: Anna Hommel)
Exchange in South Korea. (Photo: Anna Hommel)

As an Archaeology student you can sign up for a university-wide exchange programme (outside of Europe) or an exchange programme organised by the Faculty of Archaeology (within Europe).

Information about university-wide exchange programmes can be found under the ‘General’ tab.

Find a faculty exchange programme

The Faculty of Archaeology has exchange agreements with nearly 20 universities within Europe. So, as an Archaeology student you can apply for an exchange, if you meet all requirements, at universities that have an agreement with the BA Archaeology.

Erasmus+ partnerships are created for specific programmes and in specific subject areas. These exchange agreements are part of the Erasmus+ programme. Students who go on this type of exchange are eligible for an Erasmus+ scholarship.

The Exchange Coordinator is the contact person for students who want to go on an Erasmus+ exchange. Please email her at exchange@arch.leidenuniv.nl, and she will provide you with more information where needed.

Sophie Muter

Went to Scotland

Sophie Muter

My name is Sophie, and I went on exchange in 2019. I spent one semester in Scotland, at the University of Edinburgh, during my third Bachelor year in Archeology.

What was the best thing you got out of your exchange period? I think above all, it really strengthened my courage and motivation. That’s one of the best things I got out of my exchange experience. Going on exchange means going beyond your comfort zone, which can be quite frightening. But it’s also really exciting to be in a new city and try new things, so in that sense it’s a really fun way to build that trust within yourself. I also joined a Latin Dance society, which I had never done before, but I really loved it. So all in all, my semester abroad has motivated me to try new things and take these chances to go abroad whenever they arise. It is really worth it. 

What is your best tip for new exchange students? My best tip for new exchange students would be to check if there is a way to come into contact with other visiting students, if possible before the start of the semester. For instance, the University of Edinburgh has a Facebook group specifically for students that are visiting, through which we could connect even before arrival. Someone made a post about wanting to travel through the Scottish Highlands with a group, asking if anyone would be interested to join, and that’s how I met the people that I’m still very good friends with. Somehow all of us clicked, despite being from different places from all over the world, all studying completely different subjects. I think it works so well because you all arrive in a new city where you don’t know anyone, and you all aim to make the best of the time that you have, and that often includes making new friends and going on adventures together. So if this is possible at your host university, I really recommend it.  

How did your study abroad period help you with future plans? Based on the exchange experience during my Bachelor, I have decided to follow a Master’s program outside of the Netherlands, next year. I’m not sure yet were I’ll go, but I can’t wait to have another go at studying abroad. And if things go in that direction, I wouldn’t mind working in a different country. Exchange has definitely broadened my view when it comes to future plans, which brings more opportunities to find your place in the world.  

Stefan Tibboel

Went to Ireland

Stefan Tibboel

My name is Stefan and I am an archaeologist student. This year, I have started the ‘Heritage and Museum studies’ master programme. Exactly one year ago however, in 2019, I was on exchange in Dublin, Ireland. Here I followed multiple courses that discussed varying topics such as Irish archaeology and heritage, globalization, and history.

What was the best thing you got out of your exchange period? To be honest, I can’t really decide on what I liked most during my exchange period. I made friends with many people, both Irish and other exchange students, I had the opportunity to experience Irish culture, and finally I learned a lot about Ireland itself. Also, Ireland is a beautiful country. I stayed with a lovely Irish landlady who was more than happy to rent me a room. The room itself was quite small but that didn’t matter that much since I was mostly outdoors anyways. The landlady was super helpful if I needed something as well as interested in my country and studies.

What is your best tip or advice for new exchange students? Enjoy as much as you can, try to experience and explore everything and I guarantee you will have a great time!

How does your study abroad period (possibly) help you with future plans? One thing I know for sure is that I will be going back to visit Ireland again. Additionally, the Erasmus exchange program was an unique experience and excellent opportunity in which I further developed my (international) communication skills and my proficiency in the English language, I expanded my social networks, and I broadened my perspectives. Overall, the Erasmus exchange program is a welcome addition to any kind of future plan and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.  

Vera van Heel

Went to Israel

Vera van Heel

My name is Vera van Heel, and I went to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, from October 2019 until January 2020. I am a Bachelor student and took courses on religion, philosophy, postcolonialism, Middle Eastern history, archaeology and a beginner’s colloquial Arabic course.

What was the best thing you got out of your exchange period? The people I met! Also, immersing myself into a place and cultures previously so unknown to me. I only knew Jerusalem from stories and as a place holy to so many; trying to discover the city really is like nothing I ever experienced before.

What is your best tip for new exchange students? This might be university-dependent, but if you get the chance I can recommend taking courses with non-exchange students too! Make use of the lectures, trips, drinks, activities, etc. that are hosted – this one of the few occasions you get to explore a city or country from a more “inside” or “non-touristy” perspective.  Also, use this time to explore your interests! Some courses are unique to your location, do not be afraid to discover these!

How does your study abroad period (possibly) help you with future plans? To me, it ultimately has led to me picking up Religious Studies as a second Bachelor. I now know I would like to combine religion and archaeology in my future studies.  Through taking a course in the Archaeology department, I was also given the opportunity to take on a small internship in the prehistory lab (and to join an excavation over summer if it weren’t for COVID-19). 

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