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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.
  • 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.
  • Also open to master students, though restrictions generally apply at both Leiden University and partner universities.
  • 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)

Exchange Programmes

The Faculty of Humanities has a large network of student exchange partnerships within Europe. These are the so-called Erasmus+ partnerships, for more information see Where?.

Going abroad indepently

Students who independently apply to a university of their choosing are called 'Free movers'. For more information, see Going abroad independently

Mandatory Studies Abroad

A number of BA and MA programmes in the Faculty of Humanities have a mandatory study abroad period as a component of the programme. These students are usually not considered to be exchange students. For more information, please check your programme specific tab.

Harting Scheme

Shortly after the 1939-45 war, Professor Pieter Harting of the University of Amsterdam made it possible through his contacts in Britain to place a number of Dutch students of English annually at certain British Universities and have their fees waived.

From his initial effort has grown what is now called the Harting Scheme, by far the oldest internationalisation programme in Europe.


Harting Scholars study in Britain or Ireland for a full academic year to:

  • complete a full year’s work on their home BA studies under British/Irish conditions; the work they do is supervised abroad but is integrated into their home programme of studies;
  • gain first-hand experience of life in Britain/Ireland and at a British/Irish university;
  • improve their knowledge and use of English;
  • further and maintain a valuable cultural connection between The Netherlands and Britain/Ireland.

Who can apply

Students in their second year of BA programmes in English Language and Culture (and ‘English Literature and Society’ at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) at the participating universities in The Netherlands can apply for a place in the Harting Scheme. They will then go abroad in their third year of the BA.

To be nominated for a Harting Scholarship, students need to be motivated and independent. They also need to demonstrate why a year’s study at the particular participating university they are applying for, will enrich their study of English language and culture.

To apply, please contact the member of the Harting Committee at your university (see contact details below).

Student experiences

Wouter Woltering
Harting Scholar Academic Year 2016/2017
University College London, England

'In 2016-2017, I got to study at University College London through the Harting scheme, and I can safely say that it was the best year of my life.

Studying at UCL, one of the best universities in the world, was an enormous privilege; I was able to follow courses on the Victorian period, Modernist literature, and Shakespeare, taught by incredibly talented lecturers. What I loved about UCL was that I was assigned a personal tutor, who provided feedback on all of my essays, which allowed me to greatly improve my writing abilities. Aside from my studies, I taught Dutch at the university, and I was a member of the Gender and Feminism society.

It was amazing to live in London – I made friends for life in the hall of residence where I lived and I got to experience living in my favorite city in the world. I’d recommend Harting to anyone who wants to experience living and studying in the UK or Ireland – you will not regret it.'

Carlijn Tetteroo
Harting Scholar Academic Year 2021/2022
Bangor University, Wales

'I am incredibly grateful for my Harting experience. I went to Bangor University, and studied Welsh and neurolinguistics, international and children's literature and modules that prepared me for the creative industries of playwriting and publishing. The depth of the content, the coursework, the passion of the professors and the atmosphere of the historical university building were indescribably stimulating.

I furthermore learned that I could make a home for myself in Wales. My experiences – ranging from exploring my interests in theatre, building unique friendships, frequenting favourite spots in neighbouring towns, wandering around endlessly, barely managing cycling feats in the mountains, to camping trips and literary festivals – made me fall in love with the country, and have inspired me to always remain on the look-out for new adventures and to be more present.

I would like to thank Harting for, what I’m sure is just the beginning of, my time in Wales.'

Thymen van Beusekom
Harting Scholar Academic Year 2021-2022
Bangor University, Wales

'I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to spend an academic year in Bangor. The beautiful university building, the welcoming campus and the beautiful nature in the area (mountains, waterfalls, coasts) make this place truly special.

The freedom I had to study subjects outside of my usual field (such as French and Spanish literature) and the quality of the courses have helped me develop greatly in my academic knowledge and skills. My courses also sparked my interest in the Welsh language and its literature, something I will continue to pursue in the future. Teaching Dutch was also a very fun experience and made me fall in love with teaching!

My Harting year was full of unforgettable experiences that led to wonderful friendships and made me know myself better as a person. It also convinced me that I want to move back to the UK in the near future!'

Elijne van der Starre
Harting Scholar Academic Year 2016/2017
Newcastle University

'Doing Harting has been an amazing experience well beyond my expectations. I went to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to study at Newcastle University for a year and it has become the best year of my life so far.

As a Harting student I was treated more or less like UK students in many regards, such as accommodation options and module choices. This allowed me to live among and work with native speakers of English and completely absorb UK culture to make it my own. My flatmates and course mates made me feel welcome and valued, which also counts for the university lecturers, who were altogether very supportive and open-minded.

In terms of course content, Newcastle University offers a variety of well-taught modules to choose from for both literary scholars and linguists. Finally, I loved teaching Dutch to students that were present and engaged, making my job not only easy but also much fun!'


Dr. Michael Newton (Chair) – Leiden University

Local coordinators:

Dr. Ben Moore (Secretary) – University of Amsterdam
Dr. Chris Louttit (Liaison with Host Universities) – Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Dr. Hans Jansen – Groningen University
Dr. Daný Van Dam - Leiden University
Dr.  Anita Raghunath – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Dr. Roselinde Supheert - Utrecht University
Dr. Trenton Hagar – Utrecht University

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