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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.

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)

'Great things happen only outside your comfort zone.' MSc student ICTinB

During your studies, you can go abroad to follow courses or a research project:

If you are interested in studying abroad, make sure to join the Study Abroad Festival in October or the Faculty’s info session in March, send the orientation form to the Science International Office (outgoing@science.leidenuniv.nl) and read the student reports on our blackboard course  ‘Study & Internship Abroad - Faculty of Science’.

Going abroad during your Astronomy bachelor's

As an Astronomy bachelor student, you have the opportunity of spending part of your third year abroad at one of our partner universities during the minor/free elective phase. This usually means that you will follow courses abroad as an exchange student. An up to date list of partner universities is available at the Faculty of Science.

When studying abroad, you will:

  • Experience another culture
  • Further develop your personal skills (perseverance, independence and intercultural communication)
  • Experience a different university and education system
  • Improve your language skills
  • Extend your international (academic) network
  • Make a valuable addition to your resume


Studying abroad for a semester can be a valuable experience, but shouldn't be taken too lightly and requires you to meet specific conditions for the Astronomy bachelor's programme. Make sure that you are aware of those before taking any further steps.


If you have any questions about going abroad as an Astronomy bachelor´s student, always contact the Astronomy study advisor.


Read here about Astronomy bachelor's student Thijs Stockmans, who went to Greece for five months during his minor.

Click here to read about Astronomy bachelor's students Matthijs Mars and Joost Wardenier, who went to China for the the Huawei Seeds for the Future Programme.

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