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.

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)

Going abroad

During your bachelor you can study abroad. This usually takes place in the third year of your bachelor's degree. At a foreign university, you can follow courses with a maximum of 30 ECTS, provided that those courses have been approved in advance by the exam committee. Upon your return, these courses, as well as the marks and grades you obtained, will be added in Usis to the elective space of your third study year. 

You can study abroad in a European country or outside of Europe.

Studying in Europe

As part of the European Union (EU) ERASMUS exchange programme the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology has concluded agreements with departments of anthropology at the following universities:

Sign up

To be eligible to participate in an Erasmus exchange and an Erasmus scholarship, you must first register online at Leiden University via the Study Abroad Application System. You must meet these requirements:

  • You have completed your propaedeutic year;
  • (in case of French and German universities) you master the French or German language
  • You register on time: before February 15 of the 2nd academic year, if you want to go abroad in the first semester of the 3rd year; or
    before September 15 of the 3rd year of study, if you want to go abroad in the second semester of the 3rd year

After nomination by Leiden University, students must register themselves at the foreign university. The deadlines differ per university. Please check the website of the university in question via the links above.

Studying outside Europe

It is also possible to spend period of study abroad at a university outside Europe, with which Leiden University has an agreement. For example in Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada or the USA. 


The deadline for applying for exchange programmes outside of Europe is very early: 1 December. This is in the first semester of your second academic year. Selection is stricter than for Erasmus study programmes and your average grade during the propaedeutic year is taken into account. It is also important that you write a good motivation letter.

Only once you have passed the internal application round can you apply to the foreign university.

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