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Financial matters

What are the costs involved in studying abroad and how can you finance your stay? Avoid unexpected expenses by researching financial matters thoroughly in advance.

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.


Make an overview of anticipated expenses and sources of income, to make sure you have sufficient funds for your studies abroad. Consider the following:

  • Tuition fees
  • Travel expenses (to/from your destination and during your stay)
  • Rent
  • Other living expenses (food & drink, clothing, etc.)
  • Visas and residence permits
  • Vaccinations, medication, health certificates
  • Insurances
  • Telephone costs etc.
  • Student finance
  • Scholarships
  • Language tests
  • Study costs (books etc.)
  • Sports/recreation

Take financial risks into consideration

Studying abroad is always at your own risk, also in financial terms*. You are responsible for any costs incurred for your stay abroad, even if your trip has to be cancelled or cut short due to safety reasons. This also applies if you have obtained permission to go to a code orange destination. 

*Exceptions may be made for activities abroad that are a compulsory part of your study programme. 


  • Buy a flight ticket with a flexible departure date or purchase cancellation insurance, just in case you have to change your plans. 
  • If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad, you may have to come back to The Netherlands. Any costs incurred are your own responsibility so make sure to take out a good insurance policy. Check with your insurer exactly what is covered depending on the colour code of your destination.
  • Be aware that any scholarships you are awarded will be cancelled or stopped if your activity  abroad is cancelled or cut short due to health and safety reasons. This might mean you have to wholly or partially repay your scholarship. Check the rules with your scholarship provider.

Student finance

Under certain circumstances you may be eligible for Dutch student finance and travel subsidy during your stay abroad. You can submit an application via the DUO website (in Dutch).


There are a number of scholarships available for study, research and internships abroad. If you have completed your studies but want to do an additional programme abroad, for example a master’s, there are also scholarship options.

Points to remember

  • Before applying for a scholarship, check carefully that you meet all the criteria.
  • You can apply for multiple scholarships. One scholarship alone is generally not enough to finance your whole stay.
  •  Some scholarships may only be requested once during your academic career. Keep this in mind if you want to go abroad during both your bachelor’s and master’s programmes.
  • Apply on time: many scholarships have early deadlines!

Find a scholarship

On the scholarships page you can find all the scholarships managed by Leiden University. Use the filters to search for scholarships that are relevant for you.

Find a scholarship



Within Europe

European Funding Guide
Scholarshipportal EU


Scholarships in Canada


China Scholarship Council
Schwarzman Scholars


German Academic Exchange Studies (DAAD)


Study in Italy


Study in Japan
Japan Study Support
Japan Student Service Organization


Study in Taiwan
Taiwan Embassy Taiwan

United Kingdom

British Council

United States


There are also sources of private funding available. The student counsellors can provide you with further information, or take a look in the ‘funds book’ which can be found in the University library.

Funding for students with a disability

If you will incur additional costs while studying abroad due to a disability, you can request additional funding. 

  • Are you going to a European country? Request additional funding from the Erasmus+ programme.
  • Are you going to a country outside Europe? Request additional funding via Fenestra Disability Centre.

No funding for non-approved activities

All students who are going abroad as part of, or in relation to their Leiden University studies must obtain advance approval from their study programmes and enter their activity in the study abroad portal.

You are not eligible for funding via Leiden University if:

  • Your activity abroad has not been not approved by your study programme;
  • Your activity is not entered and approved in the study abroad portal;
  • Leiden University informs you that your destination is unsafe and you may not travel, but you ignore this instruction and go abroad anyway.  

Be aware that if you go abroad for study-related activities to an unsafe destination (code red or orange according to Dutch government travel advice) without permission from the university, you will be required to pay back any scholarships or funding received via Leiden University. In the case of exchange programmes, you may also be obliged to pay tuition fees to your host institution. 

For information on gaining approval and using the study abroad portal, see the pages on exchange, studying abroad independently and other activities abroad.

International Discount Card

With an International Student Identity Card (ISIC card) you can get discount on a range of products and services in more than 130 countries, including flight tickets. Purchase your card from ISIC Netherlands.

Photo: Lana Liem
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