Costs and budget
If you're planning on going abroad it's important to consider financial matters such as tuition fees, other costs, your budget and scholarship applications.
Via an exchange programme
The advantage of going abroad via an exchange programme is that you remain registered as a student of Leiden University. This means you only have to pay your Dutch tuition fees, which are generally lower than fees in other countries. Of course all other expenses such as accommodation, books, visas and living expenses are your own responsibility.
Not via an exchange programme
If your studies abroad are not arranged via an exchange agreement you generally have to pay tuition fees to the university abroad. This is certainly the case if you choose to follow courses abroad. However if you choose not to follow courses, for example if you will do research, exemptions from tuition fees can sometimes be requested. The situation varies from country to country. In countries where tuition fees are low you generally have a greater chance of an exemption.
Contact DUO to find out whether you can continue receiving Dutch student finance or be awarded financial compensation for surrendering your student travel pass (OV-kaart) whilst studying abroad.
The amount of money you will need during your studies abroad depends on:
- Your destination
- If you need to pay tuition fees abroad
- Visa and residence permit costs – if applicable
- Travel costs
- Cost of living (food, drink, clothing)
- Additional costs such as phone calls, vaccinations
- Additional health and travel insurances if required
- Domestic travel costs
- Whether you will receive a scholarship or grant
- Whether you will continue receiving Dutch student finance
On the VSB fonds website (in Dutch) you can find handy information about living costs in a range of countries.
Before departure it is a good idea to draw up a budget for your stay abroad. All the costs mentioned above should be taken into consideration. This will provide you with a realistic picture of how much money you will need and whether you should consider requesting a scholarship to help you get by. The Wilweg website provides a lot of useful information about drawing up a budget.
Tips for scholarship applications
Searching for and requesting a suitable scholarship can be hard work. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind:
- Each scholarship or grant programme has its own specific conditions. Read these carefully in advance to check whether you are eligible.
- Start looking into options and making preparations one year before your planned stay abroad.
- You can find useful information about the additional costs involved in studying abroad on wilweg.nl.
- Most scholarships and grants do not cover all costs. You may want to consider applying for more than one scholarship.
- 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.
Letter of recommendation
For some scholarship applications you will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation issued by Leiden University. You can request this from a Student Counsellor or from your faculty’s International Exchange Coordinator.
Going abroad can be expensive, therefore looking for financial aid is something that you need to include in your preparations. There are several grants for which you can apply, for example the Erasmus+ or Lustra+ scholarship.
Read the page about scholarships during your studies carefully and check the reports of returning science students in our 'Study & Internship Abroad - Faculty of Science' Blackboard course for tips.
The Nuffic (The Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education) also offers a lot of information about grants and even has a grant finder tool: www.beursopener.nl. You could also check the European Funding guide.
If you are going abroad for a research project or internship, we strongly advise you to contact the Science International Office to make an appointment to see which specific grants they recommend to apply for in your case.
Please keep in mind that there are often strict scholarship application deadlines and start on time. The Erasmus+ grants will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Make sure to submit the Erasmus+ grant application form a.s.a.p. as the budget can be finished.
OV chipcard reimbursement
When you are going abroad, you can receive a compensation for your OV chipcard. Up to two months before departure, you can send in the form on the DUO website.
For a signature, you can send this form to the Science International Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop by during the walk-in hours. Please bring directly a copy of approval of your Board of Examiners with you.