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Going abroad independently

Instead of going on exchange, you could choose to go abroad independently. This is an option if you want to go to a destination that doesn’t have an exchange agreement with Leiden University, or if you missed out on an exchange place.

Corona measures

The corona measures may affect your travel plans. Read more on the Studying in times of corona website.

Students who go abroad independently are known as ‘free movers’. As a free mover you will need to make a lot of arrangements yourself. Important considerations are:  

  • Safe destination
    You may not go on exchange in a country for which negative travel advice has been issued. Visit the Health and safety page for more information.  
  • Double tuition fees
    As a free mover, you will have to pay tuition fees to your host university, whilst also remaining registered and paying tuition fees at Leiden University.
  • Arrange your own application
    As a free mover you must arrange your own application to the university abroad. Leiden University is unable to assist you with your application.
Photo: Lieuwe van Slooten
Photo: Lieuwe van Slooten

If you want to study abroad independently you can become a so-called 'free mover'.

Free movers do not go through a selection process at Leiden University, because they apply directly to the host university and are not studying under an established partnership between the host university and Leiden University.

What do you need to do?

Students are only allowed go to regions designated with Green (No safety risks) and Yellow (Beware! Safety risks). Students cannot go to areas designated Orange (Only necessary travels) or Red (No travel).

1. Submit an online application to the Humanities International Office for pre-approval of your proposed destination.

The purpose of this application is to inform the Faculty Of Humanities of your plans and to submit your proposed destination for approval based on the travel advisory provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Contact the Humanities International Office to inform the study abroad coordinators of your plans as well. Email: studyabroad@hum.leidenuniv.nl  Free movers should go through all application, visa and scholarship  procedures themselves, however the Humanities International Office can help you on your way.

2. Register your travel itinerary with the Humanities International Office prior to departure. (This step is also necessary if you apply for a humanities scholarship.)

3. Register your in-country contact information after arrival at your destination.

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