Universiteit Leiden

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Request permission

Present your plans to your programme’s international exchange coordinator. Don’t start applying until you have permission from your study programme.

Have your courses approved

Would you like the credits you earn abroad to count towards your studies in Leiden? If so, you must have your courses approved in advance. In most cases, you will need to request approval from your programme’s board of examiners. However, for some programmes you must instead contact your international exchange coordinator. Ask your study adviser what steps you need to take.  

Mandatory number of credits

Do you have to earn a mandatory number of credits during your studies abroad? If so, check carefully on your host university’s website how many courses you will need to follow.

Start early

Have your courses approved well in advance. You can only be certain that your credits will be recognised if your courses have been approved before you start them.


As a free mover you must arrange your own application to the university abroad. Leiden University is unable to assist you with your application. Check the application procedures and deadlines with your host university.


  • Find out if you need a visa. Your host university will usually let you know. Alternatively, you can request information from your destination country’s embassy or consulate.
  • You can only request a visa once you have been admitted by your host university.
  • Wait until your visa has been approved before buying your flight ticket, or make sure your ticket can be cancelled or changed.


Ask your host university whether they offer assistance in finding accommodation.


Via HousingAnywhere you can search for sublet accommodation, or sublet your own room whilst you are abroad. Always request advance permission from your landlord.


  • Find out about language requirements. For some universities you will need to take a language test such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Are you unsure if you speak a language well enough? The Academic Language Centre offers online tests to determine your level.
  • A great way to improve your language skills is to travel to your destination early and follow a language course there. Alternatively, you can follow a language course at the Academic Language Centre.


  • Check with your health insurance provider whether you are fully covered for your period of study abroad, or whether top-up insurance is required. Be aware that some countries require you to take out local health insurance.
  • Consider taking out travel and cancellation insurance to cover, for example, luggage, additional health costs, legal aid and liability. AON Student Insurance is a good example.
  • Find out if your insurance company has an emergency phone number. If so, keep it somewhere handy.

Health and safety

Carefully read the health and safety information and take any necessary steps before departure.

International student?

If you are an international student, you must also do the following before departure.

  • Contact the town hall where you are currently registered to ask if you need to cancel your registration.
  • Ask the Visa Team whether your stay abroad will have consequences for your Dutch residence permit (if applicable).
  • Ask your destination country’s embassy or consulate what visa procedures apply to you. Procedures for international students may not be the same as those for Dutch students.

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.


Course requirements
In general, courses that meet the following requirements can be approved:

  • No overlap with courses included in your bachelor’s or master’s degree programme;
  • No English language courses;
  • Courses must be at academic level.

The courses you follow abroad are always extracurricular. It is not possible to follow your elective credits at a university abroad.

Compulsory number of credits
Students must register for a minimum of 20 EC when studying abroad. Are you studying outside of Europe? Make sure you check carefully how many of the overseas credits equate to this.

Course approval
Your international exchange coordinator can approve your course selection before you leave on behalf of the Board of Examiners.

You are required to complete a learning agreement before you go and discuss this with the international exchange coordinator during one of the walk in consulting hours

Allow plenty of time
If you need a signature for a scholarships application, a learning agreement or public transport allowance, make sure you get everything signed off in good time by the international exchange coordinator. Forms can only be signed during the walk in hours. 

Changes to the Learning Agreement
Have there been changes to your curriculum at the start of or during your stay? If so, you must have the courses approved again by your international exchange coordinator. You can do this by completing the second section (During Mobility) of the Learning Agreement and sending it to your international exchange coordinator. This way, you can be sure that the credits you earn during your exchange can be recognised upon your return.

Recognition of credits
On your return, it is the Psychology student's own responsibility to request recognition of the credits achieved while studying abroad in good time.


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