Health and safety
Make sure to attend a special information session on health and safety abroad. Here you'll get tips on how to prepare for your stay and travel safely. Sessions are organised on a monthly basis, alternating between Leiden and the Hague.More information & registration
University emergency number
In case of emergencies during your stay abroad, call the university’s emergency phone number:
+31 71 527 6666
This number can be reached 24 hours a day.
Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advice
You may not go on exchange in a country for which negative travel advice has been issued.
- Check here if your destination is safe. This webpage is in Dutch, but by entering the country name (Dutch spelling) you can view the safety status on a map. If your destination is red or orange, you may not go there.
- The situation in your destination country could change after your trip has been arranged. If this occurs, you must postpone your plans. Always discuss this with your international exchange coordinator or study coordinator.
- If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad, the university will contact you by email. If you are worried, you can always call the university emergency number: +31 71 527 6666.
- Buy a flight ticket that can be changed or cancelled and take out cancellation insurance, just in case you have to change your plans.
Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Before departure, register for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs information service (in Dutch). The ministry can then reach you and send help if required in a crisis situation (such as natural disaster or political unrest). Registration is free.
Download the app
Also download the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s 24/7 BZ Reis-app (in Dutch). Via the app you can check the security situation in any country and receive notifications if the situation changes.
Provide your contact details
It is important that the university knows where you are staying and how to reach you. Make sure to provide your contact details once you reach your destination. If you are going on exchange, you can do this via the online application system. In all other cases, you must provide your details to your study adviser or international exchange coordinator yourself.
Vaccinations, medication and advice
Department of Health, Safety and Environment (VGM)
If you need vaccinations or medication for your stay abroad, for example malaria tablets, contact the university’s department of Health, Safety and Environment (in Dutch: Veiligheid, Gezondheid & Milieu or VGM). The VGM can also provide you with tailor-made health advice.
Are you using medication? Check with the VGM whether your medication can be used and obtained in your destination.
Location: Poort building-South
Walk-in hours: Monday to Thursday from 8.30 till 10.00, closed on Fridays.
By appointment: 071 - 526 3643
You can also find country-specific health advice on the World Health Organisation website.
For some countries you will need a health certificate. You can request one from:
Do you need medication, therapy or other support whilst abroad due to psychological issues? Make sure to arrange this on time. Draw up a plan and discuss it with your international exchange coordinator.
Arrange insurance that covers all the following:
- All medical costs
- Costs incurred due to disability resulting from an accident
- Repatriation (in case of illness, death, family circumstances)
- Legal assistance
- Third-party liability
- Lost or stolen luggage
There are special student insurance policies available, for example from AON.
Read the small print before purchasing a policy!
Other things to keep in mind
- Check whether you need to notify your insurance provider of your stay abroad.
- Find out how to make an insurance claim and take a claim form with you.
- Always take proof of insurance with you.
Important documents and telephone numbers
Make a scan of all your important documents and mail them to yourself, for example:
- Passport/ID card
- Flight tickets
- Insurance cards
- Credit card
- Bank/debit card
Save important phone numbers in your telephone, for example:
- The university’s emergency numbers: +31 71 527 6666 (available 24/7)
- Your insurance company’s emergency number
- Phone numbers for blocking your credit card, bank/debit card or telephone
- Phone number of the embassy or consulate
Using public Wi-Fi networks
When using public Wi-Fi networks, for example in a train or café, your personal data is often not secure. You risk having your data stolen or misused. eduVPN offers protection against prying eyes and enables you to securely access protected services from outside Leiden University's network.
Rules and regulations
Find out which rules and regulations apply with regard to internet use in your destination. In certain countries you can even be jailed for breaking internet-use regulations!
In general, you can study abroad if you have a disability. As with the rest of your studies, it may require a little more planning and support.
Discuss your plans with your international exchange coordinator and Fenestra Disability Centre. They can assist you in planning your stay abroad by, for example, finding out whether your destination can offer the facilities you need and making the necessary arrangements with your host university.
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.
Begin planning your stay abroad well in advance. Application deadlines are often very early and requests for additional support and facilities can be time consuming. Start early to ensure you have sufficient time to make the necessary arrangements.
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Download the Health and Safety checklist and make sure you are well prepared.
Take a look at this presentation with handy tips.
Safety during fieldwork or internship
For your own safety during fieldwork or intership, please see the information on emergencies and incidents. Please note that excavation leaders are required to send a list of the participants and other details on the fieldwork through this form. If you are doing fieldwork individually, you should also fill in this form.
Students are obliged to arrange their own liability and travel insurance.
Before the start of the excavation, make sure that you have had a tetanus injection.
Health, safety & environmental legislation requires that everyone at an excavation:
- wears a brightly coloured jacket
- wears shoes with steel toes
- helmets are compulsory when you are in the radius of a crane.
The following must be hung on the wall in the cabin:
- the telephone number of a GP
- the telephone number of the ambulance service (in the Netherlands 112)
- the directions to a hospital.
At least one person present must have a First Aid diploma.
All incidents must be reported immediately to the Health and Safety Inspectorate (Arbodienst)!
The central health and safety coordinator for Archaeology is Ms Petra Slabber, 071 527 2275.
When a student or member of staff drives his/her own car or rented minibus, it is advisable that the driver arranges good third party insurance in advance. Insurance covering damage to the rented minibus or car is usually bought at the same time as arranging the rental. Injury to a fellow passenger is a separate matter. For a private car, the same rules apply as when a friend is a passenger in your car. For more information about third party insurance, contact Frans van der Laan, Administration and Central Services department, Leiden University.
There is also an international emergency number that you can call day and night:
+31 (0)71 527 6666.
Anyone planning a trip - students, student societies and excavation leaders – is strongly advised to keep up to date with the travel advice on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.