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Health and safety

Corona measures

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

Information session

Make sure to attend an information session on health and safety abroad, during which you will hear tips on travelling safely and how to prepare for your stay abroad.

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 your destination is safe

You are not permitted to go abroad for study-related activities to a country for which negative travel advice has been issued. Students will not receive Leiden University study credits, funding or transcript recognition for activities undertaken in unsafe destinations.

  • Well before departure, check that your destination is safe according to Dutch government travel advice. 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 code red or code orange, you may not go there.
  • Continue monitoring the travel advice right up till your day of departure. Also download the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s 24/7 BZ Reis-app (in Dutch), via which you can receive notifications if the safety situation in your destination changes. 
  • If your destination is code orange*, the university may allow you to travel or remain there in the following two situations. In both cases you must always request advance permission from the International Incident Team (IIT)
    • The country is code orange only due to an entry ban for foreigners (i.e. not due to it being a corona high-risk area), and you are a citizen of the country in question and are therefore welcome or the country specifically allows students to enter. 
    • The destination is your home country and you are already there.

      *Exceptions: you may travel to the following code-orange destinations without requesting permission: United Kingdom, NIMAR institute in Rabat, NVIC institute in Cairo, and NIT institute in Istanbul.
  • Buy a flight ticket that can be changed or cancelled and take out cancellation insurance, just in case you have to change your plans.
  • The situation in your destination could change after your trip has been arranged. Your international exchange coordinator will let you know if your exchange programme has been cancelled, whether this is due to a decision by your host institution or by Leiden University. If exchange is no longer permitted due to Leiden University regulations, your international exchange coordinator will also let your host institution know. 
  • If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad,

    Leiden University will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your options. This may mean that you have to come back to The Netherlands. You are also welcome to get in touch with your contact person yourself, for example your international exchange or internship coordinator. Make sure to follow the guidelines in your destination at all times. If you have any concerns or problems, or if you feel unsafe, call Leiden University’s 24/7 alarm number: 0031-71-527 6666.

Study abroad portal

After gaining approval from your study programme for your activity abroad, you must enter your activity in the study abroad portal. This enables Leiden University to check that you have selected a safe destination. If your destination is unsafe according to Dutch government travel advice, the university will notify you that you may not travel there. 

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

Provide up to date contact details

It is important that the university knows where you are staying in your destination and how to reach you in case of an emergency. It is therefore essential that you enter your contact details abroad in the study abroad portal as soon as possible. Remember to keep your details updated throughout your stay, for example if you change your address or get a local telephone number.

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 your destination and receive notifications if the situation changes.

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. 

Take a look in the department of Health, Safety and Environment (VGM) contact block on this page to find out where and when you can visit.


You can also find country-specific health advice on the World Health Organisation website.

Health certificate

For some countries you will need a health certificate. You can request one from:

Psychological health

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
  • Cancellation
  • 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
  • Visa
  • 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

Online safety

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.

Read more and download eduVPN

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.  

Financial support

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.

Start early

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

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