Universiteit Leiden

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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.

Is your destination safe? Check the travel advice

Only code green and yellow destinations

  • In principle, you may only undertake study-related activities in destinations that are code green or code yellow according to Dutch government travel advice.
  • In certain special circumstances you can request permission from the International Incident Team (IIT) to travel to a code orange destination.
  • You may never travel to a code red destination.

Continually monitor the situation

  • Continue checking whether there are any changes to 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 of any changes. 
  • If your destination changes to code red you may not go there. If this happens the university will get in touch with you, but you may also contact your international exchange coordinator yourself.  

Do not travel to an unsafe area

If you travel to a code orange destination without permission, or to a code red destination, you will not receive study credits, funding or transcript recognition for any activities you undertake there. If you are going on exchange, you may also have to pay tuition fees to your host institution. 

Code orange: only in special circumstances and with permission

In principle, you may not travel to code orange destinations.

There are exceptions in place for the following destinations: 

  • The United Kingdom
  • The NIMAR institute in Rabat
  • The NVIC institute in Cairo
  • The NIT institute in Istanbul

You may travel to these destinations without requesting permission from the International Incident Team (IIT). 

Requesting permission from the IIT

For code orange destinations that are not on the list of exceptions above, you may only travel there with advance permission from the university's International Incident Team (IIT). 


You may only request permission in the following special circumstances: 

  • The destination is your home country and you are already there, or
  • 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 government of the country specifically permits students to enter.

Request permission a maximum of 4 weeks before departure.

  • Obtain written permission from your study programme for your study-related activity abroad. You will need this for your request.
  • Complete the online request form.
  • You will receive a response within 10 days.
  • If your request is denied, you are not entitled to appeal against the decision.

If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad

If your destination becomes unsafe whilst you are abroad, you may have to come back to The Netherlands. Leiden University will contact you to discuss your options. You are also welcome to get in touch with your international exchange or internship coordinator. Make sure to follow the guidelines in your destination at all times. 

Are you worried or experiencing problems, or do you feel unsafe? Call Leiden University’s 24/7 alarm number: 0031-71-527 6666.

Upon your return: follow the (quarantine) rules

Leiden University students are required to follow the Dutch government's rules for travellers returning to The Netherlands. If the government advises you to quarantine for 10 days upon your return, you may not be physically present at the university during this period. 

Take financial risks into consideration

Studying abroad is always at your own risk, also in financial terms*. You are responsible for any costs incurred for your stay abroad, even if your trip has to be cancelled or cut short due to safety reasons. This also applies if you have obtained permission to go to a code orange destination. Read more about financial risks and how you can prepare for them on the financial matters page

*Exceptions may be made for activities abroad that are a compulsory part of your study programme. 

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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