Health and safety
If you are planning on studying abroad, the coronavirus situation can certainly be a cause for uncertainty. By following the advice and guidelines on the Health and Safety page, you can minimise any potential (financial) risks as much as possible. Still unsure whether it’s a good idea to study abroad at the moment? Read the university’s advice.
Also take a look at the study abroad and corona FAQs.
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
Code green and yellow destinations
- You are permitted to undertake study-related activities in destinations that are code green or code yellow according to Dutch government travel advice.
Code orange destinations
- If your destination appears on Leiden University’s list of ‘Approved code orange countries’, you are permitted to undertake study-related activities there.
- If your destination appears on Leiden University’s list of ‘Conditional code orange countries’, in exceptional circumstances you can request permission to go there from the International Incident Team (IIT). See below.
- If your destination does not appear on either list, contact your International Exchange Coordinator to check the status.
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Egypt (NVIC agreement, the rest under conditions)
- Morocco (only north of the horizontal line Agadir, south under conditions)
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- Russia (NIP agreement, rest conditional)
- Sri Lanka
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Egypt (NVIC agreement, the rest under conditions)
- Palestinian Territories
- Russia (NIP agreement, the rest under conditions)
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
Requesting permission from the IIT
For countries that are on Leiden University’s list of ‘Conditional code orange countries’, you may only travel there if you obtain advance permission from the university's International Incident Team (IIT).
You may only request permission if your trip is considered essential by the person/department responsible for approving your activity abroad (for example your international exchange coordinator).
Request permission a maximum of 6 weeks before departure.
- Obtain written permission from your study programme for your study-related activity abroad. You will need this for your request. Note that this only concerns permission to undertake the activity in relation to your studies - not any safety-related issues.
- Ask the person who is responsible for approving your activity abroad to draw up a statement explaining why your trip is essential. 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.
Code red destinations
- You may never undertake study-related activities in destinations that are code red according to Dutch government travel advice.
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.
Make sure you have a plan B
Make sure you have an alternative plan to fall back on in case your activity abroad cannot go ahead for health and safety reasons. Check whether you could do a minor or elective course, or perhaps study abroad in a later semester. Discuss your plan B with your study adviser.
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.
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 health advice
Check the requirements and measures
Make sure to comply with any health requirements and measures for travellers, both in The Netherlands and your destination. Check the latest information on the Dutch government’s travel advice page.
Check that you have all the necessary vaccinations, whether they will remain valid/effective during your stay, and whether you can get vaccinations in your destination.
Are you using medication? Check with the VGM whether your medication can be used and obtained in your destination. You can also contact the VGM for:
- Vaccinations and medication (against malaria for example)
- Personalised health advice
See the contact details on the right of this page (or at the bottom on your mobile) to find out where and when you can visit the VGM.
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.