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As part of your study programme

Many Bachelor’s programmes allow you to choose (extra) optional subjects within your curriculum. This means you are free to choose from a wide variety of courses which don’t always have to be related to your main area of study. This provides you with a great opportunity to follow courses abroad. If you’re not sure what the situation is within your study programme get in touch with your study adviser.

Exchange during your Bachelor

For some Bachelor’s programmes a period spent abroad is compulsory. How and when this takes place varies from one programme to another. In some cases specific study abroad places are available or specific universities are recommended. If you have to go abroad, or if you choose to follow optional courses abroad, you must make sure that the credits you earn abroad are counted towards your study programme at Leiden University. For this recognition of academic credits is necessary.

If you want to spend time abroad there are several exchange programmes available.

Within Europe: Erasmus+ programme

The Erasmus programme is a European Union exchange programme. Agreements between universities are generally made at study programme level or faculty level. Applications are generally arranged by your own faculty or study programme.  

Within and outside Europe: Faculty and university-wide agreements

Leiden University has agreements with many universities abroad that enable students to study there as part of an exchange programme. These agreements are either at faculty or university-wide level. If you want to go on exchange as part of a faculty agreement you should apply via your own faculty. If you wish to go on exchange as part of a university-wide agreement you should apply via the International Relations epartment at Student and Educational Affaris (SEA).  

View all Leiden University's exchange agreements.

Outside Europe: ISEP

Leiden University is a participant in ISEP (the International Student Exchange Program), an American exchange programme with worldwide partner universities. A great advantage of this programme is that students pay a fixed amount (€3500) per semester for rent and a meal plan. More importantly you continue paying Leiden tuition fees as you remain registered as a student of Leiden University. It is also possible to undertake an internship during or after your studies via the ISEP programme. Applications for an ISEP exchange should be made via the International Relations epartment at Student and Educational Affaris (SEA).  You can find an overview of participating universities on the ISEP website.

Exchange during your Master

A two-year (research) Master offer the best possibilities for study abroad, given its longer duration. It is possible to go abroad during a one-year Master but this can be trickier given the time constraints. If you’re not sure when would be the best time for you to study abroad get in touch with your study adviser

Doing research abroad during your Bachelor or Master

It is possible to do a research internship under the supervision of a professor via an exchange programme. It is important that you find a supervisor as early as possible. If necessary ask the partner university in question to help you out.

Would you like to take part in a research project? There is a new exchange programme called STREAM (Student Research Mobility Programme). It is a student exchange programme between Leiden University and 6 European universities who are all, like Leiden, members of LERU (League of European Research Universities).

Going abroad independently

If you would like to follow part of your Leiden study programme at a university abroad that does not have an exchange agreement with Leiden you should keep the following in mind:

  • you are responsible for your own application at the university abroad;
  • as there is no exchange agreement in place there is a chance that you will have to pay tuition fees to the university abroad;
  • if you wish to study at a European university you will not be entitled to an Erasmus grant;
  • admission is not guaranteed - you must meet the admission conditions of the university abroad;
  • there can be consequences for your Dutch student finance. Always check first with DUO.

If you want the academic credits you earn abroad to be counted towards your Leiden study programme you must make clear agreements in advance with your study programme.

Exchange Programmes

The Faculty of Humanities has a large network of student exchange partnerships within Europe. These are the so-called Erasmus+ partnerships.

Erasmus+ partnerships are created for specific programmes, and in specific subject areas. Please see this PDF file to find out what possibilities are available within Europe. This list is valid for studying abroad during the second semester of academic year 2018-2019. Although we reviewed all information about our partners very carefully, no rights can be derived from this information.

When looking for the right options:

  1. Look for agreements targeted at your study programme at Leiden University. 
  2. Review the host university's programmes and courses in general. You have to rely on information of the host university's current academic year.  
  3. Check the language requirements and the semester dates. German and some English universities have semester dates that overlap with those at Leiden university. 
  4. Read student reports in the [1718] Study Abroad - Humanities Blackboard course (under Information / Erasmus).

Please be aware that knowledge of the local language (French, Italian, English etc.) on academic level is required! In some cases you need to prove your knowlegde by means of an official test. You do not have to submit any test results when you apply for an exchange spot.

Free Movers

Free movers are students who independently apply to a university of their choosing. These students do not go through a selection process at Leiden University, because they apply directly to the host university and are not studying under an established partnership between the host university and Leiden University. The university and study plans do however need to be approved by the student’s department in Leiden and the board of examiners. Free movers are required to pay tuition both at the partner university and at Leiden university while registered at the partner university.

Finances

Students who elect to study abroad as free movers pay tuition both at the host university and at Leiden University. There are no exceptions to this policy, for either Dutch or international students. Despite this, some students elect to take advantage of the opportunity to add a specific university's programme to their studies as a free mover. Please review the tuition rates for the foreign university carefully as these can be quite high for non-degree international students.

Students may be eligible to apply for scholarships through Leiden University.

Negative Travel Advisories

Free movers should review the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advisories prior to selecting a university. Leiden University uses the advice provided by the Ministry as a basis in determining the safety of a study activity abroad. Those destinations that have a negative travel advisory (or require travel through an area with a negative travel advisory) are ineligible for credit at Leiden University. This includes transfer of credits obtained for study at an institution, credit for an internship, and credit for research paper/thesis resulting from research or field work undertaken in an area with a negative travel advice. These destinations are also not eligible for Leiden University scholarships. There are no exceptions to this policy.

If a travel advisory changes to negative after a student has been admitted to a university abroad, or for an internship or research, etc, either before or during the stay abroad, students are required to follow Leiden University's instructions regarding next steps. Please review Leiden University's study abroad regulations for further information.

A negative travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes areas where the advice is "Niet Reizen" ("Avoid all travel") as well as "Alleen noodzakelijke reizen" ("Avoid Non-essential travel"). These are represented by the colors red and orange on the Ministry's website.

If you are unsure of the implications of the travel advisory listed on the Ministry's website, or have any questions, please contact the Humanities International Office before taking any further steps.  For contact details, take a look at the topright of this page.

Application Process

Students intending to study abroad as free movers apply directly to the university at which they would like to study. However, in order to be eligible for credit transfer to Leiden University and for eligibility to submit a scholarship application, students must first undertake the following steps:

  1. Discuss your plans with your Study Coordinator in order to ensure that your proposed programme fits in your Leiden study plan, and to be aware of any potential issues, study delays, or other concerns.
  2. Submit an online application to the Humanities International Office for pre-approval of your proposed destination. Students who have received pre-approval from the International Office will not be considered by the board of examiners for transfer of credit. The purpose of this application is (1) to inform the Faculty of your plans and register your personal information, and (2) to submit your proposed destination for approval based on the travel advisory provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Once you have completed steps 1 and 2, and have received approval from the International Office for your plans, you can apply directly to the host university.

After Admission

If you are admitted to the host university, there are again several steps you must take with Leiden University:

  1. Submit your proposed courses to the board of examiners for approval. Contact your study coordinator for information about this process. Be sure to submit your courses before you start with the courses. If you neglect to take care of this step, you run the risk that you will put your energy into taking courses for which you may not receive credit at Leiden University, which can also have an impact on your graduation date. Include the approval from the International Office with your application to the board of examiners.
  2. Register your travel itinerary with the Humanities International Office prior to departure.
  3. Register your in-country contact information after arrival at your destination.

Leiden University Study Abroad Regulations

The steps listed above are to ensure that students are eligible to apply for credit transfer and for scholarships for their proposed study destinations. They are based on compliance with Leiden University's study abroad regulations.

Mandatory Studies Abroad

A number of BA and MA programmes in the Faculty of Humanities have a mandatory study abroad period as a component of the programme. These students are usually not considered to be exchange students, and are generally informed of the details by their department.

Finances

Students must register themselves as a student at Leiden University and pay their regular tuition fee. They do not need to pay tuition fee to the host organisation abroad. Leiden University will cover these costs.

Mandatory studies abroad students may be eligible for scholarships from the Sustainable Humanities fund.

Negative Travel Advisories

Leiden University will not send students to participate in mandatory study abroad semesters in locations with a negative travel advisory from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A negative travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes areas where the advice is "Niet Reizen" ("Avoid all travel") as well as "Alleen noodzakelijke reizen" ("Avoid Non-essential travel"). These are represented by the colors red and orange on the Ministry's website.

If a travel advisory changes to negative after a student has been admitted to a university abroad, either before or during the stay abroad, students are required to follow Leiden University's instructions regarding next steps. Please review Leiden University's study abroad regulations for further information.

If you are unsure of the implications of the travel advisory listed on the Ministry's website, contact the Humanities International Office before taking any further steps. You can find their contact information at the topright of this page.

Required Steps

  1. Attend the information session regarding your mandatory study abroad. Information regarding time and date will be provided by your programme.
    You will be informed by your department about the content of the study abroad and its financial implications. Where applicable, you will also be informed about the Sustainable Humanities Scholarship and how to obtain it.
  2. Register your travel itinerary with the Humanities International Office prior to departure.
  3. Register your in-country contact information after arrival at your destination.

Leiden University Study Abroad Regulations

The steps listed above are to ensure that students are eligible to apply for credit for academic work/internships abroad and for scholarships for their proposed study destinations. They are based on compliance with Leiden University's study abroad regulations.

Excursions

Short term trips abroad, as a group, accompanied by a faculty member, for which credit is granted within the students degree programme.

Finances

Students are responsible for all costs associated with the excursion such as food and accommodation, transportation, etc, and should plan accordingly.

Negative Travel Advisories

Leiden University students may not undertake any activities related to their studies in Leiden in countries/regions with a negative travel advisory from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A negative travel advisory is one that advises to avoid all travel (Niet reizen) or avoid unnecessary travel (alleen noodzakelijke reizen) (marked on the map with red or orange on the ministry's website). Please see the Ministry website for further information. The responsible programmes within the Faculty of Humanities will evaluate the travel advisories for excursions to determine if the programme abroad can proceed. If the travel advisory is negative, your programme will inform you about possible alternative options or next steps.

Required Steps

If you are participating in an excursion of 1 week or longer, there are several steps you must take with Leiden University once you have finalized your plans to go abroad.

  1. Register your travel itinerary with the Humanities International Office prior to departure.
  2. Register your in-country contact information after arrival at your destination.

Leiden University Study Abroad Regulations

The steps listed above are to ensure that students are eligible to apply for credit for academic work/internships abroad and for scholarships for their proposed study destinations. They are based on compliance with Leiden University's study abroad regulations.

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