When and where?
Write down what you want to get out of your time abroad. Working out what you want to achieve will help determine the choices you make. Research your options well, make good arrangements and make sure to consider your study plan carefully.
During your Bachelor’s programme
The most obvious time to go abroad is during the free electives phase of your Bachelor’s programme. You are then relatively unrestricted in the courses you can follow and the credits you earn abroad can generally be counted towards your studies in Leiden.
During your Master’s programme
In general students on two-year (research) Master’s programmes are advised to spend a semester or more abroad. During your Master’s studies you get to analyse your subject matter in more depth therefore a period of study abroad can be very beneficial. Students on one-year Master’s programmes can also study abroad but this can be trickier to organise. If you’re not sure when would be the best time for you, speak to your study advisor.
After your studies
Of course you can also choose to go abroad after your studies, for example to do an (additional) Master’s programme. However this can have its drawbacks, so make sure to read the information on doing an entire Master's programme carefully in advance.
In general different procedures apply depending on whether you will study within or outside Europe. This is especially true for exchange programmes. The EP-Nuffic website is a handy tool for researching possible study destinations. If you have a particular country in mind it’s easier to focus your research.
You can also search through all Leiden University's exchange agreements.
Students cannot travel to or through a region that has been given a colour code of orange or red by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for any purposes relating to their studies. Always check the travel advice (in Dutch) issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make sure you have selected a safe destination.
Finding out more
A great start to your preparations is a visit to the annual Study Abroad Festival. This event is organised every autumn by Leiden University. You’ll be provided with information about your options, the procedures and deadlines involved, and all the practical aspects of studying abroad. Meet students who have just returned from their study abroad adventure and hear about their experiences. There’s no better way to prepare for your time abroad.
There are lots of websites and sources that provide useful information on all aspects of studying abroad:
- EP-Nuffic:information about internships, scholarships and countries;
- Fulbright: for students wanting to study or undertake research in the United States;
- AIESEC: an organisation that offers assistance in searching for internships;
- Wilweg.nl: a website that assembles information on all kinds of possibilities for spending time abroad;
- Information about finances;
- Speak to Leiden students who have already been abroad.
Do you still have questions about studying abroad after reading this web information? If so, please contact the study abroad staff at the international relations department or consult our FAQs.