Frequently asked questions
- Study and assessments
- Study abroad
- Support and guidance
- Facilities and IT
- International students
- Financial matters
- Health and hygiene
Also take a look at the online education and assessments page for general information about online exams and proctoring (online exam invigilation).
Second semester 2020-2021
Teaching in the second semester of the academic year 20/21 will remain mostly online and partly on campus. Options will differ per study programme. Your study programme will let you know in advance how teaching and assessment will be organised.
Visit the library website for the latest information on the library's adapted services.
If and where you can do an internship depends on the measures taken within the organisation where you want to intern. Discuss the situation with your contact person at the organisation, or if necessary, talk to your internship coordinator.
Some assessments will take place online, others will be held on-campus. If online assessments are offered, participation is mandatory. You are entitled to retakes in conformity with your study programme’s education and examination regulations (OER). You are entitled to an additional chance if you are unable to take an on-campus assessment due to corona-related symptoms or compulsory quarantine and there is no online alternative available. Your study programme will provide you with further information on this matter.
See the assessments page for further information on online assessments and proctoring (online exam invigilation).
Our lecturers are supported in their remote teaching by Leiden University’s Centre for Innovation and Graduate Teaching School (ICLON). The university has also created a website that provides academic staff with guidance and advice on online teaching. All lecturers are required to adhere to Leiden University's Code of Conduct on Remote Teaching, that sets clear guidelines for matters such as clarity, assessment, communication, etiquette and privacy.
Course and exam enrolement procedures remain the same. You can enrol for courses and exams via uSis or at the Education Adminstration Office, depending on your study programme. Read more under course and exam enrolment.
First contact your lecturer. Be patient and have confidence that your lecturer will resolve the problem, even if it might take a little while. If the problem is not resolved, contact your study adviser. He or she will hep you find a solution.
Yes, first-year students will be issued with binding study advice (BSA) as usual in the academic year 2020-2021. Due to the coronavirus situation, Leiden University's Executive Board has lowered the BSA norm from 45 to 40 study credits this year. In addition, study programmes are entitled to further adjust their BSA rules if they feel this is necessary. Read more
If you have any concerns about using Zoom, please contact your lecturer directly. If your lecturer Is not available, instead get in touch with your study coordinator. If you still have serious concerns, you are welcome to contact Leiden University’s data protection officer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only code green or yellow destination
You may only go to countries that are classed as code green or yellow according to Dutch government travel advice. The United Kingdom is an exception to this rule: traveling to the UK is permitted even in case it is classified as code orange
Monitor the travel advice for your destination from well before your trip right up till your day of departure. If the advice changes to code red or orange, you may not go. Be aware that if you ignore negative travel advice and go anyway, you will no longer be eligible for study credits, funding or recognition on your transcript for your activity abroad. In the case of exchange programmes, you may also have to pay tuition fees to your host institution.
Travel abroad is always at your own risk (also when you received permission to travel or stay in an orange coloured country), also in terms of finances. If your destination changes to code red or orange during your stay, you are responsible for arranging and financing your own repatriation. Make sure to take out adequate insurance that also covers repatriation. Check the details with your insurer and their coverage based on the colour codes.
Code orange: only in exceptional cases and with advance permission
If your destination is code orange*, the university may grant an exception in the following two cases. In both cases you must always request advance permission from the International Incident Team (IIT). Do not go without permission!:
- 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.
*You don't need permission to travel to the United Kingdom. Traveling to the UK is permitted even when it is classified as code orange.
You can also stay up to date on the latest travel advice by downloading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 BZ Travel app (in Dutch) and requesting notifications if the situation in your destination changes.
Exchange programmes to destinations that are classed as code yellow or green may go ahead in the first semester 2021-2022. If your exchange programme will start in July or August 2021 due to different semester dates or orientation activities at your host institution, you are still permitted to go.
Other activities abroad
Internships, research programmes, fieldwork, clinical clerkships, summer/winter schools and independent study abroad (as a free mover) to code green and yellow destination can recommence on 15 May 2021. Make sure you have the necessary permission from your study programme in advance.
Check regulations in your destination
It is your own responsibility to check the quarantine, vaccination and other corona-related regulations in your destination well in advance.
Is your destination is code orange only due to an entry ban, in other words not due to infection rates or other factors? The university may grant you permission to go there in the following circumstances:
- You are a citizen of that country and are therefore welcome, or
- The government of the country specifically permits students to enter.
In both cases you must request advance permission from the International Incident Team (IIT). Do not go without permission!
If your destination is your home country and you are already there, the university may grant an exemption to the rule prohibiting study-related activities in code orange areas. However you must request advance permission from the International Incident Team (IIT). Do not go without permission!
In this case, you will no longer be eligible for study credits or any type of funding via Leiden University. You must also pay back any scholarships or funding received via the university. Your activity abroad will not be mentioned on your Leiden University transcript. In the case of exchange programmes, you may also have to pay tuition fees to your host institution.
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.
Yes, you can request a scholarship, but be aware of the following:
- You can request a scholarship if your exchange destination is still code red or orange (according to Dutch government travel advice), but you will only receive scholarship funds if your destination is code green or yellow on the day of departure.
- You must have an address in The Netherlands at the time of requesting the scholarship.
See the scholarships website for details.
Do you need to spend time in quarantine before beginning your exchange programme? You can include your period in quarantine in your scholarship application.
Depending on the coronavirus situation, there is always a chance that your exchange programme may be cancelled at the last minute. Unfortunately you can only be 100% certain that your exchange programme can go ahead on the day of departure.
Monitor travel advice
Start monitoring the Dutch government travel advice (in Dutch) and corona situation in your destination well in advance to gain an indication of how things are going. Make sure to check the travel advice right up till the day of departure. If your destination changes to code orange or red, you may not go. Be aware that if you ignore negative travel advice and go anyway, you will no longer be eligible for study credits, funding or recognition on your transcript for your activity abroad. In the case of exchange programmes, you may also have to pay tuition fees to your host institution.
You can also stay up to date on the latest travel advice by downloading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 BZ Travel app (in Dutch) and requesting notifications if the situation in your destination changes.
Notification from exchange coordinator
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.
Contact your study adviser to discuss whether an online exchange programme might be an option for you. Make sure to keep your international exchange coordinator updated on what you decide to do.
Make sure that you have a plan B in case your exchange programme is cancelled. Talk to your study adviser and international exchange coordinator for advice on drawing up a plan B.
Minor or elective courses
You could choose to do a minor or elective courses. Include these options in your plan B and check the requirements and registration deadlines. If you are able to go abroad, remember to cancel any registrations for minors or elective courses as soon as possible after departure.
Go on exchange later
Were you planning to go on exchange in the first semester? You can ask your international exchange coordinator if it would be possible to go instead in the second semester. Alternatively you could go abroad during the following academic year. In this case you will have to submit a new application.
Was your exchange programme a compulsory activity for your study programme? Talk to your international exchange coordinator about what steps you should take.
You are responsible for any costs you make in connection to your exchange programme, for example travel costs, visa fees, insurance, housing or repatriation*. Consider carefully whether you are willing to take the risk. Make sure you have a good insurance policy before departure and check carefully what is and isn’t covered.
* Exceptions may be made for study-related activities abroad that are a compulsory element of your study programme.
If your exchange is cancelled, your scholarship will also be cancelled or stopped. If you are already abroad, in most cases the scholarship amount will be adjusted according to the amount of time spent abroad. This means you will probably have to pay back some or all of the funds you have received. Contact your scholarship provider for details.
In some cases your host institution will continue to provide education online. Ask your host university coordinator what might be possible. You can also check whether any of the options from your plan B are still available. For example, can you still join a minor or do elective courses? Upon your return, get in touch with your study adviser to discuss your options and how you can avoid falling behind in your studies.
We understand your uncertainty. Unfortunately, Leiden University cannot predict what the situation will be in the coming weeks and months. We would like to give our students the opportunity to gain international experiences and are optimistic about the growing number of vaccinations and countries with positive travel advice. Of course, this does not offer any guarantees. We therefore recommend that you to speak to friends and family for advice and also draw up a clear financial overview. Also try to postpone incurring any costs until the last minute if at all possible.
You are welcome to contact your international exchange coordinator with any specific questions about studying abroad. Also talk to your study adviser for help in drawing up a plan B in case your exchange cannot go ahead.
Even if you have been vaccinated, there is no guarantee that you will be able to go abroad for study-related activities. Vaccination may be a condition of entry for some destinations, but the university bases its decisions on whether to allow travel on Dutch government travel advice (in Dutch).
In principle, you may only travel to countries that are code green or code yellow. In exceptional cases you may request permission to go to code orange countries. Read more about requesting permission for code orange destinations.
Whether you are vaccinated or not does not make any difference when requesting permission for your trip from the university. This is confidential medical information that the university may not ask for due to privacy reasons.
It is a separate matter that you must always make sure you meet the measures set by your host country and The Netherlands. These might include for example, proof of vaccination or recovery, negative test results or quarantine.
Also read the other FAQs in this section for advice on dealing with the uncertainties of the current situation.
If The Netherlands is designated code red or high risk by other counties, or for example by the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention Control), Leiden University will not change its policy concerning outbound study abroad. However, there may be consequences in terms of the entry regulations set by your host country. It is therefore very important that you check the entry, testing, quarantine and vaccination requirements in your destination well before your planned departure.
For further information, see the Dutch government’s travel advice (in Dutch) for your destination, or visit your host country’s government website.
There are a limited number of study places available in the library and certain faculty buildings. To make use of these, you have to reserve a time slot in advance. Reserve a study place.
The University Library has set up workstations so that students can access files on their P-drive. Call the library in advance to book a time slot. For more information and to book a slot see the UB website.
You are responsible for making sure you have a suitable computer and sufficient internet access. You can also follow online classes on your mobile phone. If this doesn’t help, ask your fellow students for assistance.
Are circumstances causing you to fall behind in your studies, for example are you having problems concentrating, or are you unwell or caring for a sick family member? Contact your study adviser right away. He/she will be able to advise you and guide you in how to deal with study delay.
Contact Fenestra Disability Centre, the university’s information centre for students with a disability. Fenestra staff will help you to look for a solution and, if required, refer you to other sources of assistance.
It is understandable that you may be anxious or concerned about the situation. On the Wellbeing pages you can find tips and tools to help you deal with these feelings, as well as informtion on who you can turn to for help.
The university offers a range of services such as student buddies and support groups, to help you in these difficult times. Find out about the support available on the Wellbeing pages.
You can still contact Leiden University's guidance and advice services by email, video call or phone. Go to the study guidance and advisers section of the website and look on the page of the relevant adviser or guidance service to find out when and how you can get in touch. In some cases, the guidance or advice service may arrange a face-to-face appoinment with you if they feel this is necessary.
If you have to spend time in quarantine, you can sign up for the Student Buddy Service. Your student buddy can provide you with (online) moral support and company, and even help you out with practical matters like grocery shopping.
That depends on whether you will continue studying from home or not:
Will you continue studying from home?
If so, you can retain your student residence permit if:
- you contact the Visa Team to inform them of your situation;
- you remain registered as a student, continue paying tuition fees (if applicable) and follow your courses online; and
- you do not exceed the maximum period of stay outside The Netherlands as stipulated by the IND, i.e.
- if you returned home before 1 September 2020: you may spend max 12 months outside The Netherlands.
- if you returned home between 1 September 2020 and 1 March 2021: you must return to The Netherlands before 1 September 2021.
- If you returned home after 1 March 2021: you may spend max 6 months outside The Netherlands.
You can return to The Netherlands if your residence permit is still valid and you have not exceeded your maximum period of stay abroad. If your permit will expire whilst you are abroad or you exceed the maximum period of stay outside The Netherlands, please contact the Visa Team for instructions.
If you will not continue studying from home:
You must cancel your student registration via Studielink and notify the Visa Team. Your student residence permit will then be cancelled.
If you later want to come back to the Netherlands to pick up your studies, you must apply for a new visa/residence permit and request permission from your study programme. Contact the Visa Team for instructions.
- If you plan to leave the Netherlands for less than 8 months, you do not have to cancel your registration with the municipality. However, if you are ending your housing contract you should try to change your registration at the town hall to ‘registration at a postal address only’ (in Dutch: “briefadres”) if this is possible.
- If you plan to leave for longer than 8 months, or if you unexpectedly stay away for longer than 8 months, you must cancel your town hall registration.
Note for residence permit holders
If you have a Dutch residence permit, you must remain registered at a Dutch town hall, either at a residence or postal address, to remain entitled to your permit. If you wish to retain your residence permit, but you are unable to remain registered with the municipality or you have already cancelled your town hall registration, contact the Visa Team by email and we will look into possible solutions.
If you are leaving the Netherlands temporarily or permanently due to the corona situation, it is very important that you notify the Visa Team by email.
For the remainder of the second semester you can continue following your courses and taking assessments online. We understand that it may prove challenging to adapt to this form of education, but we encourage you to do your best to keep up with your studies. Take a look at the tips page for advice on how to successfully study online.
If, as a result of the corona measures, you are unable to obtain 50% of the required study credits for the academic year 2020-2021 or complete your premaster programme, please contact your study adviser or coordinator right away.
Previously, AON international student policy holders were insured in their home country for a maximum period of eight weeks. However, as many students will exceed this limit having returned to their home countries early, AON has decided to extend this period.
If you have a valid AON student insurance policy you will remain insured in your home country until 1 July 2021, on the following conditions:
- You remain registered as a student of Leiden University.
- You can demonstrate that you are continuing your studies online.
Please note that:
- During this extended period, you are insured for medical emergencies only.
- Costs amounting to a maximum of two times Dutch basic healthcare tariffs are covered.
- If your policy expires before 1 July 2021, you are only insured until your policy expiry date.
For further information, contact Aon student insurance.
- If you are registered as a resident in the Netherlands (BRP registration) you will be invited for a COVID 19 vaccination. You will receive an invitation by post from the RIVM.
- If you already received one vaccination in your home country with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you can receive your second dose of the vaccine in the Netherlands.*
- If you are not registered as a resident, but you are staying in The Netherlands for longer than one month, you can get vaccinated if:
- You are not yet vaccinated, or;
- You received one vaccination in your home country with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. You can receive your second vaccine in the Netherlands.*
- If you have a medical issue that is known to your Dutch GP, you may receive an earlier invitation directly from your GP.
- If you are doing an internship in the field of healthcare, please check with your internship provider whether you may also be eligible for earlier vaccination.
*If you already received a different kind of vaccine in your home country, unfortunately you cannot be vaccinated in the Netherlands. The Health Council of the Netherlands does not approve of mixing different kinds of vaccines, other than Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Make your appointment
If you meet the requirements for vaccination you can make an appointment by calling 0800-7070 (daily 08:00-20:00).
- We advise you to go for a free PCR-test 5 days after your arrival, to make sure you do not have the virus while getting vaccinated. Note: if you come from a high-risk region, a PCR-test and quarantine is mandatory. See the Dutch governments checklist for entering The Netherlands.
- If you have recently tested positive, you will have to wait 8 weeks from the date you tested positive before getting vaccinated.
At the vaccination location
- Please take these with you to the appointment:
- The letter from the RIVM and the completed questionnaire about your health (please note: only people who are registered at the municipality will receive this letter. If you didn’t receive a letter, you are still allowed to be vaccinated)
- Your ID-card or passport
- A face mask
- Wear clothing that allows easy access to your upper arm.
- You can bring someone to the appointment to help you.
- At the vaccination location, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire about your health. If you have any questions, an employee will be present to assist you. If needed, a doctor is present to advise you on health-related topics regarding the vaccine.
- You will be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
- After the vaccination, you will sit in a waiting room for 15 minutes. This is to make sure you are feeling well before you leave the venue. First aid is available at all times and doctors are always present at the location.
Compensation from DUO
You may be entitled to compensation from DUO.
This might include, for example, compensation for the expiration of your student finance or additional costs incurred due to falling behind.
I have fallen behind due to illness or caring responsibilities
If you have fallen behind in your studies because you or a family member have (had) coronavirus, because you have been caring for a sick family member or loved one, or because you are combining studying with looking after children who have to stay home, you can request financial support via the Regulations on financial support for students (FOS) if you fulfil all criteria. Contact your study adviser as quickly as possible to discuss your situation and study plan.
Even though teaching is now mostly online, the university is ensuring that you can continue following your study programme and that the education you receive continues, as always, to meet the highest standards of quality. In line with national policy, you are still required to pay tuition fee.
For advice and support, get in touch with the student counsellors.
On the university website you can find information about precautionary measures in the time of corona. Also take a look in the health and hygiene section of the corona FAQ and read this letter to international students regarding the start of the new academic year in September 2021.
For tips and advice on staying physically and mentally healthy in these exceptional circumstances, visit the Healthy University@home website.