Universiteit Leiden

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Application procedure

To apply for an exchange or study abroad programme at Leiden University, you must first select the individual courses or projects you want to follow. Each of your course requests will then be evaluated by the relevant faculty. Once you receive faculty approval for at least 15 EC worth of courses or projects (per semester), you will be admitted as an exchange/study abroad student.

Step 1: Nomination / Pre-application

Leiden University must first receive notification that you wish to apply via one of the following methods:

Are you a student at one of our partner universities? If so, your home university must first nominate you via Leiden University’s online nomination system. 

  • Contact your home university's study abroad coordinator to find out how and when to arrange nomination.
  • Not sure if your university is a partner? Check with your home university's study abroad coordinator

Do you want to join us as an independent fee-paying study abroad student? Or are you an EU/EEA* student applying for a traineeship, internship or research project?

*Note: non-EU/EEA applicants for traineeships, internships or research projects do not need to submit a pre-application form. Instead, contact your prospective faculty's International Exchange Coordinator for information on what steps to take. 

Step 2: Online application

After the nomination/pre-application deadline, we will verify we have received all the information we need, then invite you to submit an online application as follows:  

  1. You will receive an email with your Leiden University account (ULCN). Follow the instructions in the email to activate your ULCN account.
  2. You will also receive an email inviting you to submit your application, with a link to Leiden University’s online application portal (uSis). Log into uSis using your ULCN account.
  3. Complete your application in uSis by entering all the requested data and uploading the required documents.
  4. Create your personal study programme by selecting courses/projects - see next section.

Will you follow taught courses?

First choose the courses you want to follow. On the selecting courses page you can read how to search for courses, how to check they are suitable for you, and if there is any faculty-specific information you should take into consideration. 

Next, add your courses to your online application as follows: 

  1. Go to the Courses/Project section of your online application.
  2. At the 'Taught courses' sub-section, add courses by clicking on the ‘+’.
  3. In the ‘search for courses’ screen, search for your chosen course.
  4. Select your chosen course by clicking on the title in the list.
  5. If you will also follow a project/internship, add it by following the steps below. 
  6. Once you have added all your courses/projects, click on 'Next' and then 'Submit'.

Will you do a project or internship?

First, obtain approval for your project/internship from the Leiden University faculty or institute in question. See the Projects and internships and Research opportunities page for details.

Next, add your project/internship to your online application as follows:

  1. Go to the Courses/Project section of your online application.
  2. At the 'Project/internship' sub-section, enter the requested information. If you are unsure what to enter, check with your future Leiden faculty or institute.
  3. Once you have added all your projects/internships (and any taught-courses if applicable) click on 'Next' and then 'Submit'.
  • After submitting your application and course/project selection, the Mobility Team will check everything is complete and let you know if more information is required.
  • Your course/project requests will then be sent to the relevant faculties for assessment. You will receive notification by email each time a decision is made on one of your courses/projects. Log into uSis to see details of the decision.
  • Once you have faculty approval for at least 15 EC of courses/projects per semester, you will be admitted as an exchange/study abroad student at Leiden University. You will then receive an email notifying you of your admission and instructing you to download your official 'offer of admission' from the portal. 
  • Make sure you are admitted to enough courses to meet any minimum credit (EC) requirements set by your home university before arrival. If you are not admitted to a course or find out you need to do more, you can submit additional course requests in uSis until 1 July for the Fall semester, and 1 December for the Spring semester.
  • Visit the Prepare your stay pages to learn about the important practical matters you will need to arrange.
  • Look into student housing! Affordable accommodation is in short supply so it is essential you arrange housing early. You can request university housing via the online application portal (uSis). There’s no need to await a decision on your application before doing so.
  1. Very important - let us know you’re coming! You can do so on the Confirm screen in uSis.
  2. Meet any conditions of admission: check in uSis if you have to meet any conditions and how to do so. 
  3. Independent fee-paying students only: pay your tuition fee. You will receive an invoice and instructions roughly 10 weeks before the start of your studies.
  4. Prepare for your studies at Leiden University!

How long will it take to process my application?

About six weeks for complete applications, although please bear in mind that processing times vary. You can keep track of your admission status in the online application portal (uSis). If several weeks pass without any updates in your online application, please contact us.

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