Universiteit Leiden

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Studying abroad

Leiden University offers countless possibilities to study or follow an internship abroad. This will, literally, open up a new world for you, boost your chances on the job market and allow you to develop as a person.

Why should you study abroad?

Studying or doing an internship abroad broadens your horizons in so many ways:

  • It exposes you to different educational systems and cultures.
  • It looks good on your CV and increases your chances on the job market.
  • It enlarges your network and helps you meet people from all over the world.
  • It’s good for your personal development.
  • It improves your language skills.
  • Now is the ideal time to gain international experience; it’ll be much more difficult later.

When can you study abroad?

It can be during or after your bachelor’s or master’s programme. The possibilities are listed below.

The most obvious time to study abroad is during your bachelor's programme. You have a great deal of freedom in the electives you can choose and any credits you attain abroad invariably count towards your total at Leiden University.

We recommend that students who are following a two-year master’s or research master’s do part of it abroad, if your curriculum allows. As you will be delving much deeper into the material, you’ll find it a really worthwhile experience. You can also go abroad if you’re doing a one-year master’s, but this is usually more difficult. Your study adviser can help.

You can choose to go abroad after completing your studies to follow, for example, an additional master’s programme. But bear in mind that you will have to make all the arrangements yourself as you are no longer a student of Leiden University.

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Exchange programmes

The easiest way to study abroad is to participate in an exchange programme. At Leiden University we offer exchange programmes with hundreds of international universities. Some of these are among the best universities in the world, such as the University of Melbourne, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan. The main advantages are that you won’t have to pay the foreign university’s tuition fees and the credits you earn will count towards your own programme. We have several exchange programmes that enable you to go abroad:

The Erasmus Programme is an exchange programme of the European Union. Agreements with European universities are mainly made at programme or faculty level, so you can apply for a foreign university through your own faculty or programme management.

If you want to participate in an exchange programme outside Europe, you can go abroad via a university-wide agreement. See our exchange website for further information.

ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) is a US exchange programme, with participating universities all over the world. You can also do an internship through ISEP. If you want to join an ISEP programme, you must first take part in Leiden University’s internal selections procedure. Contact the International Relations Team for full details.  

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