Universiteit Leiden

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Virtual Exchange

Leiden University offers students the opportunity to follow online courses that award study credits, thus avoiding the necessity of travelling abroad.

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Students can obtain study credits in their optional subjects and/or in their honours programme for following online academic courses given by Leiden University, or by a partner organisation. 


  • Step towards a regular exchange programme
    Students who (at the moment) are unable to spend time abroad can still follow one or more subjects at a foreign university.
  • Enriching the degree programme
    Students have a wider choice of subjects to follow that are not offered by their own university or that are more in depth.
  • Flexible learning
    The material is available online 24/7. Students can 'attend' the lectures and do the assignments when it suits them.
  • Skills
    Online teaching makes a positive contribution to the development of digital and intercultural communicatio skills. Students also work on building an international network.

Range of online courses

Leiden University and the partner organisations offer around 20 online courses. The subjects all fall within the elective credits of the degree programme and are accessible for students enrolled at one of the participating universities.


The exams for the courses we offer always take place at Leiden University. The Leiden Virtual Exchange team will arrange a location where you can make the exam. They will inform you about the practical details in due time. Some courses have a final assignment instead of a final exam. If that’s the case, there will be no exam at Leiden University.

Grade registration in Usis

In order to register your grade for the course in Usis, we ask you to do the following things:

  1. Send your transcript to the exchange coordinator of your faculty.
    After you have passed your Virtual Exchange course, you will receive a transcript from the guest university where you followed the course. Here, you will find your grade for the course and the amount of credits that you will receive for it. The exchange coordinator will make sure that your transcript will be forwarded to the right people within your faculty, so your grade for the course can be registered in Usis.
  2. Submit a request for registration for the course in Usis.
    We ask you to register for the course in Usis after you have passed it. You can choose from the following options, depending on the part of your study programme you want the course to be part of:

    1. You follow an online course at Leiden University: then you have to submit a registration for ‘vervanging’.
    2. You follow an online course outside of Leiden University, at a guest university: then you have to submit your registration for ‘extern onderwijs’. The course will then be listed under your other exchange courses.
    3. You follow an online course as extra-curricular: then you have to submit a registration as ‘extracurriculair’. (PLEASE NOTE: This option does not apply for students from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.)

PLEASE NOTE: If you follow a Virtual Exchange course as part of your honours programme, there will be a different procedure. Please contact your honours coordinator for more questions about how to register your grade for the course in Usis.

Participating universities

Range of courses

View the range of online courses. The universities make regulatr additions to the range of courses.

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