Student and staff exchange
Starting a partnership and signing an exchange agreement is just the first step in facilitating student and staff mobility. Staff and student exchange at Leiden University is administered by international coordinators at faculty and central level.
Once a student exchange agreement has been signed - and dependent on the start date listed in the agreement - it becomes active. At that point Leiden students can apply to go on exchange to that partner, and the partner can nominate students to come to Leiden on exchange. Outbound Leiden students apply through the ‘owner’ of the agreement. In other words, if the partnership is institution-wide, the owner is International Relations. If it is a faculty agreement, the faculty is the owner and the agreement is managed by the faculty or programme’s International Coordinator.
As most partnerships works on the principle of balance between the numbers of incoming and outgoing students, there are a limited number of places at each partner each year. Consequently there is a deadline - dependent on whether students are applying for university-wide or faculty partners - and a selection process based on gpa and motivation. You can familiarise yourself with the process for university-wide partners on the International Relations student website. Information on faculty or programme processes can be found on their respective websites.
Once selected, students are guided through the application process for the partner university by their exchange coordinator. Students can apply for scholarships through the Leiden Scholarship department depending on where they are going on exchange. At the partner university there are processes in place to help support international exchange students during their stay.
Likewise, once an agreement is active staff exchange in both directions may begin if it has been included in the agreement. For Erasmus staff exchange the agreement is managed by the faculty/programme International coordinator; staff wishing to apply for an Erasmus+ stipend to support exchange to an Erasmus + partner can find information about the application process on the website of the Scholarships office.
Safety regulations and travel restrictions
Leiden University will not send students on exchange to a region which is not considered to be safe (or which becomes unsafe). There are also restrictions on staff travel. For more information on travel restrictions, see Safety abroad and crisis management.
Information for lecturers on admission of exchange students
Next year the Faculty of Humanities is expecting to welcome approximately 300 exchange students per semester on basis of exchange agreements made by the Faculty and the University in order to allow Leiden students to study abroad via an exchange student as part of their Leiden study programme.
These incoming students generally follow courses from various study programmes and are not bound to a specific study programme, which often makes it difficult for them to figure out who they can contact with questions about courses and procedures. For course registration, their first point of contact is the incoming exchange students’ coordinator for the Faculty of Humanities, Linda Huizinga-Coolen. For more general procedures surrounding enrolment, housing and visa, the students’ first point of contact is the Admissions Office.
To ensure a smooth procedure and guarantee that students receive clear information, we have outlined below the procedure for admission to courses and registration of incoming exchange students.
- In the spring, the incoming exchange students’ coordinator discusses with the study coordinators how many exchange students can be admitted per course.
- The first points of contact for incoming exchange students are the Admissions Office and the exchange coordinator. Students are therefore not permitted to directly contact the lecturer! They have to be referred to their coordinator in the process of registration.
- The exchange coordinator keeps track of how many students are being admitted to courses so that the maximum number is not exceeded and lectures are not attended by students who lack the required prior knowledge. Should there nevertheless be a risk of too many registrations, the exchange coordinator contacts the study coordinator.
- Despite the fact that prior to their arrival, exchange students are required to have a complete study plan, it still often happens that courses have to be changed after the students’ arrival.
In such cases, students have a tendency to directly approach the lecturer to seek admission, but once again, admission must proceed via the exchange coordinator. To this end, additional consultation hours are organised at the start of each semester at the Lipsius helpdesk. Students from Faculty of Humanities’ partners are invited for an intake interview to look through their study plan and immediately resolve any potential problems. Students are registered for lectures, seminars and tests at central level in uSis.
- Exchange students may approach lecturers for special regulations regarding examinations. Exchange students are in principle subject to compulsory attendance during the examination period, with one important exception. Some exchange students have to return home before Christmas because the semester at their home university already starts in January. If an examination is planned for January, the student may request a different examination opportunity. He or she should preferably notify the lecturer of this at the start of the semester. For help and information, students can contact the exchange coordinator.