Is this program right for you?
This Program is currently suspended for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 terms.
Students who choose to study at Leiden University should be seeking the normal Dutch student experience. Students are placed into specific faculty (department) at Leiden and take courses alongside Dutch students. To be successful at Leiden, a student must be able to take steps to resolve their own problems and be comfortable with a high level of ambiguity.
AU students directly enroll in Leiden University, a premier university in The Netherlands with about 17,000 students. Leiden University offers a wide variety of courses in English each term. Students with advanced Dutch language skills can also take courses taught in Dutch. For more information on what it means to directly enroll in a foreign university please view our Direct Enrollment Information.
Most study abroad students choose from the wide variety of courses taught in English that are available in the following disciplines: Archaeology, Chinese Language & Culture, Creative & Performing Arts, Cultural Anthropology, Dutch Language & Culture, English Language & Literature, History, Japanese Language & Literature, Linguistics, Medicine & Bio-medicine, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Religious Studies & World Religions, and the Sciences (Mathematics & Natural Sciences). The current list of courses taught in English can be found on Leiden's website.
You can also browse the Study in Leiden
site specifically for study abroad students.
Students may also choose to participate in the Intensive Dutch Language Program that is offered for foreign students prior to the beginning of each term. This is generally a 3-4 week course. Students can receive AU language credit for this program.
Course Equivalency: Click here to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed. Read more about the course equivalency process and how AU counts study abroad credits on our Courses and Credits page.
The university libraries contain three million books and periodicals, including a unique collection of old maps and manuscripts. The university also houses an elaborate collection of prints and drawings, and there is an extensive collection of plants and herbs in the botanical gardens and the national herbarium, whose collections date to the 1600s. Students can access Internet in the PC rooms in the faculties and at the university computing centre.
Note on Leiden's Academic Schedule
Students participating in the optional Intensive Dutch language course that is offered prior to the beginning of standard semester should expect to arrive in early August for the fall term and early January for the spring term. There will be an international student orientation that will take place after the intensive Dutch courses and prior to the beginning of classes.
The exact finishing date will depend on your individual course and exam schedule. Exceptions for taking earlier/later exams are sometimes possible for international students, especially for those attending the fall semester. Please inquire about this possibility with your lecturer.
The Netherlands may be a small country, but its location and excellent infrastructure make it an important crossroads for trade and commerce within the European Union. The excellent Dutch transportation system makes exploration in and around the Netherlands a breeze.
Leiden is a very picturesque town with some 117,000 inhabitants. The bustling city center is criss-crossed with boat-lined canals, which are bordered by red brick roads. Walking -- and of course cycling -- are the best modes of transportation within the town. Since Leiden is a small city, all the university buildings are within walking or cycling distance. Because of the safe environment and the individual approach, students tend to feel at home quickly. International students are able to socialize easily in the many cafes around town.
There are also many student organizations that offer opportunities for social, cultural, and recreational activities. The University Sports Center offers outdoor facilities for sports such as tennis and football, as well as indoor facilities for badminton, fencing, etc. The Leiden Academic Art Center organizes courses in drama, music, dance, literature, photography, and visual arts. Moreover, it organizes public performances of all kinds. You can also explore the visiting students section of Leiden's website and further explore the many student clubs, activities, and services provided at the University of Leiden.
Housing and Meals
Students are responsible for coordinating their own housing for their term of study in Leiden. Several types of housing are available including (furnished and unfurnished) rooms in group houses or apartments (shared and individual). Prices range by type of housing and the number of roommates. All housing options have some kitchen facilities. Please see Leiden University's Web site for more information on the housing options for international students, the application process and deadlines.
Visa and Residence Permit Information
To study in The Netherlands, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter but they do need to apply for the Residence Permit to study after arrival. There are different rules for students from different countries, and there are procedures which must be followed. It is your responsibility to research and apply for any necessary entry visa and residence permit.
For more information, please visit these websites:
go to Practical Matters
go to Visas and Permits and check out the Visa Wizard
Once in the country, all international students will need to obtain a residence permit to study in The Netherlands. Some also need a so-called MVV, which is an entry visa. Requirements for the residence permits may differ. Students should check with the nearest Dutch consulate or embassy for the requirements. Information can also be found on the websites listed above.
***The costs for a residence permit for non-EU citizens are 433 Euro (July 2010); the costs for an MVV including a residence permit, are 438 Euro (November 2008). The costs for a residence permit for EU-citizens are considerably lower, 30 Euro (November 2008). ***