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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Leiden, Netherlands
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: W&M applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Leiden Logo


Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. Consistently ranked among the top universities in the Netherlands and internationally, Leiden has cultivated a strong global presence in research and teaching. Over 26,900 students attend Leiden, 4,000 of which are international, making the Leiden community a very student-oriented city with an international atmosphere.
The historic city of Leiden is situated in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands, which is very centrally located in Europe and provides a base from which to explore many other countries. The main train station is in the center of the city and offers direct access to Amsterdam (less than 30 minutes by train), The Hague, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Automotive traffic in the city is fairly light, with most residents making their way by bicycle and on foot. The weather in Leiden is warm during the summer months but characterized by clouds and cooler temperatures in the winter months.

Academic Year: Early September - July
Fall Semester: Early September - late December/January (orientation in late August)
Spring Semester: Early February - July (orientation in late January)

Academic Year: TBD (late February/early March)
Fall Semester: TBD (late February/early March)
Spring Semester: September 1

After nomination by W&M, students are required to complete an online Leiden application indicating their preferred courses. Deadline is October 15 (Spring) and April 1 (Fall and Academic Year). You are highly advised to apply as early as possible. Courses have a limited capacity and places are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you apply at the last minute, it can be challenging to gain admission to sufficient courses. You will also have less time to arrange important pre-departure practicalities, such as housing. Students will be notified of acceptance once courses are approved by the specific Leiden academic departments. Students will finalize courses on the online registration system prior to the start of the program.

W&M Junior or Senior* in good standing; minimum 3.2 GPA
 *Seniors must submit (and receive approval for) a Policy Waiver Request to the Committee on Degrees

Course Information:
Although most classes are taught in Dutch, a great number of the university's classes across an array of disciplines are taught in English. A list of courses for international students, along with further information about studying at Leiden, can be found on Leiden's Study Abroad/Exchange website. Even though a course is listed as open for international students, it is difficult to get into specific courses. Leiden is a good option for students who are very flexible in the courses they can take. Students should have an academic background that is relevant to the courses they are applying for. For some courses, specific prerequisite knowledge is required – see the prospectus for details.
Language courses are not available as regular exchange program courses. The University’s Academic Language Centre offers Dutch language courses for a fee. However, international students can register for the free online Dutch language course "Dutch & More," which has been developed for international students. Once students have completed the SPOC successfully, they can register for the Dutch 1B course at Leiden's Academic Language Centre for just 75 euros.
Leiden uses ECTS credits:
5 ECTS credits = 2.5 W&M credits 
6 ECTS credits = 3 W&M credits
8 ECTS credits = 4 W&M credits

The standard courseload is ​15-30 ECTS per semester for non-degree students. All W&M students must have at least 12 W&M equivalent credits.

Except for History, all courses must be pre- or post-approved. History courses will be automatically approved as HIST 299 once students submit a syllabus to the Global Education Office. Grades will not appear on W&M transcripts or be included in GPA calculations.

Program Fees:
The tuition exchange agreement between William & Mary and University of Leiden allows W&M students to pay their regular tuition and fees to W&M while taking classes at Leiden. Students will pay for housing, meals, and other fees on site in Leiden.

Students are also billed a $475 study abroad fee. International medical/evacuation insurance is required for all students who study abroad and a fee of $170 is applied to the students account prior to the start of the program. Students are responsible for airfare and visa costs. 

Students participating in semester-long study abroad programs must have a visa and/or required entry documents. Please familiarize yourself with the requirements prior to applying and begin the application process immediately after you are nominated for the program. As a reminder, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the program.

Housing and Meals: 
Room and board are paid on site in Leiden. Leiden University does not have a central campus or student dormitories. Students live in accommodation rented via housing organizations and landlords. The Leiden University Housing Office does reserve a limited number of rooms for international students each year, but due to high demand and limited availability, the Housing Office cannot guarantee accommodation to all applicants.

Prospective students are thus advised to apply for housing in a very early stage, and to pay the housing application fee (€350) as early as possible after application, and well before the housing application deadline of June 1st for the Fall semester and November 15th for the Spring semester. An application for housing can be submitted via the application portal as soon as their application for admission has been submitted. There is no need to await a decision on their application for admission to Leiden. More information on housing fees and deposits is on the Leiden website. 

There are housing options in Leiden, which is student-centered, and The Hague, which has a more diverse, international population. 

For more information on how to apply, please review the Apply/Register section of our website.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.