Leiden, the Netherlands

Students who are regularly enrolled at South Texas College of Law Houston, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, California Western School of Law and New England Law | Boston who have completed their first thirty hours of law school may spend a full semester studying law courses at the University of Leiden School of Law.

univ-leidenThe University of Leiden was founded in 1575 and currently has enrollment exceeding 15,000 students. It is a fully accredited, autonomous, government-financed university. The Law Faculty is one of eight faculties that comprise the university. Leiden Law School is the largest law school in The Netherlands, with approximately 5,000 law students enrolled in the various undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programs offered by the law school. The full-time teaching staff of the faculty numbers over 300.

The Country

Covering an area of 33,426km² (12,906 miles²), the Netherlands is one of Europe’s smallest countries, but also the most densely populated country in Europe. It is bordered by Belgium, Germany and the North Sea. A country famous for its cheese, tulips, wind-mills and cycling, it was indelibly influenced by the Spanish occupation of 1519 to 1581. This influence is still reflected in its culture and cuisine. A low, flat country with little geographical relief, nearly half of the country lies below sea level. In the northern region the weather is warmer and more moderate, while in the south, rain and wind are more commonly experienced. The official language is Dutch, but English is fast becoming a second language and is spoken, or understood, by most Dutch people. With its beautiful cities, art museums, theatres and tolerant cosmopolitan culture, the Netherlands has something to offer every traveller.

 The City and Leiden University

2netherlandsstreetLeiden, founded in the 12th century, has the oldest university in the Netherlands. It has several excellent museums, of which the Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal, devoted to the history of Leiden and its cloth-weaving industry, is one of the best-known. The Rijksmuseum voor Volkekunde exhibits cultural relics brought back from the East by Dutch sea traders. The history of the windmill is covered in the Molenmuseum de Valk. The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden has an Egyptian temple at its entrance, and a collection of Egyptian and Roman artifacts. The botanical garden at Rapenburg 73 was established in 1575.

Leiden Law School is located in the historic heart of Leiden. The Law School also has teaching and research facilities at its campus in The Hague: The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, allowing a unique collaboration with The Hague’s international legal institutions. For more information about Leiden Law School, please visit https://law.leiden.edu/about/leiden-law-school-the-keys-to-success.html.


Students will pre-select a course schedule from the course offerings at Leiden, subject to approval by the academic dean at their home school. Courses must be law-related cognate courses offered for credit in the Leiden law program. A sufficient number of courses are offered in English so that students will enroll in a minimum of six semester hours and a maximum of fifteen semester hours. Students will take the same type of examination, whether written or oral, as the other students regularly enrolled in those classes.

A variety of courses are taught in English each semester. While not every course is offered every semester, students will be provided with the course schedule each semester as it is made available from Leiden. For a list of course offerings, click here.


The credit hours transferred may be different in each Consortium school because of semester/trimester structure. (Example – At South Texas College of Law Houston 6 ECTS credit points = 3 semester hours credit) All credit hours transferred will be guided by principles established at the home school in keeping with the requirements of ABA Standards 304 and 305. Each course is taught for two hours per week. The number of class meetings varies per course but on average, each course lasts approximately ten weeks. Students are advised not to take more than three courses per semester based on the amount of preparatory time expected for each course. Grades earned in the Leiden Law program will transfer back to the home campus as pass/fail credits and not letter grades.

Tuition and Fees

Students attending a semester in Leiden from one of the participating schools will pay tuition and fees, if any, to their home institution on the same basis as though they were enrolled at the home institution. (Example: South Texas College of Law Houston students enrolled for 12 -15 hours at the University of Leiden will pay tuition and fees to South Texas College of Law Houston according to the established tuition schedule for full-time students and would pay no tuition to the University of Leiden School of Law.)

For an estimate of current living expenses in Leiden, please click here. Students are required to have an insurance policy to cover illness, hospitalization and repatriation expenses for the duration of the semester in Leiden. We estimate that a policy of this type would cost about $300 per semester, but the actual cost for this policy will vary depending on the carrier, deductible and coverage provided. In addition, an allowance for round-trip coach airfare will added to this budget, currently estimated at $2000 per student (actual costs may vary). Financial aid is available.


Like most Dutch universities, Leiden does not have a campus. The majority of the university buildings are in or near the Center of town. The Office for Postgraduate Studies will, upon admission into the program, assist students in finding suitable accommodations, as it manages a variety of buildings in town. Students generally have their own rooms, but share sanitary and kitchen facilities with others. The office has a number of rooms reserved especially for exchange students, and furnished rooms are also available. The quality varies with the price, which will average approximately $400-$600 United States per month (525 Dfl).

Faculty and Program Director

Ms. M. D. M. (Magali) Dirven of the University of Leiden serves as the on-site exchange officer for incoming international students who want to study abroad through an exchange agreement..

Classrooms and Administration

The Office for Leiden Law Courses is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. The office can be reached by telephone on these days from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The office can also be reached by e-mail at intlprog@law.leidenuniv.nl.

Classes will be held in the regular classroom utilized by the normal curriculum. Classrooms range from adequate to good. There is sufficient seating, writing spaces and lighting. Acoustics are good, even in the older faculty buildings.

Computer rooms are available to all students, including foreign students. Personal computers are available for student use within the law school. E-mail, Internet, Lexis/Nexis are available at no charge.

Facilities in the Netherlands are generally not as accessible to individuals with disabilities as American facilities are. Individuals with special needs should contact Assistant Dean Morrow at South Texas College of Law Houston at 713-646-1825 to see if accommodations can be arranged.

Application Procedure

You can apply to become a guest student at the University of Leiden if you have completed at least 30 semester credits and you are in good standing as determined by your home school standards.

Information on applying to be an exchange student is here and the admission requirements can be found at this link:  

Students from South Texas College of Law Houston who are interested in applying for one of the five open slots to spend a semester in Netherlands should contact Assistant Dean Morrow at (713) 646-1825, email at wmorrow@stcl.edu or stop by Room 835T.

If you have an interest in practicing international law or have always wanted to immerse yourself in the culture of another country while earning course credit, this may be your chance to accomplish both objectives and enjoy the experience of Europe as well.

Under terms of our cooperative agreement, students are not required to pay tuition or fees to the University of Leiden. South Texas College of Law Houston students continue to pay normal tuition and fees to South Texas College of Law Houston during the period of study abroad.


If a state department advisory is issued warning of inherent danger in traveling to or living in The Netherlands, students will be advised of same in writing and be allowed to withdraw from their semester abroad and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for housing, which is not included in the program costs paid to the school.

If changes are made in the course offerings or other significant aspects of the cooperative program, those changes will be promptly communicated to any applicant who has paid a deposit or registered for the program, and a full refund of all fees paid will be issued to the applicant.

Academic Requirements and Application Information

To participate in study abroad programs, law students must have completed the first year of study or its equivalent in part-time study and be in good academic standing as determined by their home institution. Check each program for application deadlines. For information and application forms, email Assistant Dean Wanda Morrow .