Take an intermission

If you need time away from your studies, you can apply for an intermission (also known as leave of absence). Intermission is usually granted for a maximum of 12 months. It's granted at the University's discretion based on an assessment of your circumstances. If you wish to apply for a longer intermission please contact your college directly.

If you're a Health & Biomedical or Engineering student, we encourage you to discuss the intermission with your college first to ensure the correct study sequence is followed.

You only need to apply for intermission for the mandatory semesters, (Sem 1 and 2), not for Summer (Sem 3) or Winter school (Sem 4).

Other than in exceptional circumstances intermission can only be granted prior to the census date.

Reasons for intermission

Whether you are a domestic student or an international student, you will need to indicate the reason for your leave of absence when submitting your application.

International students

If you are an international student, there are only certain compassionate and compelling situations where you may be granted intermission such as, but are not limited to:

  • serious illness or injury
  • death of a close family member such as parents or grandparents, husband/wife or child
  • major political upheaval or natural disaster in your home country requiring emergency travel, which has affected your studies
  • traumatic experiences such as being involved in an accident or being the victim of a serious crime
  • unavailability of prerequisite units
  • an academic progress decision resulting in an intervention strategy.

We can only grant an intermission if something has happened that you can’t control and it has affected your ability to study. When submitting your application, you will need to provide any evidence or documentation (such as a medical certificate) that supports your reason for applying.

Apply for intermission

Domestic students

Domestic student must submit applications online via the MYVU Portal.

Applications for intermission submitted after the census date will be subject to financial and academic penalties.

International students

If you decide to apply, you must submit an Application for intermission form and include:

  • a signed personal statement; and
  • certified or original copies of any of the relevant supporting documents.

Submit your completed application for approval by email to intenrol@vu.edu.au (and include scanned copies of all relevant documentation). Scanners can be accessed at the library or at VUHQ.

We will assess your application based on the rules set down by the Australian Government (the National Code 2007).

If your application for intermission is not approved and you still wish to take a break from your studies, you may still do so, however, you will be required to discontinue your course, and re-apply by submitting an international student application.

Check the International Student Refund policy to see how taking an intermission will affect your student fees for that semester.

Visa information for international students

Please be aware that taking an intermission can affect your visa. Before requesting an intermission (leave of absence) you should speak to an International Student Support advisor to discuss your options.

If your application for intermission is approved, we will notify the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that you have been granted a leave of absence. Taking a leave of absence may affect your student visa. To talk to DIBP for advice, phone 131 881.

Short-term Leave of Absence for international students

If you need to take a short-term absence (less than 10 days) for overseas travel you can apply for a short-term leave of absence, which may be permitted for the following reasons.

  • You are returning home to undertake short-term medical treatment.
  • A sudden or unexpected family emergency which requires you to go home (e.g. illness or death of an immediate family member).
  • You need to attend an immediate family member’s wedding or funeral. An immediate family member is classified as a partner (spouse or de facto partner), brother, sister, parents or grandparents.

Please note: short-term leave of absence is not available to domestic students.

Apply for short-term leave

You need to submit an application for short-term by submitting the following documents:

  • a personal statement indicating the reason for your request for a short term leave of absence
  • supporting documentation (e.g. a letter from a medical practitioner outlining the medical treatment you require; a copy of wedding invitation or medical certificate of your immediate family member) to support your application
  • written confirmation from all of your Course/Unit Coordinators indicating knowledge of your absence and the type of study support and assistance to be provided to you
  • a copy of your airline ticket showing date of your departure and return to Australia.

Submit your completed application for approval by email to intenrol@vu.edu.au (and include scanned copies of all relevant documentation).

If your short-term leave of absence is approved, you will be provided with a short-term leave of absence confirmation letter, which you may be required to present to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) upon your return to Australia.

In the event that you are not able to return to Australia after the approved short-term leave of absence, you will need to apply for intermission or discontinue your course and then apply for admission.

After your intermission

Domestic and international students

After your period of intermission you will be contacted by the University with instructions on how and when you are to enrol.

If you pre-enrolled for a full year of study, and you take an intermission for Semester 1, you will be expected to return in Semester 2. If you decide not to return in Semester 2, you will need to apply to discontinue your studies or apply for a second intermission.

If you do not enrol by the deadline you may lose your place in the course and be subject to late enrolment and reinstatement penalties should you wish to resume your studies.

International students

If you decide not to return to study after the approved intermission period, your enrolment will become inactive and your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) will be cancelled. This may have an impact on your student visa if you are an international student.