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 at VU's discretion, based on an assessment of your circumstances (if you need more time away, please contact your college directly).

If you are enrolled in a standard semester or a First year unit block study period, you only need to apply for intermission for the respective mandatory semesters (Sem 1 and 2). Please do not select Summer (Sem 3) or Winter school (Sem 4) study periods.

If you are a domestic student enrolled in Trimesters you need to select the respective mandatory Trimester 1 & 2 periods. 

Other than in exceptional circumstances, intermission can only be granted prior to census date. Applications submitted after census date will be subject to financial and academic penalties.

Domestic student intermission

Domestic higher education students must submit applications online via MyVU.


  • Health & Biomedicine or Engineering & Science students: we encourage you to discuss planned intermission with your college first, to ensure that the correct study sequence is followed.
  • If you experience any difficulties in applying online, please visit your nearest VUHQ Student Centre or call +61 9919 6100.

Important information for domestic students: 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 student intermission

There are only certain compassionate and compelling situations where you may be granted intermission. These include, 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.

International students applying for intermission

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.

International student applications are assessed based on the rules set down by the Australian Government (the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018).

If your application for intermission is not approved and you still wish to take a break, 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 alert

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 Home Affairs that you have been granted a leave of absence. Taking a leave of absence may affect your student visa. To talk to the Department of Home Affairs for advice, phone 131 881.

After your intermission

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.

Important information for 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 (CoE) will be cancelled. This may have an impact on your student visa if you are an international student.