Leave of absence

A break from uni
Image: Jan-Peter Kasper (University of Jena)

Take a rest to come back even stronger

There are situations in life in which you may be unable or not want to study. A leave of absence from your studies may then be a reasonable option. As a general rule of thumb, you must be absent from your studies for at least 6 weeks of the lecture period to apply for a leave of absence. Possible reasons may be, for example, bringing up a child, own illness, an internship abroad, studying abroad, participation in organs within student bodies or student services organizations, or military service / social service. However, if you “only” want to work, it is not possible to claim a leave of absence. In such cases, part-time studies may be the right choice for you.

  • What reasons for a break are there?

    Except of work, anything is possible as a reason for a leave of absence if it results in you missing at least six weeks of the lecture period within the current course of studies:

    • family duties with children
    • caring for a family member
    • own illness
    • a study-related stay abroad
    • internship
    • active participating in university bodies and the student services organization
    • voluntary military service and federal volunteer service
    • other reasons if corresponding proof is provided.
  • Evidence and documentation

    It is always necessary to prove the time restrictions before taking a leave of absence. Here are some possible proofs:

    • a medical certificate with the duration and scope of impairment
    • the maternity log (“Mutterpass”) or the child’s birth certificate
    • an internship contract or agreement and confirmation by the subject-specific advisor or examinations office
    • exact information regarding location, type, start, and end date of the stay abroad, the type of mobility programme claimed as well as confirmation by the subject-specific advisor/relevant examinations office, and confirmation from the International Office
    • confirmation, e.g. from the Student Representative Council regarding the type and scope of activity.

    Please submit the proof along with the relevant application to the Student Service Centre. If you are uncertain which documents may be necessary, please visit the Student Service Centre or contact us via service deskExternal link.

  • What deadlines must I bear in mind?

    Leave of absence must always be requested BEFORE the start of the respective semester. In justified exceptional cases, a leave of absence is also possible during the current semester. A retrospective leave of absence for a completed semester is not possible.

    If the semester ticket is not required and you also want to do without the other components (use the infrastructure from studierendenwwerk, insurance and so on ...), please contact the Student Service Centre before the beginning of semester. In this case it is not necessary to pay the semester fee. If the leave is ready for decision until late to the re-registration deadline for the coming semester requested, the payment woult be dispensable at their own request. If the application is ready for decision after the re-registration deadline but before the beginning of the semester, contributions an, if applicable, fees would have to be paid first; in the case of a leave of absence until teh beginning of the semester a refund would be possible afterwards.

  • What about examinations?

    In principle, no study and examniation achievements within the scope of the Basic Law may be made during the leave of absence. In some cases, however, there are also exceptions (see in particular § 17 (6) of the Matriculation Regulation). Very important, of course, is the appropriate coordination with yout competent examination office.

  • Which other aspects are also important?

    During your leave of absence, you may not be entitled to specific state services. If you have not paid the semester fee, your semester ticket and the insurance from the student services organization Studierendenwerk are put on ice. Please always clarify the details with the relevant points of contacts.

  • Special features for non-EU students with a residence permit

    If the reason for your leave of absence is a longer stay outside Germany, e.g. studying abroad, please note the following important information regarding your residence permit:

    1) Please contact your competent Immigration Office (IO) approx. 6-8 weeks before departure to register your planned stay abroad of 1-2 semesters. If possible, send a certificate of acceptance (e.g. admission) from the host institution and provide information about yourself and your planned stay (student data, planned length of stay, planned place of residence / country, copy of the currently valid residence permit (RP), which must still be valid for the entire planned length of stay; if the RP validity is shorter, an extension must be applied for approx. 6-8 weeks before departure).

    2) If you receive a re-entry certificate from the IO, you can re-enter the country without having to apply for a new entry visa for Germany.

    3) If the initially planned duration of stay in the same or in another country is to be extended, the IO must also be informed in good time. Short visits between two stays abroad are not sufficient for maintaining the RP. In case of re-entry before the 6 months have expired, a longer stay in Germany (continuation of studies for at least 1 semester) would have to follow. It is therefore recommended to apply for the RP extension for the entire period (12 months) from the outset, provided that all the information and evidence required for this is available in full.


Young fathers can also take a leave of absence provided that they are responsible for caring for their child. In such cases, the child’s birth certificate and confirmation that father and child live in the same household should be submitted.

Student Service Centre

Opening hours:
Mondays (10:00 – 12:00)
Tuesdays (13:00 – 15:00)
Wednesdays (10:00 – 12:00)
Thursdays (13:00 – 15:00)
Fridays (10:00 – 12:00)

You can also use our remote help desk at
or send us your enquiries by post.

Telephone hours:
Mondays to Fridays
(9:00 – 11:00)

Postal address:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
07737 Jena