Leave of absence
Upon application Antrag, you may take a leave of absence from your studies if you
- want to study at a foreign university or a language school,
- take up a practical activity or internship in line with the goals of your studies,
- are unable to attend courses because of illness and when the illness would impede completion of the studies to be expected in that semester,
- take up voluntary military service, a voluntary social year, or a voluntary ecological year,
- care for or nurse your marriage partner, your registered life partner, a relative in direct ascending line, or a relative in direct ascending line of your marriage partner when this person is in need of care or nursing,
- are unable to complete the studies to be expected because of pregnancy or having to care for children,
- have to serve a prison sentence,
- take over the office of vice-dean,
- are absent from the university in the service of Bielefeld University or through working on a research project
- are in economic difficulties as defined in § 14 RVO-StKFG of the state law of North Rhine–Westphalia, under the condition that this was not the reason for a leave of absence in the previous semester
- are enrolled as doctoral student at Bielefeld University and are unable to/ do not stay at the university location Bielefeld for an important reason
- provide proof of other important reasons for a leave of absence that are of equal significance.
In principle, you must apply for a leave of absence at the Studierendensekretariat within the re-enrolment period [Rückmeldezeitraum], or, by the latest, on
- November 15 for the winter semester and
- May 15 for the summer semester
Your leave of absence then replaces your re-enrolment. You cannot take a leave of absence in the first academic semester – except if you are studying a Master’s or PhD degree programme. You may also not take a leave of absence retroactively.
When on leave of absence, you are not permitted to acquire credit points or take examinations. This does not apply (a) for leaves of absence due to caring for and rearing children; (b) for leaves of absence due to caring for or nursing marriage partners, registered life partners, a relative in direct ascending line, or a relative in direct ascending line of the marriage partner when this person is in need of care or nursing; or (c) for the repetition of failed examinations; or (d) for credit points gained through a semester abroad or an internship semester.
Leave of absence is generally granted for the length of one semester. A leave of absence beyond one semester is only permissible upon confirmation of exceptional reasons. It is granted under the condition that the student reconfirms the reason for extending the leave of absence for each successive semester and submits the necessary documents in each re-enrolment period.