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Semester of Leave

A semester of leave is an official interruption in studies, during which as a rule no academic performance can be achieved. A semester of leave is not taken into account in regard to the standard study period and does not count as a study semester.

An official interruption of studies may be necessary due to the most different reasons, amongst others:

  • illness
  • stay abroad
  • family reasons
  • work in the student self-administration.

A semester of leave can be taken for four semesters maximum.
Performance records and tests achievements may not be produced.
A suspension is not permitted during the first semester.

An application for suspension can be made until the end of the re-registration period of the respective semester – the latest within one month after the start of the lectures.

The formal pre-conditions for a semester of leave may be interpreted differently by the respective universities. Accordingly, it is very important that you will inform yourself at your university!

Study Secretariat TU Clausthal


What impacts has a semester of leave in regard to the study financing?
Which further factors should be considered?

You have to know that within this phase, although you are a registered student, you do not have a real student status in all respects.

The BAföG department must be informed about the semester of leave: there is no entitlement to BAföG during that period! If you should should take a semester of leave retrospectively and have already received BAföG for that time, the BAföG department will reclaim the money.

Health insurance
If you have a family insurance via your parents, you can keep using it, the same counts for the student compulsory insurance. Here you have to consider the income limit in regard to marginal employment, , otherwise the compulsory insurance for employees will be applied (see  part-time work).
If you have a private health insurance via your parents (state aid), you should mind the following passage on child benefit, as state aid and child benefit are directly connected. That means that if the child benefit is cancelled, there is no entitlement to state aid any longer as well.

Child benefit
Generally, there is no entitlement to child benefit during a semester of leave, but there are exceptions.

There is no entitlement to child benefit in case of suspension due to:

  • committee work,
  • upbringing or
  • employment

There is an ongoing entitlement to child benefit in case of suspension due to:

  • illness
  • internship (content-related to studies)
  • exam preparation
  • language acquisition abroad
  • maternity period

You will find the detailed regulations at the Dienstanweisung zum Kindergeld Punkt A 14.7

Part-time work
The  working student status is forfeited, that means: if you regularly earn more than 450 euros from a minijob, you will be subject to full  social insurance contributions as employee, a possible family insurance or student compulsory insurance is cancelled (see  health insurance).

Unemployment benefit (ALG) I/ALG II/Housing allowance

As there is no entitlement to BAföG, there is the option to apply for eitherALG IALG II or housing allowance – naturally in accordance with the respective pre-conditions (e.g. right to ALG I, availability, neediness…).

(Half-) orphan pension
There is no entitlement as the pre-condition are current educational training and the fact that the main time is spent on the course of studies.

Study loans
Whether a study loan may still be obtained during a semester of leave differs in regard to the provider (as a rule rather not). The reason for a semester of leave can also play a role.