ESL Leave of Absence Policy

  • A leave of absence can only be requested after a student completes at least one semester in the Intensive English Program and/or Intensive Bridge Program.

  • To request a leave of absence, a student should submit the Request for Leave of Absence Form to – If the form is approved by the ESL Associate Director or ESL Director, the student can commence the leave of absence.

Please note:

  1. A student may normally take a maximum of 1 leave
  2. The duration of the leave can be up to a maximum of 12 months
  3. A leave can normally be granted for the following reasons:
    Family Reasons (Pregnancy / birth / adoption of a child; Unusual or exceptional family care responsibilities)
    - Medical Reasons (Medical certification of inability to pursue studies for the duration of the requested leave)
    - Financial Reasons (Change in material circumstances)
  • Applications for leave should normally be made before the end of the registration period in the semester for which a leave is requested. Requests received after the end of the regular registration period, and approved, will be charged a $25.00 administration fee.

  • Applications for leave will be considered, and may be granted, by the ESL Associate Director or ESL Director. If a leave is not granted (e.g. because the reason for the leave does not fall under the approved reasons for a leave), the student has the option of withdrawing from the program.

  • A student whose leave of absence is equal to or exceeds two semesters will need to take the English placement test during the ESL Orientation week of the semester in which the student is returning to the program.

  • A student who does not return at the end of their approved leave of absence will be deemed to have withdrawn from the ESL Program. If the student wants to come back to the ESL Program, the student will need to submit an application for re-admission and pay the $150 processing fee.

  • International Students on a study permit who are on leave are eligible to stay in Canada for maximum 150 days but are not eligible to work on or off campus. If your leave is longer than 150 days then you will need to apply for a visitor status or leave Canada prior to 150 days. If you follow these regulations, then you will be considered in compliance with the immigration regulations. If you are on medical leave, please ensure you have necessary medical notes for you own record. If you are not on a study permit, you must abide by the conditions of your stay. If you require further clarification, please consult with the Internationalization Office at


English as a Second Language

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000