Withdrawal and leave of absence

Before you discontinue your studies at La Trobe University or take a leave of absence, it is strongly recommend that you discuss the matter with your Faculty Adviser, International Student Services team at La Trobe International or counselling services.

Withdrawal (Discontinuation of Enrolment)

Course withdrawal is also known as discontinuation of enrolment. It is important that you are certain of your decision, as after you withdraw from a course, you are no longer an enrolled student at La Trobe.

Discussion with a Lecturer or Course Coordinator does not constitute official notification of an intention to discontinue studies. You must complete a Discontinuation of Enrolment Form available from Student Administration Office or Faculty Office at your campus.

Your student ID card must be handed in with the Discontinuation of Enrolment Form.

Leave of absence (after commencement of course)

For international students, leave of absence may be granted in all undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The University can only approve for international students to take time off their studies where compassionate and compelling circumstances exist, or if pre-requisite units are not offered in the semester or study period a student is intermitting for.

You must complete an Application for Leave of Absence available from Student Administration Office or Faculty Office at your campus. This form must first be signed by LTI and then needs to be lodged at your Student Administration Office or Faculty Office for approval.

Please note:

  • Discussion with a Lecturer or an Course Coordinator does not mean that you have officially notified the University of your intention to intermit studies.
  • Enquiries involving possible suspension of research and higher degree studies should be made directly to the Research Services.
  • Students cannot intermit their course enrolment to avoid the requirement to 'Show Cause' for unsatisfactory academic progress in a given academic year.
  • International students will not be permitted to take a Leave of Absence if they have fees owing.

Changing your tertiary institution

If you want to change universities within the first six months of your principal course (per the date on your CoE) and you want to continue studying in Australia, you will need to apply for a Letter of Release from La Trobe International. If the International student can demonstrate to the satisfaction of La Trobe University that the transfer to another provider is in their best interests, a Release Letter will be granted. Examples include where the transfer represents a clear educational progression; where a student is experiencing demonstrable academic difficulties in their current course; or where the student's personal circumstances suggest that changing to an alternative course with another provider is in their best interests.

See also:

If you have enrolled in your course at La Trobe University you must officially discontinue your studies. If you hold a student visa and have not yet enrolled, you still require a Letter of Release during the first six months of your intended principal course before accepting an offer from another provider. If you discontinue your studies before your results are released, you will not receive results for any completed assessments, so you might consider waiting until after your results to change your university.

How to apply

  • Complete a Request for a Letter of Release Form (this form is also available at LTI), together with a letter explaining why you want to be released. If you have completed one full semester of study, but less than six months of your course, this is all LTI will require.
  • Provide a Letter of Offer from the institution you wish to attend, as well as any other evidence which supports your application.
  • If you are under 18 years of age you will need the written consent of your parent or guardian and if you are a sponsored student we may require written permission from your sponsor to provide a Letter of Release.
  • Send your release or any other related queries to int.release@latrobe.edu.au

You are advised to continue to attend all scheduled classes, until a decision is made on your application. You will receive a response from the Executive Director, La Trobe International, within 10 working days from the date of submission. If the Executive Director agrees to you being released, you will need to complete a Discontinuation of Studies Form and have this approved by LTI and your Faculty. There is no fee charged for a Letter of Release.

If you want to change universities after the first six months of your course, you do not need a Letter of Release from La Trobe University once you have completed the first six months of you course. You will need to complete a Discontinuation of Studies Form and have it approved by LTI and your faculty. 

Visa information

Once we have approved your discontinuation or issued a Letter of Release we will report to DIBP that you are no longer studying at La Trobe and your CoE will be cancelled. It is your responsibility to ensure that DIBP are aware of your new education provider and of the course you have chosen. You are strongly advised to report to a DIBP office within 28 days of your cessation of studies at La Trobe University.

Commencing with a new education provider 

If you are granted a Letter of Release, you will need to provide it to your new education provider. Once they have issued you with a new CoE you should take that into DIBP. If your new course is in a different visa subclass to your course at La Trobe University you may be required to apply for a student visa.