1 Personal Time Off
In addition to University Holidays, students are granted twenty-five (25) days of Personal Time Off per academic year, accrued on a pro rata basis from the first day of enrollment. Maximum accrual of Personal Time Off is forty (40) days. No accrual will occur beyond forty days.
For the Graduate School to fulfil its duty of care, students are required to register any Personal Time Off to the Registrar of the Graduate School through the request form, including the reason for Personal Time Off and including endorsement from relevant faculty.
For students taking courses or lab rotations, it is highly recommended that Personal Time Off be taken in the designated break periods between terms unless permission has been given by the Course Provider or Lab Rotation Supervisor. This permission rests on the student meeting the requirements of the course or lab rotation in full, in the manner agreed to in consultation with the Course Provider or Lab Rotation Supervisor. Endorsement must be received from all affected faculty members.
For students engaged in thesis research work, endorsement of the Thesis Supervisor is required for Personal Time Off, which may be taken during term time.
Students should note that Personal Time Off is for the purpose of any personal reason to be away from their study and/or research.
1.1 Minimum period of Personal Time Off taken per year
Faculty are required to allow students a minimum period of five days per year of Personal Time Off per year of enrollment. Despite this minimum requirement, there is nevertheless an expectation that students be able to plan for (in consultation with faculty, be they Course Provider, Lab Rotation Supervisor, or Thesis Supervisor) and take their full Personal Time Off accumulation without needing to forfeit unused leave.
1.2 Unused Personal Time Off following departure from OIST
As Personal Time Off is accrued, any unused Personal Time Off to the date of departure from OIST will be paid to students (up to five  years of enrollment). Please note that payment will only be made to the bank account registered with the Graduate School at the date of departure.
1.3 Personal Time Off and Examinations
Following submission of the thesis proposal or thesis to the Graduate School, students should be aware that the thesis proposal or thesis will be forwarded to the examiners immediately, and as such the examination process has begun. Oral examination will only occur a minimum of eight weeks after submission (four weeks in the case of thesis proposal examinations).
Students may take Personal Time Off following submission but must be in Okinawa one month prior to and one week after the date of examination (to account for unforeseen rescheduling). An exception exists in the event of a “Defer” result during examination of the written thesis (the first stage of thesis defense examination). Where this result is received, the examination will immediately cease, and students will be expected to immediately return from Personal Time Off to complete the necessary revisions required for resubmission of the thesis for examination.
Students bear sole responsibility for any financial ramifications of their not being present on campus for their examination, or for any subsequent delays to examination or enrollment caused by Personal Time Off.
2 Non-study Leave
A student may request, or be asked to take, Non-study Leave when best advised for documented personal or health reasons. Requests for Non-study Leave must receive approval from the President following Article 26 of the OIST University Rules.
The purpose of Non-study Leave is to have time completely away from his / her academic responsibilities. While on Non-study Leave, students do not have access to OIST resources (excluding email) and must return all OIST assets. Financial Assistantship is not available to students on Non-study Leave.
Under no circumstances shall Non-study Leave be granted on each occasion for more than one year, or cumulatively for a period of more than two years (the maximum available period of Non-study Leave).
Any period of Non-Study Leave granted shall result in the extension of the period of study by the period of absence.
A return from Non-study Leave must be initiated by the student by contacting the Graduate School at least one month prior to their return. Requests for returning from Non-study Leave must receive approval from the President following Article 26 of the OIST University Rules.
3 External Internship Leave
During years 3 and 4 of enrolment students may, with the approval of their Thesis Committee, request leave from study to undertake an external internship.
The purpose of External Internship Leave is to have time away from academic responsibilities and focus on career prospects. While on External Internship Leave, students retain access to OIST resources, however, housing at the student rental rate may only be offered up to three calendar months in total. Financial Assistance is not available to students on External Internship Leave.
Under no circumstances shall External Internship Leave be granted on each occasion, or cumulatively, for more than six calendar months.
Any period of External Internship Leave granted shall result in the extension of the period of study by the period of absence. Note, however, that External Internship Leave will not be considered grounds for extension of enrolment beyond five years with financial assistance.
This Leave Policy shall come into force from September 1, 2020.
This revised Leave Policy shall come into force from May 1, 2021.
This revised Leave Policy shall come into force from May 1, 2022.
This revised Leave Policy shall come into force from September 1, 2023.