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We call it annual leave when it comes to taking time off from work or school for a year. I want to use something like "Semester leave" as the title of a letter to my university to denote that I will be taking a semester off. Are there any better alternatives to "Semester leave"? Note that I'm looking for a title, so please don't suggest long phrases or complete sentences.

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  • "Semester leave" sounds fine to me. The only thing I might add is which semester. For example, I might title my letter: "Fall semester leave." – arbitrarystringofletters Sep 6 '16 at 17:29
  • 'Semestrial' or 'semestral', the adjectival form of 'semester', denotes "lasting for six months". In context, that would be construed as the period of the institution's semester. – JEL Sep 6 '16 at 17:44
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    Actually, "annual leave" is (non-intuitively) used to refer to any discretionary paid time off (i.e., vacation; typically excluding standard, prescribed holidays (religious and national ones), and often (but not always) excluding involuntary absences (health-related, jury duty)), and not to taking off an entire year. This definition is justified by referring to "The amount of time an employee is permitted to be away within a year" (e.g., a few weeks) (BusinessDictionary.com). – Scott Sep 6 '16 at 18:04
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I think you are looking for the word sabbatical

A period of paid or unpaid leave by a college or university professor, teacher or academic. Google online.

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  • I agree with this as an appropriate title, but sabbaticals can vary in duration. I'm not sure this answers Jessica's specific question of expressing the duration of her sabbatical/leave in the title. – arbitrarystringofletters Sep 6 '16 at 17:41
  • In my days at university (student & academic) the sabbatical was usually for a full term (BE) or (AE) semester, usually something in the order of 9 weeks or so at my UK university which had 4 (not 3) terms in the academic year and all Bachelor degree programmes were completed in two years, unlike most other UK universities where three years was the norm. – Peter Point Sep 6 '16 at 17:52
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You could just use the term semester off or time off

time for rest or recreation away from one's usual work or studies.

"we're too busy to take time off"

If I was writing an email I would probably title it something like "Taking the Semester Off" or similar.

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