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OK so I've been working as a full-time intern for almost 4 months. As part of my benefits, I'm entitled to annual leaves and paid sick leaves, although I've never used any of them.

I'm thinking of visiting my family after finals for a whole week.

Should I take a one week annual leave? I know I can but I don't know if I should, it's a good company and I'm working hard for a return offer after internship. There are no other full-time interns here so I really have nobody to ask.

What would you think if you are a manager and your intern wants to use a whole week of paid leave for his vacation?

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    If they didn't want interns to take leave, they wouldn't give it to you. – David K Dec 7 '16 at 17:13
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    Why you are taking the vacation is irrelevant as well. Visit your family, visit some friends, travel to someplace you've never been before, sit at home and sleep 18 hours a day: those are all valid things to do with your time, and it's nobody else's business. – John Feltz Dec 7 '16 at 17:20
  • @JohnFeltz You also don't have to tell anyone why you're taking a vacation - but it's highly advisable (and in some contracts, required) that you tell them when you plan to take a vacation. – Zibbobz Dec 7 '16 at 17:35
  • As a little background, it is not unusual in the US, especially in 'white collar' jobs to take extended time off, like 2 even 3 weeks at once if you have that much to take. 1 week is considered the norm in the US for this type of labor. I say 'white collar' because most people don't intern on say assembly lines or on retail sales floors, so this mostly applies to office type work. Retails, assembly line, positions where it's difficult to swap out may have different norms. – Bill Leeper Dec 7 '16 at 17:42
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    I am not totally sure, but I think in Germany and also Sweden ans possibly other countries, companies are actually required to make interns take their leave, otherwise it would be illegal to have them. – skymningen Dec 8 '16 at 14:22
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Yes, it is absolutely fine for you to use your time off. If your employer balks at you for this, then you do not want to work for them.

However, you still need to get the exact timing approved by your manager. Before you go to them, think about your responsibilities. Will the time off cause you to miss any deadlines you've committed to meet? Are you responsible for any tasks that will need to be performed while you're gone? If so, find a solution if at all possible.

If you say to your supervisor "I'd like to take the last week of January off. This will not affect my ability to meet my deadline on Project X, and Sally said she will run my weekly reports for me while I'm gone. Is it okay for me to take that week off?", then they will likely respond with, "Enjoy your vacation!" Show that you've been thoughtful about the impact of your absence, and you will be seen as a team player that cares about the company.

If there is a lot going on that particular week and you being gone then will cause problems that aren't easily solved, then they may ask you to take a different week off instead. This is reasonable, especially if you're giving them short notice. You absolutely should insist that you get to take the time off that you're entitled to, though, even if you don't get to take it exactly when you want to.

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You should definitely take the time you're entitled to off!

there are a few things to consider, do your holidays roll over to the next year? do you get the money at the end of the year if they don't roll over? If the days don't roll over and you don't get the equivalent monetary value either the you're not receiving money you're entitled to.

If I were your manager and you told me you wanted to use your vacation days, the ones your entitled to, to see your family I wouldn't have any issues with it.

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    This. In the unlikely event the company is unhappy if you take the leave that your contract entitles you to, then this tells you something clear about the company. Of course, there may be specific weeks that they would rather you avoid – but as an intern, even this is unlikely. – Bill Michell Dec 7 '16 at 17:11
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    Agreed. If they give you guff now, you can expect more of the same once you're a full-time employee. – Nuclear Wang Dec 7 '16 at 17:28
  • Especially for an intern, I'd also factor if I'd get paid out for unused vacation when leaving. This is an important consideration for anyone; but since an intern is particularly likely to be working elsewhere in the near future it's a more important consideration than for the average worker. – Dan Neely Dec 8 '16 at 0:12
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If you know the exact time off you want to take, you should make it known to your manager as soon as possible - they may even have a 'scheduled time off' calendar they keep for just such requests. Make sure you do this before making any travel plans, so that you can plan around your employer's needs.

Other than that, you should absolutely take advantage of the time off you have. It is expected that employees who have that time off will take it, and informing your manager ahead of time and then taking that time when it comes is completely natural.

By bringing this up early, you'll also be better prepared for, in the unlikely event, any office rules that would restrict your use of vacation time.

So in short - you should definitely be entitled to do so, and you should bring it up now, so that your boss knows.

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    And ask before making any travel arrangements in case they want to change the particular week. – HLGEM Dec 7 '16 at 18:43
  • @HLGEM That is such a good point, I'm adding it to the answer. Thank you. ;) – Zibbobz Dec 7 '16 at 21:05

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