LatestWorldwide Academic Calendars

Worldwide Academic Calendars

Content Team
Content Team
Get essential news and information about international higher education from the i-STUDENTglobal content team.

Sure, there’s nothing more important than deciding which type of degree you want to get your hands on, which university you wish to hang about, and which country you want as your next cultural residence. Once you’ve established these points, the only thing left to do is to check in at the airport. By all means.


Before hitting the road, though, make sure that you know when your first break is. Academic calendars vary from country to country: in the US, for example, the academic term is shorter than in the UK. Generally, academic years begin in autumn and end just before summer (this applies more to countries from the Northern Hemisphere). In the Southern Hemisphere, they tend to start in February/March and go on till the end of the year.

Academic year: USA

In the US, universities often divide their classes by semester and it’s up to each of them how they organise their academic calendar. The most common term dates are:

Fall Term:
from August to December
(with exams in December).

Spring Term:
from January to April
(with exams in April – lasting about one week).

Summer Term:
from May to August.

In America, not attending classes during the Summer semester it is pretty widespread, as students can easily find internships opportunities or work full-time.

Academic year: UK

The UK academic year traces its roots back to the law court training system that used to be divided into 4 periods named Hilary, Easter, Trinity and Michaelmas as follows: January – April, April – May, June – July and October – December.

Some universities have modified the terminology, some have replaced the Trinity term, and some have established today’s modern 3-term academic year. You will find that the majority of UK universities have a 10-week long-term (give or take). The date of Easter can also determine the academic year of certain universities that work their calendar around this holiday.

During your stay at a UK-based institution, you may also have a so-called Reading Week, dedicated to seminars, lectures, workshops with, sometimes, no teaching at all.

Term 1:
from – September to December
(with break time from December to January).

Term 2:
from January to April
(with exams in January, lasting for about 2 weeks).

Term 3:
from April to June
(with break time for Easter of about 2 weeks; and exams in May, lasting for 2 weeks).

Usually, every university from the UK stars its courses in Autumn, between August – October, apart from the University of Buckingham where courses start at the beginning of the year (January/February).

Academic year: New Zealand

Here, the academic year is split into 2 or 3 semesters.

Semester 1:
from February to June
(with a break in April/May lasting for 2 weeks).

Semester 2:
from July to November
(with a mid-semester break in August/September lasting for about 2 weeks).


Academic year: Australia

In Australia, universities split their year into 2 semesters, but some might have 3 (Bond University, Deakin University and University of Canberra).

Trimester 1:
from March to July
(with exams in June and a mid-trimester break in June/July lasting for about 2 weeks).

Trimester 2:
from July to November
(with exams in October and an inter-trimester break in August lasting for about one week).

Trimester 3:
from November to March
(with exams in November and an inter-break in February/March of about 1-2 weeks).