How does your school year run?

Someone in the States recently told me that our school year in South Africa seemed "weird" to them and they did not understand it.

Basically our education year runs from January - December. That's one year.

SCHOOL - 4 terms with a 2-3 week break in between each term.

We get December-Mid January off.

COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY - 2 Semesters with +/- 1.5 month break in between.

We get December - February off.

I know this is not the way it works overseas. Please explain how it is where you're from.


Most Helpful Girl

  • In Canada, grade school students (elementary to high school) go to school from September - June, with 2 weeks off for Christmas and New Years (winter break). In high school, there are two semesters - #1 is Sept. - Dec. and #2 is Jan. - June. There is a week long break in March. The summer break is 2 months long, July - August. Most provinces follow that schedule.

    For college and university students, the school year goes from September to April, with the same kind of winter break as above (although December is exam month for semester 1, so you only go in for your exams, not everyday). April is exam month for semester 2. There is a week long break in February

    And the summer break is 4 months long, from May - August. Although most universities offer a third summer term during this period, where each semester is 2 months long. It is not required - it's totally optional, so you can go to school year round if you'd like to.

    • I'm so intrigued - why start the year around September?

    • Good question. It's always been that way. I'm guessing it's because it's the beginning of the Fall season. I don't imagine that kids want to go to school through the summer months. Fall and Winter here are cold and snowy so it's nice to stay inside :)

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What Guys Said 3

  • Well exactly the same as yours. Saffa here too

    University is a little different for me ( Health Sciences). I started in the first week of January. Had 3 weeks off in June/July and will finish in mid November. Have 1.5 months off until January. It is a love/hate thing

  • we go from August to June and have one to two week breaks scattered throughout...its alright guess

    i feel as though I could learn the same amount in half the time if they just trimmed the fat off what they taught and just taught us what we need to know efficiently...

  • In the US most public schools from Elementary on up to High School (pre-college, basically) schools give you the entire summer off, with the school year starting near the end of summer (middle of August or so) running until the middle of June. There is an additional two week break in the winter that encompasses the weeks of Christmas and New Years, and a single week long break some time in the Spring. Back in the early 90s there were schools that experimented with doing it the way you guys do (as they felt it would somehow it alleviate the problem of public schools becoming overpopulated), but it didn't pan out.


What Girls Said 2

  • In Australia, we have two semesters for university. Pretty much the same as South Africa

    Semester one: Late Feb to late June

    (one week break, usually around Easter, and another "study break" before exams in June)

    Semester two: August to late November

    (one week break around September, another study break before exams in November)

  • Each of the semesters for college in Canada are 14weeks you go Sept to Dec and then Jan to Apr we get the summers off and two to three weeks off between Dec and Jan for Christmas We have the option in some programs to speed up how long were in school and offer a summer semester from may to aug


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