The academic year in New Zealand matches the calendar year. It's best to start your application and enrolment process as early as you can, so you have plenty of time to arrange visas and other things.
Secondary schools have 4 10-week terms, starting in February and ending in mid-December.
- Some qualifications in the last 3 years of secondary school are based on assessment of the whole year's work, so you may not be able to enrol late.
- There are 2-week holiday breaks in April, July and September.
- Classes are held from Monday to Friday, from about 8.45am to 3.15pm, with an hour lunch break.
- Sport and other extra-curricular activities take place after school and on Saturday mornings.
Ministry of Education school term details
Each university has its own timetable but generally the year is split into 2 semesters of about 12 weeks each, with a 2-week break during the semester and a 6-week break in the middle of the year. The breaks are not necessarily holidays - you may need the time for research and study.
- The university year begins in late February or early March and ends in October.
- Most courses are ‘full year’ courses over both semesters, but some courses only take one semester.
- It’s sometimes possible to start university study in July.
- Classes are held Monday to Friday, with libraries and some other support services open on weekends.
- Exams sometimes take place on a Saturday.
- Some universities offer ‘summer school’ courses from November to February, which reduces the number of years it takes to complete a degree.
- Each semester begins with an action-packed orientation week featuring live music and events.
Institutes of technology and polytechnics
Institutes of technology and polytechnics have two semesters - February to June and July to November - with holidays similar to secondary schools. Some half-year courses start in July.
Private Training Establishments
Most run on a timetable similar to state tertiary institutions
Language schools run all year.
Their courses may be as short as 1 or 2 weeks or as long as a whole academic year and classes run Monday to Friday. Sometimes there are extra-curricular activities and outings at the weekend.