An academic term (or simply term) is a portion of an academic year, the time during which an educational institution holds classes. The schedules adopted vary widely. In most countries, the academic year begins in late summer or early autumn and ends during the following spring or summer. In Northern Hemisphere countries, this means that the academic year lasts from August, September, or October to May, June, or July. In Southern Hemisphere countries, the academic year aligns with the calendar year, lasting from February or March to November or December. The summer may or may not be part of the term system.