Here in England my great-nieces and nephews go back to school in early September. In New Zealand, where things are much more organised, they go back closer to the beginning of the year, around February.
When I applied to come to the London Opera Centre back in the mid-sixties (where I met the now-famous Kiri te Kanawa - excuse the name-dropping!) I thought I’d have several months to get some money together before the start of the new academic year, which I assumed would be in February. It was a bit of a shock to discover that the English start school in September, and that I was going to have to arrange a flight, accommodation, pay my fees, get myself some money together (I lived on £500 that first year) and finish up doing what I was doing in Dunedin all within a much shorter time.
When you assume that everyone else in the world does things the way you do it can be quite a culture shock to find out that your bit of the world is so different.