In the United States, the site of a yellow bus bouncing down the road is practically synonymous with school.
But in other parts of the world, the trek to school looks much different.
Some kids in the Philippines step through knee-deep rocky waters to get to class, while students in Japan pass Geiger counters tracking local radiation levels.
Here’s what early-morning commutes to school look like around the world.
In the Central Kalimantan province of Indonesia, kids ride their bikes through air thick with smog. Air pollution levels have risen steadily in the country in recent years.
Source: The New York Times
In parts of Cairo, Egypt, “school buses” involve kids piling into and hanging off the back of ordinary trucks.
On the outskirts of New Delhi, India, groups of at least 35 children sit together on a horse cart to get home from school.
In Sri Lanka, some girls must cross wooden planks laid over the walls of a 16th century fort in the coastal town of Galle.
About 13 miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, kids at Omika Elementary School come face to face with Geiger counters ticking off local radiation levels.
In earthquake- and tsunami-prone Tokyo, some schools ask parents to give their kids protective headgear in case a natural disaster strikes.
With all the country’s rapid infrastructure growth, kids in China’s Henan province often walk through demolition sites to get to school.
About 600 miles south, kids in the flood-prone towns of Jiangxi Province must rely on parents to make accommodations when roads turn into streams.
Crossing waterways is common in other parts of the world, too. Children in Rizal province near Manila, Philippines, use inflated tire tubes to cross a river on their way to school.
In Indonesia’s Banten province, students are sometimes forced to cross bridges even after they’ve collapsed.
Some bridges on the Ciherang river in Banten province can’t be crossed due to flooding, so students use bamboo rafts to get home from school.
In other parts of the country, the wooden boats that ferry kids across the Musi River sometimes fill up to the extent kids must stand on the roof.
Others are more fortunate to have larger boats that can accommodate more children and their bicycles.
And in Kawag village, an area just north of Manila, in the Philippines, some kids must traverse knee-deep water that edges up to rocky beaches.
Other Philippine children have taken to using homemade rafts, fashioned out of bamboo, to reach the remote Casili Elementary School in Rodriguez, Rizal province.
Sometimes the transportation is especially ingenious, like the seated zip line in the Indonesian town of Kolaka Utara. The seat can hold a maximum of four people.
Some children bike to school in the Morigaon district of northeastern India, but heavy rains can flood paddy fields and require the children to travel by boat.
In many regions, a lack of infrastructure means kids must get resourceful. Kids in the Indian state of Kashmir rely on a damaged footbridge to cross the stream.
It takes two hours for kids in the “cliff village” of Liangshan Sichuan province in China to climb the steel ladders and make their way to school. The steel ladders replaced unsafe vines that led to three-hour commutes.
Equally treacherous are the cliffside walks families take in Guizhou province in order to make their way to Banpo Primary School.
Kids in the Saudi Arabian town of Jazan climb concrete stairs built on the side of Fifa Mountain to reach their schoolhouses.
Peter Kotecki contributed to this story.