Nobel Prize winner and author Malala Yousafzai wrote that “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

In some parts of the world, students have to overcome challenging circumstances to even get to class amid war, political unrest, and poverty, while others simply hop on a yellow school bus that stops on their suburban corner.

Despite the differences between cramped classrooms without electricity and private institutions with pressed uniforms, the power of learning can help kids all over the world reach their full potential.

Here’s what it’s like to go to school in 20 different countries.


Foto: Mosul, Iraq.sourceMarko Djurica/Reuters

Pupils are dismissed from their classroom at an elementary school in eastern Mosul.

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Foto: Beijing, China.sourceChina Daily/Reuters

A biology teacher live broadcasts her course in a classroom to students at home during a polluted day.


Foto: Ahmedabad, India.sourceAmit Dave/Reuters

At this school assembly, students offer prayers to their parents during an event called Matru-Pitru Puja, or Parents Worship.


Foto: Tunis, Tunisia.sourceAnis Mili/Reuters

At Al Hakim El Kassar Primary School, students cross their arms to demonstrate they are listening carefully to their teacher.


Foto: Hoan Su Phi, Vietnam.sourceKham/Reuters

This third-grade class in the primary school of Van Chai in Dong Van district, bordered with China, has no electricity or books.


Foto: Marseille, France.sourceJean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

Children listen to their teacher on the first day of school in France.

South Africa

Foto: Soweto, South Africa.sourceSiphiwe Sibiko/Reuters

Teacher Reginald Sikhwari poses for a picture with his 11th grade students at Sekano-Ntoane school in Soweto, South Africa.


Foto: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.sourceOlivia Harris/Reuters

Tahfiz or Koranic students recite the Koran in Madrasah Nurul Iman boarding school outside Malaysia’s capital city.


Foto: Eichenau, Germany.sourceMichaela Rehle/Reuters

Children eat breakfast at a nursery school near Munich.


Foto: Tokyo, Japan.sourceToru Hanai

First grade students and their homeroom teacher pose for a photo at the end of the school day at Takinogawa Elementary School in Tokyo.


Foto: Sydney, Australia.sourceDavid Gray/Reuters

A group of chemistry students with their equipment at Sydney Grammar School.


Foto: Ankara, Turkey.sourceUmit Bektas/Reuters

Syrian refugee students in second grade wait for the start of their first lesson of the year at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Primary School.


Foto: Sao Paulo, Brazil.sourcePaulo Whitaker/Reuters

In this art class, children paint handmade sheets of paper made from recycled cigarette butts.


Foto: Bermeo, Spain.sourceVincent West/Reuters

A class from the San Frantzisko public primary school poses for a picture with their teacher.


Foto: Middlesex, England.sourceSuzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Twelfth grade students on their last day of school at Harrow School, whose notable alumni include Winston Churchill, King Hussein of Jordan, Lord Byron, and Benedict Cumberbatch.


Foto: Rabat, Morocco.sourceYoussef Budlal/Reuters

Teacher Moulay Ismael Lamrani poses for a picture with his class in the Oudaya primary school in Rabat.


Foto: Kiev, Ukraine.sourceGleb Garanich/Reuters

Art teacher Hanna Snitko poses for a picture with final year students, aged 16 to 17, of the Ukrainian Humanities Lyceum.


Foto: Tbilisi, Georgia.sourceDavid Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Teacher Ekaterine Tsipuria poses for a picture with year five schoolchildren at a public school in Tbilisi.


Foto: Havana, Cuba.sourceAlexandre Meneghini/Reuters

Students at the Cuba’s National Ballet School (ENB) wait in line to enter a classroom.

United States

Foto: Boston, Massachusetts.sourceBrian Snyder/Reuters

Teacher Elizabeth Moguel poses for a photograph with her seventh grade Latin class at Boston Latin School, the first and oldest public school in the US, founded in 1635.