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.
Pupils are dismissed from their classroom at an elementary school in eastern Mosul.
A biology teacher live broadcasts her course in a classroom to students at home during a polluted day.
At this school assembly, students offer prayers to their parents during an event called Matru-Pitru Puja, or Parents Worship.
At Al Hakim El Kassar Primary School, students cross their arms to demonstrate they are listening carefully to their teacher.
This third-grade class in the primary school of Van Chai in Dong Van district, bordered with China, has no electricity or books.
Children listen to their teacher on the first day of school in France.
Teacher Reginald Sikhwari poses for a picture with his 11th grade students at Sekano-Ntoane school in Soweto, South Africa.
Tahfiz or Koranic students recite the Koran in Madrasah Nurul Iman boarding school outside Malaysia’s capital city.
Children eat breakfast at a nursery school near Munich.
First grade students and their homeroom teacher pose for a photo at the end of the school day at Takinogawa Elementary School in Tokyo.
A group of chemistry students with their equipment at Sydney Grammar School.
Syrian refugee students in second grade wait for the start of their first lesson of the year at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Primary School.
In this art class, children paint handmade sheets of paper made from recycled cigarette butts.
A class from the San Frantzisko public primary school poses for a picture with their teacher.
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.
Teacher Moulay Ismael Lamrani poses for a picture with his class in the Oudaya primary school in Rabat.
Art teacher Hanna Snitko poses for a picture with final year students, aged 16 to 17, of the Ukrainian Humanities Lyceum.
Teacher Ekaterine Tsipuria poses for a picture with year five schoolchildren at a public school in Tbilisi.
Students at the Cuba’s National Ballet School (ENB) wait in line to enter a classroom.
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.
- Read more:
- What school uniforms look like in 15 countries around the world
- The best public-school district in every state
- 22 photos reveal the extreme ways kids get to school around the world
- From cafeteria workers to principals, here’s what everyone makes in a public school