PHOTOS: What the first day of school looks like in 12 countries around the world

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The first day back looks very different depending on where you live.
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woodleywonderworks/flickr

Many American students are gearing up for their first day back to school.

While the start of the school year differs by country, the first day back is normally a big day no matter where you’re from. It’s usually marked by excitement – or perhaps some dread if you don’t want to give up your vacation – and a bit of fanfare.

Take a look below to see the first day of school in 12 countries around the world.


Belarus: Students perform during an event for the first day of school in Minsk.

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REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

France: Kids enter the primary school Jules Ferry in Fontenay-sous-Bois, near Paris.

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REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Gaza Strip: Palestinian children sit inside a classroom on the first day of school at al-Shafi’i school in Gaza City.

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REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Indonesia: Students wait for a train to pass as they make their journey home after attending the first day of kindergarten in Jakarta.

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REUTERS/Beawiharta

Japan: Children sit inside a classroom at Shimizu elementary school in Fukushima.

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REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Lebanon: A teacher speaks to her students in a classroom on the first day of a new school term in Tripoli.

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REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Malaysia: A student lays her head on the table during the first day of school in Kuala Lumpur.


Nicaragua: Students wait in line to enter to their classroom on the first day of school in Managua.

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REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

Philippines: Filipino students line up during the first day of school at the President Corazon C. Aquino Elementary School in suburb north of Manila.


Syria: A Syrian child inspects a book on his first day back to school in a suburb of Damascus.

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REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

Ukraine: First graders take part in a ceremony to mark the start of another school year in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine.

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REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

United States: Students arrive for the first day back at a New York City high school.

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Students arrive for the first day of school at Stuyvesant High School, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 in New York.