South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying east to the Asian mainland. South Korea lies in the north temperate zone and has a predominantly mountainous terrain.
Occupying the majority of the Iberian Peninsula and sharing land borders only with France, Andorra, Gibraltar and Portugal, Spain is one of only three countries to have both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines. The country also has numerous island territories including the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean.
Bordering Norway to the west and Finland to the north-east, Sweden occupies the central swathe of the Fennoscandia region. With a 7,000 kilometre coastline on the Baltic Sea, Sweden was once the centre of a dominant northern European empire.
Officially named the ‘Swiss Confederation,’ Switzerland is a landlocked, mountainous Central European country bordered by France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. It is dominated by the Alps, with Zermatt the distinctively pointed Matterhorn mountain (4778m) being the most well-known landmark.
Bordering the Black Sea to the north, the Aegean Sea to the west, the Mediterranean in the south west and sharing land borders with Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria, Turkey is a large country which bridges Europe and Asia and invokes a rich cultural heritage.
Bordering Saudi Arabia to the south and Oman to the east, the United Arab Emirates is a relatively small country on the Persian Gulf. Following independence from Britain in 1971, the successful exploitation of oil and gas reserves has completely transformed the entire region, and the UAE is amongst the richest countries in the world.
The United Kingdom is made up of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. Although geographically small, it has a long history and rich cultural heritage. In the colonial era the British Empire stretched around the globe, and immigration from its former colonies and the European Union has made the UK an ethnically diverse nation.
The United States of America, universally known as America or the USA, is made up of 50 states and several overseas territories. America declared independence from Britain in 1776 and was recognised as autonomous in 1783, leading to the adoption of its constitution four years later in 1787.