WORLD Magazine - Spring 2021 Issue

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THE SIX ATTRIBUTES OF COURAGE Our very own Dr. Michelle Ciubuc. AISB Alumna, Class of 2014. Michelle is a member of the AISB Alumni Association and currently serves on the Editorial Team of the World Magazine.

A psychologist considers six attribuites of courage and adaptability.



Toxic productivity at the detriment of wellbeing only leads to exhaustion, burnout and misery.



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Romanian Feature


Alba Iulia Fortress

The Alba Iulia Fortress is a massive 18th century fortification which forms the heart of the Romanian city of Alba Iulia. During Roman times it was an important regional centre known as Apulum. One of the biggest fortifications of its kind in Europe, built in the first half of the 18th century, from around 1716 to 1735, the Alba Iulia Fortress served as a military center between the 18th and 19th centuries. In total these massive battlements have a perimeter of 12km forming a seven-point star shape with seven bastions and six imposing gates.

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Cătălina Gărdescu / Editor


“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor - the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant "To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart." Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences -- good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as "ordinary courage.” Brene Brown This year will be my 20th at AISB and one I will for sure remember. Whether it has been opening a school amidst a pandemic, organizing 63 graduations when one regular one was not possible, asking students and teachers to spend time together in a room and trust in the measures of protection we have put in place, it seems that each and every one of our actions this year has been about courage, agility and resilience. As you flip through the pages of this issue of the magazine you will be struck by people

who are speaking from their hearts, opening the doors to experiences that were both scary and life changing, in other words, courageous.

For us, at AISB, it is encouraging and heartwarming to see the ripples of the education we are wholeheartedly offering to our students.

Whether we are talking about working in the ICU unit of a hospital or being a patient in one while alone, in a foreign country amidst a pandemic, if we are looking through the eyes of someone from Greece or someone from the Netherlands, it is impressive to witness the resilience of the human spirit in the face of such prolonged adversity.

Reading between the lines of their stories of struggle, resilience, agility and courage, we hope that things learned and experienced in school positioned them one step closer to success.

Cătălina Gărdescu Editor

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The WORLD Magazine is published biannually for alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of AISB, the largest private international school in Romania. TM

EDITORIAL TEAM LEAD EDITOR: Catalina Gardescu EDITORIAL TEAM: Fabiana Papastefani, Alex Cristescu, Michelle Ciubuc, George Mucibabici CONTRIBUTORS Catalina Gardescu, Peter Welch, Alexa Zamfir, Alex Cristescu, Fabiana Papastefani, Nikos Kougionas, Ceilidh Patrick, Sara Pezzoni, Mira Geels, Michaela Young AISB Student Contributors: Natalia D. & Bella M. PHOTOGRAPHY AISB Archives, Bogdan Greavu ( DESIGN AND TYPOGRAPHY Mario Zamfir, Aliant Brands Ltd. ONLINE EDITION Aliant Brands ( SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Blvd. Pipera Tunari 196 Com. Voluntari Jud. Ilfov Romania 077190 Email: / LEARN ABOUT UPCOMING EVENTS Visit: Follow us on: Published by Aliant Brands Ltd. Print Circulation: 2000 copies / Electronic: 10,000 views Cover Design: Mario Zamfir ISSN 2537-3978 / ISSN 2537-3986 / ISSN-L 2537-3978

About AISB

AISB was founded in 1962 and is currently Bucharest's largest international school. The language of instruction is English and teaching is based upon an American style curriculum. The school offers the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program from Early Childhood through 12th grade. AISB is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council of International Schools, and the International Baccalaureate Organization and is recognized by the Ministry of Education in Romania.

The American International School of Bucharest supports a more sustainable environmnent. Please recyle this magazine when finished reading or using. Copyright © 2021 AISB ALUMNI. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Trademarks: WORLDTM Alumni Magazine, AISB Alumni Association and their associated logos are trademarks of the American International School of Bucharest. All other names, logos, and trademarks of other companies shown in this publication are the property of their respective owners.


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Director's Message


Functioning Without a Plan


Association President


Finding Yourself


Courage To Perservere

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Peter Welch's message on what it takes to be culturally intelligent.

Abandoning long term goals and learning to function on short term planning.

Association launches new strategy to cater to new members overseas.


The Six Attributes of Courage


Interview with Dr. Michelle Ciubuc


There is Value In Being Vulnerable

An alumna's journey to finding herself and redefining her priorities.

A story of resilience of the human spirit in the face of such prolonged adversity.



Courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens one. A psychologist considers six attribuites of courage and adaptability.

A duty to care, courage and resilience. The values that motivated this AISB alumna to become a doctor.

A challenging year for students, parents and faculty alike. Read some of their stories.

Photo Gallery

The last eight weeks of the 2019-20 academic year took place online. It was virtual and it was reality.

AISB Alumna, Michelle Ciubuc with her family

Toxic productivity at the detriment of wellbeing only leads to exhaustion, burnout and misery.

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Director's Message

Peter Welch / AISB Director


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I wonder what skills and personal habits that you learned at AISB you have most valued in the world of further education and employment? I have heard many IB Diploma graduates tell me how valuable habits of critical thinking and self-direction have been at university. I have also heard many graduates remark that they wish they had acquired more practical life skills at school - how to cook, financial literacy, or basic mechanics, for example. The generations now going through our schools are growing up in a global village in which they will communicate, travel, work and share more across borders. They are more likely to have friends, colleagues, and partners from a wider range of cultures than previous generations. They inherit from us a significant set of global problems, such as climate change, that will necessitate cross-cultural agreements and cooperation. Therefore, I believe, understanding how to work well with others from different cultures – what has been termed cultural intelligence or ‘CQ’ – is going to be a vital life skill. I venture that in the knowledge and innovation economies of the future, ‘CQ’ may rise to the top of employers’ list of desirable skills.

High-profile CEOs are increasingly saying, don’t give me your Ivy League or Oxbridge degrees if you’re no good at dealing with people. They say it more eloquently than that, of course, but they understand that their business success depends on human relationships. Research shows that the highest performing international teams leverage their cultural diversity. They are more successful because they draw creative ideas from a wider range of perspectives and better understand the global marketplace. The worst international teams suffer by not understanding their diversity. Each team member works with different core assumptions and values. Their norms for communication and organization don’t match, so they fail to develop shared understandings and common purpose. At AISB, we are going to place increasing emphasis in our curriculum on developing practical CQ skills and working for anti-racism. We have a large team of professionals engaged in this work this year, a positive energy that has been galvanized by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ in America. I hope that as graduates of this international school, you have grown up with cultural diversity as a norm and that you have friendships across cultures that you really value. This open-mindedness to the world is surely as valuable as anything else we can learn at school.

Peter Welch Director

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Fabiana Papastefani / AISB Alumni Coordinator

We came almost instantly and unanimously to the decision of picking the theme of this edition of the World Magazine: Courage and Agility, and that right there, started impressing upon me about how many of us feel about navigating through these challenging times. And this is not just about what we have to do to lead our businesses, jobs in our organizations but also about how we are doing it in this whole new dimension. The entirety of our human relations, from our family dynamics, to friendships and colleagues, and not just that – our involvement with our hobbies, our passions, our interactions with others – all of these things went through an inevitable process of change and redimensioning. Why Courage and Agility? Humanity had shifted, in the past several decades, into the comfort of the medium to long term planning, the strategising of life events and activities, and many did not even have the “muscle” of on-the-spot live gigs. Courage because it is just not one thing that we are doing differently. It is the whole game.




Courage because we are learning to abandon long-term plans, forced by circumstances to function on short term planning, and at times, no time at all to plan. Courage and agility because we did not get to pick whether or not to go down this road, but yet we are all dealing with being there for ourselves and our tribe each and every day. I started to approach the alumni community for stories for this edition of the World Magazine, and as they came in I was immersed in snippets of human stories, human struggles that were reflecting the courage and agility to pull together, to show up and function every day, pursue plans, strategies, dreams and for some of these young alumni – make big decisions for the next phases of their lives. Of course, our AISB alumni have applied the “think outside the box”, “risk taking” and “critical thinking” approach that their years of IB education have taught them. Recently I have found myself wondering if they were slightly better prepared for these times than others, given the way they have been coached. Two of these alumni are my

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own children, so of course I asked for their input. I loved what I heard! Reality today requires way more compassion, way more heart and care for oneself and for others, a lot of understanding, grit and resilience at the same time. Courage to accept what we know and how we feel at any given time, a lot of agility to be ready to change a plan or idea. It is requiring us to compassionately allow the self awareness feelings that this new reality generates in us, while at the same time feeling homesick, missing our parents and our close relatives in other countries that we cannot yet visit. I am so proud of our alumni, of my friends, family members and colleagues. The courage, resilience and agility everyone of them displays and shares with our communities is a true source of inspiration!

Fabiana Papastefani AISB Alumni Coordinator

Alexandru Cristescu / Association President

When we were conjuring up the theme for the issue of the WORLD Magazine, Resilience and Courage were obvious choices. This past year will define our world for many years to come, we should all take a moment and see how much good there is around us. Although everyone still needs to be cautious, our way of life is on track to normality. These messages usually are about the benefits of our AISB community, our strategy, or to bring to center stage certain issues. For the past year it has been evident that everyone had to adapt, even us, as an association, we had to limit our activities. What is important is for us to maintain momentum and not stop what we started. Before we can do that, I would like to thank the following people who have been the team behind the 2018-2020 mandate of the AISB Alumni Association. Michelle Ciubuc, the alumna who is featured on the cover of this issue of the WORLD Magazine together with her family, thank you for being such a wonderful and responsible human being. From emergency fundraisers, to organizing events, working non stop, you can do it all. We are honoured to

RESILIENCE AND COURAGE celebrate your resilience and courage now in your new role as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) resident. Dorothea Achim, your dedication to teaching and discovering new cultures is wonderful, as is your role within our association. Prepared and full of ideas, you really do bring to the team a 'can do' attitude. Ana Teodorescu, thank you so much for these two years in which you have brought the best in you to our efforts. Your consistency and pride in what you do has brought us really far in executing our strategy. Pia Stanca, one of our first alumni in the executive team who was working remotely from London before it was the norm. Thank you so much for being part of our team and always wanting to do more. Ellie Meuli, thank you for being part of our team, for your time and always great spirit. George Mucibabici, sometimes I do not know how you manage it all. Your desire to give back to our community is unmatched by anyone, while the professionalism you put forth in anything you do is very rare to come by. Thank you so much for being a long term pillar of our association.

Fabiana Papastefani, thank you for keeping us going, for your motivation and dedication to this organization, the quality of your service has been the highest. Catalina Gardescu, as always there for us and always reminding us why our association matters to the AISB community, your sustained and long time effort is inspiring and makes a difference. We will try something different this time around with our Alumni Association. As it is almost impossible to meet with the team in Bucharest on a monthly basis, we decided to open the team up to others who live in other countries. I would like to welcome our new team members: Tae Seung-Lee, Andreea Pohus, Nikos Kougionas, Moshe Gordon, Ioana Burcea, Giorgia Pezzoni, Mira Geels and Alex Iancu. Welcome! We look forward to working with you!

Alexandru Cristescu Association President

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LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL Nikos Kougionas, AISB Alumn, Class of 2011

Adjusting to the new normal hasn’t been easy for any of us. But it has given us the opportunity to challenge the status quo and shine an innovative light on many aspects of our daily lives - from reimagining the way we work, to new and exciting ways of digitizing our social interactions. Still, despite some of the advantageous transformations and breakthroughs that we have collectively achieved over the past abnormal year, there are still barriers that require a high degree of courage, resilience and adaptability. I would like to share a personal story with you, a story of resilience and courage.


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But let me fist begin with one of my favorite quotes that rings forever true especially in the light of the current pandemic:

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” Aristotle Onassis. Being far from home, from your loved ones and friends isn’t easy at the best of times. For many of us, expats living in a foreign country, this pandemic has meant a great lesson in resilience and courage. I can still recall the day when the first measures against COVID-19 were announced and the aura of confusion and fear around what the next day could be like. I remember the questions I had but also heard all around me: What does this new normal mean for

me/us? How would this affect our working environment? Are we stuck or can we travel home? Is everyone back home okay? And why is toilet paper becoming a commodity? Although now, most of these questions have been answered except of course the latter one that still doesn’t cease to amaze me, it is still important to understand the journey that we have undertaken both at an individual as well as at a collective level. The words resilience and courage are defined by the Webster dictionary as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” and, respectively, “ a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” In my opinion, no better words can be used to describe the journey

we have taken this last year. There are numerous examples of personal resilience and courage that have surfaced this year for me; from adjusting to working from home, to not always being able to travel home, living alone and interacting with others only when going to the grocery store, etc.

included, have been focused at times on the pessimistic side, but I encourage us all to also think of some of the benefits that we have collectively achieved during this pandemic – new ways of working, digital revolutions in our workplace, the enhanced use of technology in our day to day lives and many more.

Without a doubt this past year has left its mark on every one of us. It has been a difficult year and a year where many things were tested. We have learned and used new words in our daily lives such as pandemic, loss, lockdown, new normal, physical distance, restrictions and so on.

To conclude, the biggest positive take away, in my opinion, from this pandemic is that we have all undergone our personal journey and as a result championed adversity and change, by focusing on the light in times of darkness and by displaying courage, kindness and resilience.

But, although we have endured these hardships, we have gone to great lengths to persevere. I know that all of us, myself

Nikos Kougionas

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Ceilidh Patrick, AISB Alumna, Class of 2017

This year has been one of the craziest, most stressful, painful and beautiful years of my young life. While I think most would agree that COVID-19 has been an unnecessary burden, in a round-about way it has given me the chance to step back and reevaluate what is important to me. I began 2020 by getting myself out of a very toxic relationship, one that broke me down to a point I thought I wouldn’t be able to come back from. To add insult to injury I


was also told that I would need to pack up my dorm and leave campus with two days to spare. I felt the proverbial rug being pulled from under my feet. Where was I going to go? Am I going to lose my friends? How am I going to continue going to school? These fears were at the forefront of my brain, and admittedly still are some days. There are times when I can barely get out of bed, which is a lot to ask in the middle of a pandemic. I ended up

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moving halfway across the country to live with my aunt, whom I hadn’t seen in eleven years. Despite us not talking very much, she opened her door, no questions asked. For the first time in a decade, I got to spend time with my extended family, to rekindle the bonds that had been stretched over time. I also had to learn the difficult lesson that for some people out of sight equals out of mind, so I did lose some friends, which hurt more than words can describe. But

through that pain came new bonds. At the time I was working full-time, which meant I spent every drop of free time with my coworkers. We developed unbreakable friendships because we were the only social interactions each other had; we cried, laughed, shared stories, and bonded over unprecedented circumstances, and nothing will take that from us. It’s a strange thing that happens when you’re

forced to change your way of life so drastically. You’re forced to look at things in a new light. Things that I thought were important a year ago, hold no place anymore. I no longer have time for things that don’t make me happy, I’ve found that my energy is better spent on things that I love. This world is too full of unhappy things right now without me making any of my own. This goes for people too. Though hard to do, I can say that I only surround myself with people who build me

up instead of breaking me down. People who, despite not being blood related to me, I would not hesitate to call my family. This year has also given me the ability to refocus my interests at school, I have been able to spend more time on specialties, earning an undergraduate certificate in criminology and an undergraduate diploma in police studies, which I don’t think I would have been able to do under normal circumstances.

I’m not saying I’m an advocate for isolation, I think – and know firsthand – how hard it can be to be alone for so long. What I am saying is, this year has forced me to step outside of myself, it has allowed me to discover myself as a person rather than as a part of a group, which I think is so important for university students. What makes YOU happy? What do YOU want to do with your life? I miss my friends and school more than I can say, but in a very cliché way I don’t

think it's helpful for me to dwell on things like when campus will reopen, or when things will get back to normal. I try to remain grateful for the things I can experience, like the opportunity to strengthen the bonds with my loved ones and myself, or the time to focus on school. With all the bad things going on in the world, you deserve something good, even if that means finding it yourself. Ceilidh Patrick

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I was asked to write this article by the beautiful Fabiana, someone who is about as inspirational a woman as I have ever met. So when she said that she would like me to write about courage and adaptability, about starting my own business, about repatriating during a pandemic, I was, quite frankly, shocked. That's because I don’t consider myself to be brave at all. Not compared to anyone else and the struggles others go through.

about my own feelings and thoughts. I realise, however, that this is a form of avoidance. I have done a lot of soul searching and reflection lately. I realise that this avoidance is a coping mechanism. But what am I trying to shy away from? What am I afraid of in being honest about myself and being vulnerable? Upon reflecting on this internal dialogue, I decided that this might be the best way to tackle this article. To focus on what it means to open up and share yourself authentically.

My immediate reaction was to try to avoid talking about myself and make this an academic article. I could write about the psychological theories behind courage and adaptability, and then I get to play the role of academic, and don’t have to open up

As many young people do, I struggled a lot with my own insecurities. I wasn’t popular at school, and struggled to find my way. Many people deal with insecurities by fading into the background. Others deal with their fears and insecurities by

Courage is defined as the ability to do something that frightens one. I will consider courage and adaptability in terms of owning your insecurities and being authentically yourself.

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perfectionism and high achieving. I was definitely in the latter category. If I sacrifice my needs for others to control how others see me and keep achieving at a high level, then people will like me, people will accept me, I’ll be “good enough”. There is nothing remarkable about that narrative. I’ve spoken to countless young people who have told me the same inner monologue in my career as a psychologist. As I got older I gained confidence. I found my people, I felt secure and loved, I grew in my confidence in my career. I felt empowered to travel, and then eventually to move overseas. In my alternate life as an opera singer I performed on stages in front of hundreds and sometimes thousands of people. I wasn’t afraid. Up until recently, I felt that I had dealt very well with my insecurities from childhood. But something was missing. Although I was calm most of the time, I found myself still getting upset and hurt by things that seem

small. And the worst part is I was beating myself up for having these emotions, or brushing them off as silly. One of the things that is a blessing and a curse about being a psychologist is understanding perfectly all of your flaws, where they come from and how they are maintained. As I move through different stages of my life, this knowledge helps and hinders me in a variety of ways. As a grade 11 student learning about psychology for the first time, I felt empowered and equipped with a new knowledge to understand myself and those around me. As a new psychologist helping people with serious alcohol and drug issues, I felt humbled and honoured to be able to provide the people I worked with some dignity and assistance in the traumatic worlds in which they lived. I felt equipped to help myself also with a new set of skills from the therapeutic

approach, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The words of Steven Hayes and Russ Harris, the ACT gurus, have been my mantra for the last ten years. This therapeutic approach centres around the themes of acceptance and a life of committed action based on values. It has helped me to identify what is important to me and try to live my best life.

was particularly afraid of. However, putting myself out there, making a website, making a brand and marketing myself on social media, that was frightening. If you put yourself out there and say 'I can do this', there is more risk of failure.

However, I’ve found that perhaps even that is not enough. I’ve found myself lately realising that even equipped with all the knowledge in the world, I avoid and brush away my feelings. I harshly criticize myself and I let other people treat me badly. So this year, I have decided to do something I’ve never fully done before. I’m going to put myself out there without apology. I’m going to let myself be vulnerable and be OK with that. So here I’ll use some pop psychology to outline what this means in terms of courage.

This one comes with a pang of sadness for me. I have always followed my heart to an extent, but there has always been part of me that’s been too afraid to fully pursue a career in music. I decided to do this, despite my fears, in 2020. However, the pandemic well and truly postponed that plan. Although I’m disappointed about this, to be honest coming home was, in a way, a relief that I could delay facing this fear a bit longer. However I have managed to face my fear as a performer in other ways. I’ve posted my recordings on social media, even though they are far from perfect.

Melanie Greenberg describes six attributes of courage:

I put on my very own concert to a very happy and grateful audience. I’m facing my fears as an actor and allowing myself to be vulnerable and connect with emotion and let go of over thinking.



Although I was asked to write this article about courageousness in terms of starting my own business, for me that wasn’t a particularly courageous act. In Australia, the health system is well equipped for private practice, and setting up a business wasn’t something that I





I think compared to most people in the world, the adversity I’ve faced is fairly minor. However, I think this is where the other part of the article - adaptability - comes in. I think for many of us, adaptability can be a blessing

and a curse. As someone who is very adaptable, I’ve managed to mould myself to different cultures, groups and communities. This is beneficial to allow for fitting in with people no matter where you are in the world. However, I see a downside to my adaptability too. I have moulded myself so many times to fit a norm or be the version of myself that I think people want to see, that sometimes I forget who I am, who is the true me.



As a psychologist, social justice is a very important part of what I do and my values. I don’t find it frightening to stand up for the underdog and fight for what I believe is right. However, facing my own blind spots and admitting my own judgments elicits a new level of fear. This requires an ownership of my flaws and my potential for harming others that takes a lot of soul searching to find the courage to do.



fear comes from doing things outside of our comfort zone. That doesn’t necessarily mean travelling, as some of us feel comfortable doing that. Perhaps it means sticking around and working through a conflict in a friendship rather than moving on. Or deciding that we want to settle down somewhere that we really like.



Upon first reading this, it seemed to imply that we should suffer through our emotions and hold a stiff upper lip. But I prefer to interpret this in the way that it’s OK to show vulnerability. This is where true dignity comes. We can show vulnerability and admit our flaws and not have to cover up or pretend to be OK. For me, this is where my main work on myself is happening at the moment. I realise I still have a long way to go, but this is the courage that I am trying to find for now. Michaela Young, former AISB Secondary Counselor

I think for most of us who live in the international school sphere, this is one we have all faced at some point and probably become quite good at. However, does it get any easier the more you do it? For me, travelling overseas and living in a different country brought its share of challenges, but I think the real

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Interview with

DOCTOR MICHELLE CIUBUC Dr. Michelle Ciubuc is an anesthesiologist having recently received her medical degree from the Universitatea de Medicina Carol Davila, Bucharest Romania. An AISB Alumna, Class of 2014, Michelle is a member of the AISB Alumni Association and currently serves on the Editorial Team of the World Magazine. w w w. a i sb. ro


WM: What is your fondest memory of AISB? MC: AISB is an entire book of funny moments, intense times, and fond memories. Even today I value all the important lessons Mrs. Melody Wong has taught me, I hold onto my strongest friendships, and I appreciate how the American and the international systems have structured me. My favorite times were the CEESA tournaments and the pep rallies, where the entire school gathered to cheer and support the community.

WM: If you were to pick one thing that you feel AISB education left you with, what would that be? MC: The ability to be open-minded and adapt to any situation.

WM: How has education at AISB inspired you in what you got to do next? MC: The school’s broad range of important values had a big impact on me from a young age. I decided to pursue a career in medicine after Mrs. Trixie Siemens went the extra mile and helped me understand how much science defined who I am.

anesthesiology and intensive care as my specialty. This field shapes doctors to manage critical patients and respond well under huge amounts of pressure.

WM: On a different topic, why did you get involved with the Alumni Association? How do you feel that you are making a difference in this way? MC: AISB has played a great role in my evolution as a citizen of the world and as a doctor. Having such great impact on me, I wanted to stay in touch and give back to the community by actively organizing events relevant for students who are looking to discover their identities. There was no better way than joining this team of wonderful and smart people!

WM: Any messages you have for current AISB students? MC: Stay focused on discovering who you are and what best suits your needs! Don’t ever underestimate how useful the skills you gather now will be later on. I’m always here for those who have questions regarding medicine.



WM: Tell us a bit about your journey to Medicine, Cardiology and then ICU

WM: What do you remember from being part of the AISB Community?

MC: As any other medical student, I initially dreamed of being a surgeon. A short while after understanding human pathophysiology I realized that I wanted a challenging specialty that would teach me to react in any circumstance. Cardiology was a great passion of mine and the first step towards that, but in pursuit of more adrenaline, I chose

CF: We have a lot of beautiful memories from that time. Our lives practically spinned in the same circle - international days, school plays and other community events. We would always find the solution to any problem with a lot of understanding.

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WM: Have you maintained relationships with the AISB Community? Tell us a bit about those. CF: Yes, definitely! We’ve formed friendships that will last a lifetime. Even to this day we meet parents who currently have their kids enrolled at AISB and once we mention that Sandra and Michelle are alumni, it feels like we’ve known each other since forever.

WM: Looking at what Michelle is doing today, how do you feel her time at AISB has contributed? CF: AISB has left a huge mark on the lives of our girls. It comes naturally to them to organize fundraising activities and this empathy clearly comes from their days at AISB. This is the place where they learned to be creative, to work with others, and to discover themselves. Our values as parents and those of the school’s have always been a perfect match. We’re also very excited for our first grandson to start kindergarten at AISB very soon!

WM: Any messages for the AISB parent and student community? CF: We encourage parents to constantly stay involved in their children’s education by collaborating with the school hand in hand. We thank the AISB team for being actively involved even after students graduate!

Introduction and interview questions by Cătălina Gărdescu, AISB Manager of Admissions & External Relations

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One thing this global pandemic has done for most, other than recoil into a fetal position, is finding ways to navigate its uncertain and unpredictable turns. My ever so strong imposter syndrome is denying that. I kept telling myself that we’re all going through a moment where we’re all scared, uncertain, annoyed and frankly angry to some extent at how everything is unfolding. That there’s nothing I currently have done that warrants an account of courage and agility. However, one good thing that has come out of this pandemic, for me, is a lot of introspection. This past year might have been difficult and mundane, but everything I’ve been through in the past few months has me in disbelief that it didn’t warrant a bit of courage, agility and flexibility. It all started around June, so let me start at the beginning... I had just finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology in Norwich. In that time, I also received a confirmation to start my PGCE (Post-graduate certificate in education) in primary education with special educational needs in Reading. After such a tumultuous year of being thrown into the deep end of the pool, without getting a chance to breathe first, I made it. After listening to lectures, rushing to write a massive dissertation and essays in the comfort of my sweatpants and anxiety, I just needed a break. I needed to mentally prepare myself for a surgery that is normally unheard of for a, then, 22 yearold, to have. I was born with congenital hips dysplasia. Where, in simple terms, my hip sockets and ball joints would consistently dislocate causing me a lot of pain, to limp as I walk, and general discomfort. I received an email from my doctor that I was to finally have both of my hips replaced, in one go, for titanium bones. If that’s not the closest I’ve ever felt to being like Iron Man, or something of the sort, then I’d be lying. Nonetheless, from finishing in England, to packing everything up, going to Romania to then travelling to Italy for the Terminator transformation, a month and a bit had passed. We’re now in early August. My 22nd birthday just happened in late July, and I needed to get all the paperwork, COVID tests and packing done in order to be admitted into hospital. As the British beautifully put it, I was bricking it. I was going to have the biggest and only major surgical operation done and I was going to be alone for 8-9 weeks in two separate hospitals. The date for my admission to hospital was the 4th of August. A day after my admission, I got woken up at 6am to get blood tests done, dress into my surgical gown and ready

to be rolled into the operating theatre. I did have a nice chat with a Romanian and Albanian nurse, in their respective languages interchangeably, as to how I knew 5 languages and why I am having a surgery this young. I joked saying I was looking for something “spicy” to do in my life. To everyone’s surprise, I was kept awake during my surgery. I did not go under, I was given an epidural, and yet I did decide it was the perfect time to take a nap whilst my first hip was being sorted (don’t judge me, as I had been awake since 6 am and I’ll be damned if I don’t get my minimum 10hrs of sleep). After an hour and a half I was, rudely, woken up from my nap and told I needed to be flipped over to continue the surgery. After another hour, I was fully bionic. From then on the road to recovery began and it was the hardest, mentally and physically taxing journey I’ve ever been on. The day after my surgery I already needed to get up and start walking, even if just a little bit. I have never felt more nauseous in my life. Just sitting up rocked my world. After a few attempts of walking, sitting up, generally trying to eat and sleep, it was time to move to intensive therapy in another hospital. I was the only person in that hospital under the age of 40. Where the oldest person was a small woman of 94, who really put the pedal to the metal during physiotherapy. I was to stay there for 8 weeks to gain mobility, flexibility and confidence in walking normally again. There were many ups and downs throughout my recovery. Moments where I thought I was recovering faster than I expected and feeling powerful, followed by moments where I’d cry myself to sleep because of how painful my bones were aching trying to welcome a new set of body parts. I recovered being able to walk assisted by crutches for the entire duration of my stay at intensive therapy. I needed to learn how to go down stairs, sit on a chair and how to sleep without crossing my legs or sleeping on my side. I was not allowed to bend over to pick stuff up, walk fast or sit down on low chairs without having a massive pillow underneath. It was hard. I wanted to do so much already. I wanted to feel what it was like to walk without limping or being in pain. I wanted to run properly for the first time. I wanted to stand and walk without feeling in pain or tired. Luckily, that day happened quicker. In September, less than a month after I had my surgery, I was told I needed to come to Reading to start my PGCE course. I was moving into a new city for the first time, had to self-isolate for 2 weeks without meeting

a single flat mate for the entire duration and still go to university. It was hard. The only people I knew were my group members, who until October, I had only met via a screen. After another series of ups and downs, and an accidental A&E trip, recovery needed to be put on pause for now as I headed into placement in primary schools. In the middle of a global pandemic, 2 lockdowns and the rise of home learning, I’ve been in 2 schools for placement. A mainstream one and special needs one, and despite how weird it was at first, it was the thing that saved my mental health. The schools, teachers and children have been beyond welcoming to me and so sweet in taking me in as a teacher trainee. The children I currently teach now, all on the autism spectrum, are by far the most flexible and adaptable bunch of young men and women who have been the first to show me that it’s ok to be a little confused and scared. They may constantly ask me where their friends are, but nonetheless they take each step day by day. They teach me to be agile, whilst sprinting for them on occasion and telling them not to eat dirt, and flexible to sometimes drop a lesson plan and go play in the snow or watch a movie or do shadow puppets. To enjoy the simple things and sing YMCA on repeat or listen to made up stories. Don’t get me wrong, teaching is hard (shout out to all my teachers I may or may not have driven insane) especially in a SEN school, but it became an anchor to both children and staff. To be able to work and interact with kids as well as offering the kids someone to see and something new to learn. For a brief moment, it allowed me to forget what’s going on outside the campus and that the whole world is turning on its head. Nonetheless, the experiences I went through so far I wouldn’t change. I’d still have gone through my surgery, two schools, several hair pulling assignments and all the rest. At least doing all that gave me the courage to say that I did do all that within the span of five months now. I have done the most for myself and will keep doing so for others. No matter how small, it is important that you do something for you. Whether it’s working, studying, breathing, recovering, exercising, reading, fulfilling a long life dream, or just giving yourself some time to be lazy, do something for you and your mental health. That’s kind of cool and brave, isn’t it? Sara Pezzoni

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THERE IS VALUE IN BEING Alexa Zamfir, AISB Alumna, Class of 2016

It is the 9th of June 2020 at 7:00 PM and I had been looking for my newly rented apartment for a full 30 minutes, an apartment that I had rented over video call 2 weeks prior and I was honestly quite scared that I might have been scammed. I suppose you could say that was my first culture shock, realising that in Sweden doors don't have the apartment numbers on them. Three months of London lockdown later, were followed by the contrasting tumultuous but exhilarating three months in Stockholm. I made new friends, my parents came to visit, I discovered Sweden is unexpectedly hot during the summer, I had a makeshift graduation on a boat (BSc at KCL 2020), I kayaked in a fjord, drove 6+ hours to finally get my 15 moving boxes, visited London one last time and finally started my master’s at Karolinska Institutet - which was the point of this move in the first place. Still drunk on the fact that I was alone in a new country,


that I started a new degree (albeit online) and Sweden didn’t really have the feel of a global pandemic, I really told myself for a long time that I was having it easy and that I wasn't affected by this at all. Because of the opportunities I had been presented with, I felt it would be unfair to allow myself to feel anything less than privileged – after all I didn’t really struggle. Turns out I had been successfully lying to myself. Consumed with making the best out of my situation and pretending that everything's ok, I lost sight of the things that I hadn’t mourned along the way. My journey at Kings finished not with a ceremony, but with me hastily leaving the place I called home for 3 years; I never got to say goodbye to those that I'm not going to be seeing for years; I moved to a country I've never even visited before, nor speak the language of; I wasn’t able to be there for my closest friends when they needed me most; I spent my Christmas in Norway with my boyfriend’s family because I longed

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for the feeling of belonging somewhere; my Master’s has been and still is all online. I am mentally alone, isolated, and I had been running away from that fact. The novelty of it all gradually dissipated. My wake up call was when I recently visited Romania as I had been booked in for my vaccination. I hadn't seen my parents and my cat in months, yet, a few days before my departure, my dad came into my room and told me “I’m proud of you for working hard, but you haven’t spent a full 30 minutes with us since you arrived”. And the truth is, he wasn’t wrong. I left short of two days before my birthday because I had work to attend to. In my solitude, I had been filling this hollowness with any desperate attempt I could find at finding stability and giving myself a purpose. I founded a ThinkTank, I am part of the medical union, I’m a consultant, event organizer for TEDx & ISPOR and full time master’s student. All my friends here have routinely praised me and voiced their approval for my initiatives,

yet to me these now sound like self-inflicted punishments more than accomplishments. I love what I do, but at the end of the day, toxic productivity at the detriment of wellbeing only leads to exhaustion, burnout and misery. Calls, meetings, online classes bring a much desired structure, however, while the loneliness in front of the computer screens brings us together, it also emphasizes how far apart we are. My concluding statement, as a reflection of this pandemic’s effect, is that there truly is never enough value attributed to being vulnerable. It’s okay to be fine one day and grieve the next, there’s no need for consistency in how you live your life. Uncertainty has taught me how this too can be a stepping stone for the serendipitous things to come – time moves on regardless, but introspection makes sure you’re not the one getting stuck. Alexa Zamfir

"Toxic productivity at the detriment of wellbeing only leads to exhaustion, burnout and misery"

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THE NETHERLANDS Mira Geels, AISB Alumna, Class of 2016

Ever since the Coronavirus came to the Netherlands at the beginning of 2020, it has forced people and businesses to adapt. A lot. On December 15, 2020, the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, and the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Hugo de Jonge, announced that the Netherlands was going into a second lockdown as the one that we had previously in the spring of 2020. It was said that the lockdown would be until January 19, 2021 but unfortunately, the lockdown is still happening.


As a consequence of this lockdown, a lot of people in large cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Groningen, were protesting, especially in large groups. This was against the rules protecting against COVID 19, so the police were forced to use tear gas and water pumps to get the protesters to disperse. All public places, except for supermarkets, are closed. This does create a longing for interacting with other people but of course everybody has to adhere to the regulations, and this requires a lot of courage from people. I do try

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to comply, but sometimes like everybody else, there comes a breaking point when you cannot handle it anymore. Prior to the lockdown in 2020, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD for short. This diagnosis has really shocked me, and I was at a loss as to what to do. For a long time, I couldn’t accept that I had ADD and in my mind, in my opinion everything was normal but a constant reminder of having ADD was having to talk about it to a professional. I had to adapt my study, my study schedule, and my exams so that I felt more and more

comfortable with myself. I had, with the help of a professional, to re-train my mind. For example, I have had to learn that if something wrong was done by someone else, it wasn’t my fault, because I am not responsible for how another person lives. I am only responsible about how I live my life. And other easy things like that. And all of this while a pandemic was going on. If this is not courage, I don’t know what is. Mira Geels

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OPENING, CLOSING AND OPENING AGAIN The 2020 - 2021 school year has been challenging for students, parents and faculty alike. According to the way Romanian authorities understood to manage the pandemic, AISB has navigated quite a different school year. Open in September and October, closed in November through February, open again only to close Secondary after two weeks. The current school year, more than the one before has been a true testament of organizational agility, flexibility and hard work.


Grade 10 advisory included four student-led discussions focused on important social justice issues such as: 1. The Roma & Marginalization in Society 2. What It Means to Be Anti-Racist, 3. Gender Equality, and 4. English as Linguistic Discrimination. Students from the Social Justice Service Group prepared the content and facilitated conversations with their peers in mixed homeroom advisories over Zoom. Students who step up to address such


vitally important topics embody our core values of compassion and courage. Their aspiration to make AISB a more inclusive learning community is commendable. Our Grade 10 students spent the latter half of Wednesday’s advisory session making final changes to their Personal Project Report.

From March 1st to March 5th, AISB’s Amnesty International students will host Human Rights Week, in an effort to “recognize and learn about fundamental human rights from our multinational community.” The week-long event will be held online (view the website here), with a variety of initiatives taking place each day. Group Leader Mara T states that the goal of this week is to “spark conversation and raise awareness around important topics. Our school needs this event because students need to be aware of their rights, as well as their privilege.”

WHAT MAKES A RELATIONSHIP HEALTHY V.S. UNHEALTHY? Why can relationships be complicated? How can you have a disagreement respectfully? How can

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one demonstrate how to compromise? The grade 7 students continued to explore the topic of empathy this week by furthering their understanding and sharing their opinions about relationships. Each mentor group looked at the different relationships they had in their life and tried to formulate the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. A few students shared some interesting points about online relationships and how they have had to adapt during the pandemic when building and maintaining relationships. In the upcoming weeks we will continue the notion of navigating online relationships and how to stay safe in this environment.

GRADE 3 ABOUT MIGRATION The Vietnam war may seem half a world away from present-day Romania, but a guest speaker illuminated both the challenges and opportunities refugees face in their attempts to find safety. As part of Grade 3's Unit of Inquiry into human migration, we were very fortunate to spend some time discussing the topic with Mitchell Pham. Mr Pham was born in Vietnam and, after 3 escape attempts, a harrowing boat journey, and 2 years in an Indonesian refugee camp, he was accepted for resettlement

into New Zealand as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 14. Mr Pham would not be reunited with his family in Vietnam for over a decade. The Grade 3s welcomed Mr Mitchell virtually to AISB by performing a waiata (a traditional song Māori) using New Zealand Sign Language. The children were curious about Mr Mitchell's journey and subsequent integration into New Zealand society. The Grade 3s were inspired to learn that he has founded a successful software company, Augen, and is now a grandfather. Mr Pham's visit has inspired the children to reflect on their good fortune to live in a peaceful country and also learn more about refugees in contemporary contexts. "We made Mr Mitchell feel welcome by doing the welcome song and dance. We listened carefully and we were respectful of what he had to stay. We were interested in him so we asked him questions." - Gefen "I learned it was hard on the boat for Mr Mitchell. Refugees go through a lot of danger." - Darius "I learned that it's cool to have friends from many different countries. They can help you understand more languages and cultures" - Maria "I learned that refugees don't have many choices." - Josh "I learned that we need to have hope and help other people." - Stefania

ADVERTISE WITH US Advertising with the WORLD Magazine couldn’t be simpler. With a number of exciting opportunities both in print and online, WORLD Magazine is valued among its alumni readers. Close to 100 percent of our readers make a point not only to look at every issue that arrives at their home, but also spend a considerable amount of time reading it online. For patrons, WORLD Magazine delivers an affluent, influential, and engaged readership worldwide in a respected editorial environment, delivered in a professionally edited and attractive package featuring among the best graphic design found in alumni magazines. The magazine’s “shelf life” represents one of its greatest advantages as a tool in your marketing arsenal. Support the AISB Alumni Association through your donation of cash or services and benefit from a space in the WORLD Magazine.


+4 021 204-4333 CLASS OF 2020: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? By Natalia D. & Bella M. AISB Journalism Students It’s been a few months since last year’s seniors virtually celebrated the end to a very strange and challenging year. And, unfortunately, things haven’t much easier for the Class of 2020. Whether they chose to start university or take a gap year, nothing has been as expected. We reached out to a handful of recent graduates to find out what life has been like the last few months. This is the first of a series of Q&A’s.

Salaar Mir, 18, is studying Computer Science at the University of Nottingham and has recently returned to Bucharest to continue learning online. Q: What was your original plan for the first year out of school? How has this changed since the COVID-19 outbreak? A: I always planned to go to university in the UK, so COVID-19 didn’t really change my plan. It did make it much

harder because basically everything is online and my first year at uni is very different to how it should be. At one point I considered a gap year because I thought it could be a cool experience to work and travel. After Covid I wanted that less because now it is so hard to travel or really do anything. Q: What were you looking forward to this year that has been canceled or negatively impacted by the pandemic? A: We missed out on things like graduation and the senior trip, where we had planned to go to Spain. Then with uni, we missed out on ‘Freshers Week’ which is the week before uni starts, where you party and get to meet lots of people. This year it was very limited because there was a restriction of how many people could attend events. Things like clubs were obviously closed so it was difficult to get into the uni life. I’ve been able to make some friends from my residential building because we see each other everyday; some of them are even doing the same course as me. Other than that I haven’t been able to meet many other people because everything is online. Q: What have you found most difficult over the past few months? A: My course has been a bit more difficult because it’s all online. This has made it challenging to talk to my professors and ask them questions. You can message them or have

a one-on-one Zoom, but I find it very different to meeting in person. Another obstacle for me has been meeting people because of the restrictions. I also had to quarantine for 10 days in my room because I tested positive for COVID-19. So I have been spending lots of time in my room and it has really helped me to Facetime friends from AISB. I had a few symptoms, like a runny nose, slight cough and I lost my sense of smell and a bit of my taste, but now I am completely well and out of quarantine. Q: What are the current restrictions in the UK and at your university? How has this affected your university classes? A: Due to the lockdown that was originally imposed in early November, I had to return back to Romania for a few months. I didn’t want to risk getting trapped in England over New Years. However, I do plan on returning in January— assuming the lockdown gets lifted by then. Previously, when I was staying in my dorm, we were arranged into “households”of five or six people. We could only go to the cafeteria in our households during an allocated time. In the city, everything closes at 10pm, like restaurants and pubs, and the common rooms in my building. Also you can only be in groups of six or less in public. These restrictions make socialising a bit difficult. The majority of my classes and lectures were online even when I was living on campus. Occasionally, about once every week

or two, I would have a practical lab. And now that I have decided to come back to Romania I am doing everything online. I don’t think it’s really the best experience doing everything online, missing out on in-person classes and the social aspect of university.

change professions, from an architect to a product designer, and that resulted in me changing my university.

Q: What are your expectations for 2021? What kinds of challenges do you foresee?

A: For my course, the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) decided that the first semester would be online, and the second starting in March. We are doing all the theoretical work during this time, so that when we come on campus we are ready to create.

A: I think that, at least in early 2021, we will continue to have an environment like it is now, with the pandemic. But I think that later in the year things could start to improve. Hopefully things will improve quickly, but by how things are going right now I’m not too sure how soon things will actually get better.

Q: Are you currently on campus or learning from home? If on campus are your classes online or in person classes?

Q: What is your opinion on the way the IB decided to assess final grades? A: Personally, I am happy with how the IB assessed our grades because I got a point higher than my predicted. At the same time I believe that if we would have had our exams my grade would have been higher, and I also have friends who have been affected by the way the IB assessed their grades negatively. Q: How has the pandemic affected your university experience?

Irina Ciobanu-Cociasu, 19, is studying Product Design at Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, online from Romania. Q: What influenced you to choose this university? A: I actually changed the university that I wanted to go to over the summer. The pandemic made me realize that I want to

A: The pandemic affected my university experience a lot, mostly because I have to study from home the first semester, meaning that I will not meet my classmates until March. But I have come to terms with this and I am trying to enjoy my first university semester from home. Q: What advice would you give current DP students?

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A: My advice is to try and have a balanced life. Yes, grades are important and you need to study, but extra curricular activities and going out with your friends are too. Find a program that works for you and stick to it. By the end of 12th grade you will be proud of all the work you have put in.

A: Apart from the educational drawbacks of having the course online, the only real negative is the lack of social interaction at school. Q: What advice would you give current DP students? A: I would tell them to study as if there was no corona. Since it is always changing our lives you never know what could happen and the more you study the higher chances of having better grades and getting into whatever university you want to.

A: I chose Rotterdam School of Applied Sciences because it provided me with the appropriate business management courses while being relatively low cost and still being close to my home country of Romania. Q: Are you currently on campus or learning from home? A: I am in Rotterdam near my university, but only two classes are offline while the rest are online, however this may change with stricter corona regulations. Q: What is your opinion on the way the IB decided to assess final grades? A: Despite the controversies, I think the second remark of the grades was the most appropriate since many people were relying on the exams to improve their grades; however, I was lucky in my opinion that I had no exams. Q: How has the pandemic affected your university experience?


In the past few weeks I have been working remotely at the Romanian Space Agency. I am working on writing the software for a ventilator for hospitals and a COVID phone exposure tracking app. This has been very interesting and related to what I want to study in the future. Q: What were you looking forward to this year that has been canceled or negatively impacted by COVID-19 outbreak? A: I was really looking forward to starting another chapter of my life: moving to the US, living by myself, and university campus life. But now I am just stuck at home. It has really helped to reach out to people, some new friends, and some friends in younger grades from AISB.

Mike Sabbagh, 19, is currently on campus at Rotterdam School of Applied Science in Amsterdam, studying Business Management. Q: What influenced you to choose this university?

controlled and wouldn’t be the normal university experience.

Oliver Szavuj is taking a gap year in Romania and plans to study Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford in 2021. Q: What was your original plan for the first year out of school? How has this changed since the COVID-19 outbreak? A: My original plan was to go to the USA and study at Stanford. In May, we were given information about how the school year at Stanford was going to look. As we continued to get updates I tried to stay optimistic despite things looking worse and worse. We were given the opportunity to defer and take a gap year, based on a new plan in late August. The new plan meant that not all of the students would be on campus. So even if I was part of the selected cohort on campus, I would be online wherever possible. This became an issue for immigration purposes because ICE was considering declining international students visas if they studied online. In the end, I decided to take a gap year because the environment on campus would be very

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Q: What have you found most difficult over the past few months? A: The most difficult thing has been finding a purpose everyday beyond my work projects. It’s been difficult to find things to keep me busy. I haven’t felt a sense of achievement because I am used to having lots of work to do. Although I have been slacking off on some of my personal ambitions, I don’t want to just sit around all year. I need to try to do other things outside of the work that I do for the Romanian Space Agency. Q: What are your expectations for 2021? What kinds of challenges do you foresee? A: I am hoping that we can get to the point where we are able to live with the virus. I don’t necessarily mean herd immunity because I don’t really think it would be achievable in many countries, like Romania. The main challenge I see overall is continuing to adapt to the virus, because life has changed so much already. For myself, the biggest challenge will be moving to a new country, especially because of COVID.

Facebook group chat. Q: What have you found most difficult over the past few months?

Gaya Mor, 18, is studying Spatial Planning and Design at The University of Groningen, and has recently returned to Israel to be with her family. Q: What was your original plan for the first year out of school? How has this changed since the COVID-19 outbreak? A: My original plan was either to go to university in Europe or the army in Israel. However, because of COVID-19, the army process would have taken way longer than expected so I decided to start studying. Now that you can’t travel or get a job and the army isn’t how it usually is, it was better for me to start university. Although, starting university this year definitely wasn’t as I expected. Q: What were you looking forward to this year that has been canceled or negatively impacted by COVID-19 outbreak? A: I had trouble getting my visa and then I had to quarantine, so I started university one week late. So I missed the introduction week, which was the only activity that the university offered because of COVID-19 restrictions. So I joined some sports teams in order to meet people. However, because of restrictions, sports were canceled after just a month. I met a lot of friends through playing these sports, but then it became difficult to see them because restaurants and bars were closed. It became almost impossible to meet people on campus. I had a lecture only once a week and everyone had to wear a mask and sit four chairs away from others. The only other way that I met a few people was through a

A: I found it difficult to do everything on my own, such as eating by myself at home. About once a week, I would do something with all of my housemates, but the majority of the time I was eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner on my own. It’s not enough social interaction and it was very difficult to stay at home every day, completely alone. Q: What are the current restrictions in the country and at your university? How has this affected your classes? A: In general, the Netherlands wasn’t very strict when I arrived; masks weren’t mandatory and they really relied on social distancing. It is obvious that this didn’t work. Recently they have increased measures: making masks mandatory, limiting the amount of people you are allowed to invite to your house, and cafes and restaurants are closed. So there is very little to do now outside of your home. My first quarter at Uni, I had two classes that were fully online. However, one of these had fieldwork days, so we traveled to other cities in the Netherlands which was very nice. There was also an option to go to a lecture on campus which was recorded for people to watch online. It’s ok for my course to be online, but it would be nice to be able to go and work at a cafe again. Q: What are your expectations for 2021? What kinds of challenges do you foresee? A: Hopefully 2021 will be more certain, but obviously at this rate COVID-19 will still be a part of our lives. I expect that my university will still be a hybrid model, but I hope it will be easier to make friends. I also hope that we will be able to have more social events and that sports will start again.

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Do you have a story to tell?

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Have you landed your dream job? Are you traveling? Have you reached a personal goal? Are you making waves in improving the world around you? Where has life taken you since AISB? Please message us via Facebook, or send an e-mail to:, and let us know what's new! No matter the story, we want to know! (Remember, our alumni consist of former students, staff, faculty and parents.) We may even feature YOU in the widely read Alumni World Magazine.


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