World Magazine - Winter 2018

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AISB spans over half a century of exceptional learning, beautiful memories, wonderful community events, inspiring teachers, academic excellence, cultural diversity, and so much more. Our faculty, staff, students, and parents keep the past alive while creating new stories to share with our AISB family every day.







Famous Romanians

Ana Aslan

Ana Aslan was a Romanian biologist and physician who discovered the anti-aging effects of procaine, based on the drugs Gerovital H3 and Aslavital, which she developed. She is considered to be a pioneer of gerontology and geriatrics in Romania. In 1952, she founded the Geriatric Institute of Bucharest. This institute was the first of its kind in the world and was recognized by the World Health Organization. Ana Aslan is known for coining the term “gerontology�. The Romanian Society of Gerontology was the first in the world to channel its research into clinic, experimental, and social researches, devise a therapeutic strategy to prevent the process of aging, and organize the national health network for the prevention of aging. Her drug was used by many famous politicians and celebrities around the world, including John F. Kennedy. Source:



Kirsten Pontius / Editor

Celebrating Greetings from an AISB newbie, mother, spouse, avid traveler, yogi and wellness enthusiast. My family and I arrived in Bucharest just over one year ago from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as a family of three. Our son proudly took on the role of an EC3 student, Vampy’s biggest fan, and lover of seasons. My husband arrived eager to wear the hat of AISB’s MYP Coordinator, roadtrip navigator and very outdoor adventurist. And I arrived just in time to experience the medical system in Bucharest when our 2nd son was born in September of 2017. We spent our first year in Romania, as many new families do, adjusting, exploring, and building the connections that have helped us feel at home. Just over one year later, I sit in an office with colleagues that know my story, with plans on this week’s calendar, with a routine for buying groceries, transport and logistics around the city and trips to the park. My family


and I have found our place, are making friends, and as we adapt, we are evolving and growing as individuals and as a family unit. Working with the Alumni team to pull together stories of connection to AISB and Romania is an honor and contributes to my appreciation for the place we have landed. It’s certainly not easy to be in a state of transition. However, I wouldn’t avoid the challenges of a new place, for the failure to challenge my assumptions. I wouldn’t give up the travel to avoid the jetlag, and I know you wouldn’t either. We are already connected in that way. In the way that we appreciate the AISB community for it’s diversity of people, ideas and goals. For the way that we understand the value of opening ourselves up to new experiences and for the importance of AISB being not just a safe and supportive place, but a place that encourages us to grow. This issue’s theme revolves around these connections. The Unification of Romania 100 years ago represents

collaboration, the ability to grow, compromise and cooperate. As a new member of the AISB community, and a new resident in the beautiful country of Romania, I can clearly see how this strength and perseverance has contributed to the success and ambitions of the country. To give you just a teaser of the stories in this issue, Tae Lee tells us about the diversity in experiences that shape and define him, and how embracing his identity as a true international student and professional has helped him thrive. Meanwhile, finishing her interview from Tanzania, Diana Suciu shares her passion for Public International Law that was sparked and cultivated at AISB. We also hear from parent alumni and current staff member, Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni, who shares with us just how important AISB was for her family, and how her children grew and blossomed here, ultimately calling Romania home.

This magazine brings people together who grew at AISB, who evolved, and who learned in one common place. I am so appreciative of the talented Patty Khalil-Warren who laid the groundwork so that I could step seamlessly into this position, and who worked tirelessly to ensure that World Alumni Magazine showcases the adventures and celebrates the successes of alumni all over the world. As my family and I continue to evolve and settle into our new home, this work and these stories are a constant reminder that we carry with us our homes and our memories, and that wherever we are in life, we can stay connected to each other. I will be here with you reading every story, creating a bridge to the memories and to the future through the stories of the World Magazine. Happy reading.

Kirsten Pontius Editor



VOLUME 7 / ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018/2019

EDITORIAL TEAM LEAD EDITOR: Kirsten Pontius EDITORIAL TEAM: Dorothea Achim, Alex Cristescu, Michelle Ciubuc, George Mucibabici, Ana Teodorescu, Pia Stanca CONTRIBUTORS Andrei Timofte, Diana Suciu, Dorothea Achim, Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni, Matthew Kendrick, Michelle Ciubuc, Tae Lee AISB Student Contributors: Flora P., Tea D., Gaya M., David S., Alex T., Toyosi A. PHOTOGRAPHY AISB Archives, Bogdan Greavu DESIGN AND TYPOGRAPHY Mario Zamfir, School Brand LLC ONLINE EDITION School Brand LLC WORLD ALUMNI MAGAZINE Blvd. Pipera Tunari 196 Com. Voluntari Jud. Ilfov Romania 077190 Tel.: 021 204-4300 Fax: 021 204-4384 Email: Published by Design Works Publishing Co Print Circulation: 2000 copies Electronic Circulation: 2000 copies 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.

Copyright © 2018 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.


Interview with Andrei Timofte

20 24 Interview with Tae Lee

Interview with Diana Suciu

CONTENTS 06 08 09 10 16 18 22 27 28 30 32



Cover Photo: Hailed as one of the great works of twentieth-century sculpture, Endless Column by Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was commissioned by the Women's League of Gorj to honor the soldiers who defended Târgu-Jiu against a German force during World War I. The sculpture is a 98-foot-high (30 meter) column of zinc, brass-clad, cast-iron modules threaded onto a steel spine.



Director's Message

Dr. Robert Brindley / AISB Director

The unification of Romania, in 1918 was a key moment in the history of this great country, with such a proud past and dynamic future. With the fall of communism in December 1989 doors opened to a brighter future out of the social and economic malaise that had been present for such a long time. However, with the present rise of nationalism across many parts of the globe, there are moments in history, when it is ever more important to provide an education to our children that is based on the UN Charters of freedom and social responsibility, and an International Baccalaureate (IBO) curriculum that:



‌ aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. ‌ encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. Since the Great Unification of Romania, most nations, particularly in the western world, have strived to move towards a framework of political and social dialogue under the guise of Globalism or Globalization, which has given rise to greater social mobility, prosperity and cultural interconnectedness. However, with the upsurge in this age of populism and nationalism emerging in Europe, our graduating students will need to

pave the way to ensure that there is an enduring and everlasting understanding of tolerance, empathy and respect. To quote the IBO, again: ‌ we promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century. I am an eternal optimist; every generation is graduating more and more students who are educated to appreciate and understand the core tenets of an international education. Our students recognize how creativity leads to experiences that involve creative thinking; that activity and physical effort contribute to a healthier lifestyle; and, that unsolicited and voluntary help in the community rounds out the social perspective.

One of the more disturbing trends that we have seen over the past couple of year is the emergence of a ‘post fact’ world, in which virtually all scientific analysis and authoritative information is being challenged by those who simply have no background or training in such matters. Scholarly thought, deduction, conjecture is being dismissed as fake news, with no other rationale than ‘because I think so’. Thus, it is even more critical that our students understand, and de-personalize, the relative nature of ‘truth’; the Theory of Knowledge course creates a better understanding of what is truth, what is a fact and: .. asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. (IBO)

Theodore Roosevelt’s quote rings through the ages; spoken over a century ago, it is never more pertinent that it is today:

while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails

So, I would like to challenge every one of our graduates and alumni to build on what they have learned through the IB philosophy and actively contest those who would dismiss notions of mutual understanding, tolerance and respect. Become involved. Regards,

Robert Brindley Director



Advertising Through WORLD™ Magazine, the AISB Alumni Association presents the achievements, ideals, future goals, stories, and more, of its worldwide community to an international audience. Our magazine is published both in print and digital formats and is catalogued by the National ISSN Center of the Romanian National Library under ISSN 2537-3978 and ISSN-L 2537-3978.

It is represented in the American Corners of five National Libraries across Romania, namely the National Library of Romania in Bucharest, The Petre Dulfu Maramureș County Library in Baia Mare, the Ovidius University Library in Constanța, the Mureș County Library in Târgu Mureș, and the Timiș County Library in Timișoara. The interviews, articles, stories and columns published in the WORLD™ Magazine are collected by the Association's Executive Team who volunteer their time to engage our worldwide alumni, to promote international education and foster opportunities, inspiring global citizens to make a positive impact by adding value to their communities.

Audience Profile

We welcome strong partnerships with amazing people and organizations, so contact us at if you wish to advertise your company or brand through our community. The AISB Alumni Association prides itself with the quality of the content that reaches our diverse and influential audience. Please consult the statistitcs below for further details on demographics and sponsorship rates.


WORLD Magazine creates a tangible link between the American International School of Bucharest and its alumni. Today our magazine reaches a diverse readership in Romania and internationally through the online edition. With every issue, our pages connect an educated, affluent audience with AISB and their fellow alumni. TM

WORLD Magazine has a total print circulation of 2,000 and an online readership of over 20,000. Our readers comprise a variety of industry sectors and professional titles, as indicated to the right.





Health Care 3.90%



Holding Co. 1.40%

Media / Press 2.70%



IT & Telecom





Real Estate


Government 12.30%






Sponsorship Rates


WORLD Magazine accepts only full-page, half-page, and quarter-page design formats (the inside-front, inside-back, and back covers are reserved for full-page graphics only). TM







Board Member

CEO / GM Chairman Owner





2x* CASH


Back cover 21 x 29.7cm




Inside-front cover 21 x 29.7cm




Inside-back cover 21 x 29.7cm




Full Page 21 x 29.7cm




Half Page 19.73 x 13.58cm (non bleed)




Quarter Page 9.23 x 13.58cm (non bleed)




* 2x indicates one cash sponsorship per issue, for two consecutive issues, benefitting from a 15% discount. All rates are gross. No additional charge for bleed. # AISB reserves the right to accept or reject in-kind donations. The values are to be agreed upon by mutual consent based on similar products or services on the market.


Alexandru Cristescu / Association President

In previous messages I have underlined how and why our alumni network of global citizens have a moral responsibility to add sustainable value to their communities. In a diverse world, only by focusing on an interestbased approach can we collectively achieve this. Our Alumni Association Strategy is focused on just that and the previous Executive Committee (2016-2018) has made amazing progress in this regard. Following the June elections we have a new Executive Committee (2018-2020) well equipped to take us further on our path. A great thank you to each and every member of the team for volunteering their time and skills.

December 1, 2018

A once in a century MILESTONE

Together with George Mucibabici, Dorothea Achim, Michelle Ciubuc, Ana Teodorescu, Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni, Catalina Gardescu, Pia Stanca, Ellie Meuli, I strongly believe we will bring even more value to our current students and parents, alumni and AISB. Our Association is run from Bucharest by the Executive Team but I would like to thank our worldwide delegates, covering all continents, for volunteering in this organization. We consist of over 50 alumni ready to add value to our community. This issue of the AISB Alumni WORLD Magazine is one that celebrates a milestone, or rather a relationship. All AISB alumni have called Romania their home at some point in time, and this year Romania is turning 100 years old. This country was born to allow a people their

identity that was forged during hundreds of years of tumultuous history. No matter what the situation, people that called this country home have contributed to the world through their creativity and innovation.

am a transylvanian born in the middle of the 1989 Romanian Revolution, who received an international education and is now free to leave you, no matter who or from where you are, with a worldwide published thought to resonate with:

Our school was founded in 1962, during the now condemned Communist regime, it was an enclave for different nationalities, people and ideas. A few things have changed since then, such as freedom of speech and movement. Today AISB has developed into an institution for all nationalities, people and ideas, with the goal to educate future responsible global citizens to contribute worldwide through their creativity and innovation.

We are ever so grateful to the many generations of people before us, from all walks of life, that have changed so many things for the better and brought us to where we are today. We live in the best period of humankind and we can only be grateful and cherish what we have if we acknowledge and celebrate relationships such as the one between Romania and AISB.

This past century, tumultuous and horrific, has brought beneficial change to all humans. Take me for example. I

Alexandru Cristescu Association President



Looking Back on a Country Changing, a School Persisting The story begins in the city that used to be known as the Little Paris of Eastern Europe - Bucharest, Romania – one of the most attractive Eastern European destinations prior to the Second World War. In the 1960s Bucharest was inhabited by around 1,200,000 people. As Bucharest was seeing the sunset of its Little Paris age, the seed of a new world was laid discreetly in a ground that was to embrace it tightly.


AISB officially opened its doors in September 1962 with two teachers and six children in three rooms in Vasile Conta. The new school was equipped with American textbooks donated by families. Desks, blackboards, and other supplies were purchased in Frankfurt and brought to Romania on U.S. military planes. Despite the scarce materials and inherent hardships, there was a deep commitment to make the first year a success and to ensure a future for the new school. The school’s first teacher, Mariela Suma paints a picture: “On the first floor there were four Romanian families living. We had to go through their house to get into the school which was on the second floor. This was behind the embassy, the former consular section. We had a hallway, wooden floors (you could hear every little step), there were two rooms on one side and one on the other. 1963 – 13 students. Like the first American colonies – all the students were Americans.” From the beginning, academic results proved most gratifying, and parentstudent morale was high. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the school’s first

Vasile Conta Campus

big challenge outside of teaching. Security for the students became the most pressing concern and students were not allowed out on the playground for almost one month. The school weathered this event and over the next three years enrollment continued to grow as it began to admit children from other foreign missions. “Many of our former alumni remember those days. Over the years, we have had countless letters, heartfelt thoughts and many rewarding words from them. They became our pride and the very essence of all those many years of hard work.” Ms. Suma reflects on the early years of AISB.

Dramatic Changes at AISB

In the 1980s, the school had moved to a different location, on Engineer Nicolae Costinescu street. This campus became warmly known simply as ‘Costinescu.’ It shared a common wall with the television

Costinescu Campus

station and consequently became part of the tumultuous revolution that was rapidly developing at the end of December 1989. The school building and grounds were part of the area experiencing fierce fighting and the school was occupied. It wasn’t until the middle of January 1990 that we were able to re-enter the school to find out that it had been destroyed. It was entirely unsafe to re-open. By the end of January 1990, however, classes were resumed. As the school continued to grow, another location was acquired in 1993 and the Dorobanti campus was opened and another in 1996 in Laptari. Thus, the school operated in three different locations throughout the city. As in the past, the international community rallied to keep the educational program going and this spirit of community continues to be a driving force of AISB. Over the years, as Romania has opened its doors to more foreign investment and has become a member of the European Union, the student population has continued to increase dramatically. AISB’s new, purpose-built campus was opened in 2001 and continues to grow to meet the needs of our community today.

Dorobanti Campus


Greg Coxson, one of the first ASB students talks about his time in Romania: “Our time in Bucharest straddled two periods in Romanian history. In 1965 Gheorghiu-Dej (President of Romania at the time) died, ushering in the long tenure of Nicolae Ceausescu. This was something I knew because I collected stamps and because we were not allowed to stray into town because of the funeral preparations. I remember a day when my father had to stay inside the embassy because of the bricks and stones that were being thrown at it; I still don’t know what caused the trouble. I also recall seeing grainy war footage from Vietnam, but one thing I am happy about from our time there is that we did not own a television.” Greg has very fond memories about his school life at ASB: “When my family arrived in Bucharest in fall 1963, we were in an apartment and had very few toys, few books and no friends. My parents decided to try and place me in

Greg & Robert..


the American School. Our school was on the second floor of a building in town which had private families occupying other floors. Our front entrance did not empty into the street, but into a courtyard at the side of the building which served as our recess play area. I remember playing cops and robbers, and also recall that the ground was often covered with chestnuts, which we liked to incorporate in our play at times. Holidays were a special time, something we celebrated at school, as well as out of school. They provide some of my strongest memories of the school. On St. Patrick’s Day we were careful to wear green. April Fools’ Day was a day of very active fooling in the hallways. And on March 1st, my sister Molly would join with neighbors […] to observe Martisoare by collecting charms to dangle from thin red and white string.” Excerpt from the AISB 50th Anniversary Book (Read full story

“When school dismissed for Christmas holidays at noon, 20 December 1989, a tumultuous revolution was rapidly developing. Within a few days the school building and grounds were part of the area experiencing fierce fighting for our neighboring television station.” The yearbook included pictures to show the damage to the school “minor when compared with those men, women and young people who fought and died for the cause of freedom.” “The Revolution was a huge thing,” remembers Mariela Suma. “We closed the school for the vacation and that was when the revolution happened. It was the time of Ambassador Green who had just been appointed. He was very helpful, a great person to have here during the Revolution. We did not reconvene right away after the revolution. Our school had a

common wall with the television station so it was occupied. The so called terrorists occupied it. We don’t know who they were; we just knew it was occupied. We were only able to get back in towards the middle of January. Then, when we tried to get in it was all destroyed by bullets. We were able to pick bullet cartridges from the bulletin and white boards. Everything was totally destroyed so we could not get back into the building. We found flags and other things from the revolution and kids started collections.” “I hope that all the work that we did then in establishing school traditions and climate have somehow helped mold the school as it is today.” says former ASB Director John K. Johnson, looking back on his Romanian adventure. Excerpt from the AISB 50th Anniversary Book (Read full story


�Our supplies were limited to what was flown in, and what we could get. I remember trading Juicy Fruit chewing gum to my best friend Doru. His father was a Major in the secret police. He would give me listening devices for the chewing gum, which I turned over to my father. I guess that made me one of the youngest American spies (age 9, 1964).� John Shaw, one of the first students of the American School


Interview with

Andrei Timofte AISB Alumnus, Class of 2006

A native of Romania, Andrei Timofte currently resides in the dynamic and energetic city of Cluj where he is excited to be contributing to the development of the city and creating new places for the community to enjoy. He credits AISB with helping to fuel his success, and is proud to be giving back to his country. WM: Tell us about your first day at AISB. What year was it? What was it like? AT: It feels like such a long time ago...It was 2001, the school was still in the old campus on Dorobantilor Blvd. It was a surreal experience, because everything was different from my old school. I can say it felt like a new beginning, so definitely a very exciting time at AISB! I graduated in 2006. Graduation gave me a sense of achievement and excitement for the next stage in life. WM: Tell us about what you've been up to since graduating from AISB? AT: Right after graduation I enrolled in Babes Bolyai University where I majored in economics and management. In parallel, I started work at the family business which at that time was mostly involved in construction. After graduation I became more involved in the business, and 5 years ago I took on the role of chief executive officer of the company. WM: Why did you choose to stay in Romania vs. pursuing a college degree and/or professional career abroad? AT: I was lucky to learn a lot from my parents in terms of managing a business, so I didn't want to throw that opportunity away. I felt that after working a few years I would have a better understanding of what I really like and I'm interested in. Just last year I completed my master's degree in real estate at Reading University, UK. I’m happy to be working towards a better Romania. WM: Can you tell us what life is like for the CEO of Transilvania Constructii? What are some major projects you are working on? What do you do in your down time?

AT: First of all, balance is essential - as the Learner Profile trait in the IB curriculum at AISB reminds us! Enjoying life is important for me, that’s why I try to balance time between work/ family/friends and hobbies. Tennis is a sport I practice regularly, about 2-3 times a week, and a sport I enjoyed at AISB as well. It helps me relax and disconnect from work. My other hobbies are mountain biking and off-road exploring. Professionally, I’m currently working on developing a network of industrial parks in Romania. I find the industrial sector quite interesting because it enables the manufacturing and movement of goods for the end user. The first industrial park is located in Cluj and the next one is in the center of Moldova, in Bacau. The second major project is phase two of Novis Plaza, a contemporary office complex focused on creating a complete ecosystem for the very high standards of today's workforce. Very recently I started to work on a new unique project that I’m very passionate about. Redeveloping the largest sports club in ClujNapoca into a landmark project for the entire region. WM: Finally, can you share with us your favorite high school memory from AISB? When you are planning to visit the school next? AT: Romanian classes were very special during the last two high school years. It was a class I was always waiting for. Lots of fun! I haven’t visited since graduation but I hope I have the chance to visit the school in the near future and see how it has evolved. It represents a very important time in my life.


When your kids say

“Back home in Romania” Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni, AISB Alumni Liaison

I think it’s in my blood. I have never been doubtful or scared of moving to a different place (five so far) and I have always made it my home. My grandmother, at the beginning of the last century, left her family, her home and country – Italy - to

follow the love of her life, to one of the least developed countries, Albania. For her, making herself at home and settling meant opening the first maternity ward of the small hospital in the city – as a young and enthusiastic gynecologist doctor, while her husband was the new Finance Manager of the Italian oil company. Settling in meant trying hard to learn the language by training the very first Albanian


obstetric nurses, or raising awareness and convincing the local population to send their women to have their babies in the hospital, in an attempt to improve the dramatic infant and mother mortality, or even talking to other powerful families of the city - potential sponsors – in order to furbish, equip, and strengthen her newly established hospital. She used to tell me stories of her amazing life…at times

not happy at all, but so inspiring, so beautiful. When we moved from Ukraine to Romania our daughters, Sara and Giorgia, had just finished 2nd and 4th grade. My husband, Armando, – a civil engineer - had already worked in Romania for more than 4 years, had learned the language, made friends, but was then appointed somewhere else.

He kept saying how he would love to go back to work in Romania, this time with us all, and that finally happened in 2008. He was lucky to be already speaking Romanian, knowing the country and having already made Romanian friends. It was for us as well. It is not customary that you move to a foreign country and you already have friends who look after you, go with you to markets, to see houses and schools, while your husband is somewhere in the country either working on a bridge or on the restoration of 100 schools in rural areas of Romania. I was ever so grateful for that. I use the word “lucky” a lot. Despite difficult moments in my life and in that of my family, if you zoom out and see my life that’s what you would see, as well – lucky! I not only got lucky with the beautiful country I had just moved to, not only already had friends but the school the kids were attending was awesome! I did not know then that AISB would become my family and Romania would become my home. Our kids integrated very well. When we just moved to Bucharest we were living near a park in Dorobanti, in a house surrounded by apartment blocks – full of kids. The girls were already using 4 languages to communicate – English, Italian, Albanian and Russian - and playing outside every day with more than 20 kids from the neighborhood helped them learn Romanian fast and make new friends even before starting school. Going to school was a joy for them, so getting involved in extracurricular activities

and social services was almost automatic. Student Council, Vampires team, plays and musicals to start with, but soon we started holding babies at the Fundatia Inocenti Center as well as at the Missione Don Orione. I once read an article saying that kids do expect to see their parents at home, I mean it is a presence that doesn’t astonish or amaze them at all; they don’t feel particularly proud for seeing you in the kitchen or living room and do not talk to their friends about that. On the other hand, the presence of one (or both) parents at their school is something that in the long run will have a huge positive impact on them. At first, I felt it was not being fair to me, because I was not looking for a job and was staying home exactly to be there for them. The article then went on explaining how kids start “noticing” parents when they go to their school matches, when they are present to help the teacher or with the PTO, they often feel pride for things that their parents do at school and even talk to the other kids about you. Long story short, with all the time I had on my hands, and given my outgoing personality, I immediately got involved at the school through the PTO. Loving books, I started organizing Scholastic Book Club, coaching kids to pick and order books – ah, the enthusiasm, the wait and the fun when the books arrived. Christmas, every month. I then got involved with the Food Committee, working with the school caterer, nutritionists and Elementary School to

ensure organic and healthy food was provided to the children. The Policy Committee, performances department, organizing nationality liaisons, events, including the larger community wide ones, such as International Days and Terry Fox & Welcome Back BBQ followed shortly. My experience as an involved parent culminated with subbing, being part of chairing a group of eight editions of the PTO Auction, and leading the PTO for two years. Being the President of the PTO and Gala Chair for two years in row was the busiest time of my life and the most exciting here in Bucharest. Viewing the community from inside and connecting it with the wider Bucharest community, to come together for very noble causes was one of the most rewarding activities I was part of. We came to Romania for 2-3 years…then 10. Lucky again? Yes, definitely! The girls were more and more involved in school and other organizations – combining the CAS requirements with personal interest, giving a hand wherever possible. Two different natures - my girls - but so caring, reaching out, offering a shoulder or an ear for whomever felt the need. I was very proud to see them both nominated by their classmates as peer counselors but even happier and prouder to see them both nominated and awarded for their international understanding. Because for us as parents, while it is important to be good in school, the most important thing was that they were the caring, helping, supporting friend, connecting and motivating

other fellow peers and finding joy and fulfillment in doing this. My daughters are both AISB graduates and study abroad now, and I miss them. My husband Armando has always served on Boards of Trustees in other schools before coming to Bucharest, and this time he even got to be part of the construction of the new Early Learning Center, as supervisor of works and then involved directly in the construction and finishing. This goes to show that AISB is truly in the blood of the entire Pezzoni family! Now that my PTO days are over, I am a full time employee of the school. I am proud to have set up the Vampires store, the first one of this kind in school history. It is not just about a sport shirt – it is never just about a transaction, be it a shirt, or a service – it is also about feeling proud to wear a Vampires shirt, or a “Proud Vampire Mom” shirt. As an alumni mom and employee my life continues to revolve around the school, as I now have the privilege to also be the AISB Alumni Coordinator. I love this job. I am once again involved in maintaining the school’s legacy – excellence, community building, networking, support for our wider community members. Once a vampire – always a vampire: so true! So, it isn’t just by chance that when I ask my girls “When are you coming home, baby” I mean “back home to Bucharest” and I am ever so grateful for this warm and welcoming home.


University. WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? Matthew Kendrick, AISB Alumnus, Class of 2009

I have a love/ hate relationship with the university system in the UK. On the one hand, UK institutions are a great environment for meeting like minded individuals and developing broader opinions. On the other, higher education has been commercialised and commoditised. It’s now a commodity peddled with such fervour that there is somehow an expectation that university should naturally follow high school. My experiences have taught me that this expectation is damaging to young adults and wrong. University is not the only way to pursue higher education. The focus on

university attendance was highlighted in 1999, at least in the UK, by Tony Blair (former British prime minister) when he stated that his goal was for 50% of the British public under 30 to have attended university by 2010. However, the impact of promoting university without promoting industry is that as of last year; 58% of university graduates are employed in nongraduate jobs. This policy by no means is unique to the UK, most governments around the world have pursued methods by which to increase the number of their workforce with university degrees. So keep in mind, the number of graduates increase while the job market is not always


ready to accept all of them. During my time at university, I had the opportunity to sit on the University of Dundee’s governing body. For many reasons, this was an eye opening experience. While I was part of the governing body, the UK government introduced higher university fees, raising the fees for attending university in the UK to £9250 a year which naturally had a negative impact on university applications. However, as of last year, university applications are back up to their previously highest levels.

increased fees on the students and more concerned with how to market the university to the public. It was interesting to see the university selectively use statistics to skirt around the major employability issues discussed above. For instance, universities like to tout that their degrees have high employability numbers. However, they often leave out the fact that these numbers also include students that do postgraduate degrees. More often than not, the students that undertake postgraduate degrees do so because they are unable to secure jobs with their undergraduate degree.

The governing body was less concerned with the impact of the

It should be clear from the above that university is not the

land of milk and honey that some people tout it to be. University is the right place for a number of people who want to enter specific professions where a higher education degree in the subject is required but it is clearly not a one size fits all system. It is alright to change degrees, it is alright to fail, what is more important is to pursue your own personal fulfilment, always learn and continuously improve yourself. This is particularly true due to the adoption of the internet over the last 20 years. It used to be that universities were a hub of information and knowledge that was difficult if not impossible to access anywhere else.

However, the internet changed this fact. We are now able to find out almost anything you want to from the internet. This naturally raises questions about the relevance of universities in the modern day. You might say that having access to information is very different from being taught something like at a university. However, the reality is that in universities like the University of Cambridge and SOAS (University of London), only 3 percent of academic faculty members are known to be qualified teachers. Universities expect students to be selflearners rather than require teaching. With the above backdrop in mind, I

think it’s relevant to look at my friends as a case study. Some of whom chose not to attend university or who withdrew from their studies part way through university. Some friends joined the army, others went straight into work, and others travelled before working or studying. As we have all started reaching our 30’s, the differences between myself and my friends who went to university and those that chose not too are almost indistinguishable. We are all on different career paths and seeking fulfilment in what we do. The worry that we all had in coming out of high school about failing seems irrelevant now. There is no one

defined method to fulfilment or success. At AISB, through the PYP, MYP, and IB, we are taught to be knowledge seekers. This is an intangibly precious skill. It allows us to pursue our own paths of learning and development that may not fit in with mainstream expectation. When you are at school, it is difficult to know what path to take forward. However, you should feel comforted by the fact that you are being taught the skills needed to make these decisions and that in the end it will be your decision and no one else’s. I am not for a minute suggesting that whatever choice you make will be the right one. You will make mistakes but in the

end those mistakes will form part of your experience. University is not for everyone but if you stay true to the ideals of a global citizen who is always on a path of being a life learner, university can become a place where you grow faster and stronger. It is not sufficient to just get a degree, millions on the planet do that at the same time. What this globalized world will always need is high quality people, who are ready to adapt quickly and are not afraid of the international dimension and the competition it brings.

do the bare minimum, explore as many fields as you can that have relevance with your main field of study, accumulate and be creative, challenge your professors and try to get as much out of that relationship as possible. Never stop learning. That is how you make a university degree worth it, that is how you will become a strong candidate for any position and that in turn will lead you to fulfilment. Matthew Kendrick Solicitor Arcadian Law

My advice is simple, if you choose to go to university, do not


Tae Lee Interview with

AISB Alumnus, Class of 1999

Tae Lee is a truly international Third Culture Kid, having traveled and lived in multiple countries before coming to Romania with his family to spend his final three years of high school at AISB. Lee’s personal and professional experiences are just as diverse, having spent time as an Air Force interpretation officer, professional boxer, advertisement executive, and investment banker before becoming a lawyer. His time at AISB exhibits the evolution of the school, the longterm impact of being a Vampire, and reminds us that then or now, a sports trophy is a sought after accomplishment worth the effort! WM: How did you find yourself in Romania at AISB? What is one of your fondest memories of your time there? TL: My family came to Romania during its tumultuous times, when the communist regime had just collapsed and the doors were beginning to open for many foreign internationals. My father was a diplomat for South Korea, so the entire family came over. Before Romania, we had lived in Morocco, Senegal, and Belgium. AISB was still called ASB (American School of Bucharest) at the time. The campus was much smaller, as we used an old mansion on Dorobanti Street, with no more than 15 kids in each grade. You heard it right, 15 kids in each grade! ASB still had grades K – 12th, but it was a small community. With so few kids in each class, students were a tightly knit bunch. We got along with the teachers as well, except for a few days after report cards were sent out!


One of my fondest memories at the school was during my junior year, when KFC first opened in Bucharest. Until then McDonald’s was the only way that the kids could stuff themselves with the not-so-healthy fast food. Ever so hungry, I decided to skip class, hop over the closed fence and got my hands on those golden drumsticks. The chicken was ‘finger lickin’ good.’ The aftermath when I got caught by the teachers? Not so good. WM: How did your education contribute to your profession as a lawyer? What did you learn as an international student at AISB that has been valuable to you in your life and career? TL: ‘International’ has always been a key word to describe me. In every personal statement, essay, or job application, this word has always been a staple. Because of its unmatched

diversity, AISB has allowed me to open my eyes to international perspectives. Just by virtue of being surrounded by so many students with different cultural backgrounds, I have broadened my perspectives in life. During my years, with a relatively small student body, AISB has made it a mission to delegate significant responsibilities to students. Students were assigned to key positions in student governments, fundraising opportunities, and cultural events. The precocious experience has always helped me navigate through college, military, law school, and now my legal career. WM: What motivated you to pursue a law degree? TL: I grew up watching legal thriller movies (A Few Good Men; The Pelican Brief) and reading John Grisham novels.

I have always been interested in the profession, which has existed throughout history. Why did mankind always need someone with legal knowledge to represent them? Why did so many political leaders have a law degree? That was always fascinating to me. WM: What would be the central advice you would give students who want to pursue a law degree in the US? TL: My advice would be to consider gaining real life experience before applying for law schools. Rather than going straight to law school after college, it would help your long term perspective and maturity if you took a few years learning in other professions. I was an Air Force interpretation officer, professional boxer, advertisement executive, and investment banker before becoming a lawyer. Of course, I would not necessarily recommend anyone investing in this much variety, but a few years doing something different would certainly help! It sounds silly, but I still regret not taking 1-2 years off to attend a PGA Tour Academy to perfect my golf swings. Practicing law can be exciting, but can also be monotonous. Having a few years of real life experience not only can help you maintain focus to go through law school, but also can mold you into an attractive candidate in the eyes of your employers. WM: What would you say are the advantages of going through military training? TL: Every Korean male must go through mandatory military service – meaning you must serve in the military for at least 22 months between the ages 18-36. In any event, spending your formative years in an organization that stresses

discipline and patriotism can be a positive experience. If you could choose to apply for a longer service as an officer (requires a college degree), this could be a resume builder as well. It would open doors for higher security clearance, and the experience that you can get access to would be extraordinary. Imagine having access to the denuclearization talks at age 22! WM: What should students who move to the US from overseas expect? What would be the biggest change?

given. For example, AISB offered me opportunities to visit the local children’s HIV hospital. I have yet to receive opportunities that were as meaningful as this. And the colleges and employers will certainly recognize your deeds as well. I was always a proud Vampire – one of my regrets in life was not purchasing the AISB letterman jacket while at school. During my time, the Vampires have won the CEESA tournament twice in boys’ volleyball, but never in basketball. That still hurts. I truly hope that you brought home that basketball trophy in the recent years.

TL: As a 16-year old, I was the second youngest freshman at Duke – the youngest was a Chinese girl who was 14 and a genius. (I was young due to an administrative error.) Adjusting to life in a new country was a challenge. Adjusting to college life where there was so much freedom was an even bigger challenge. I had too much time on my hands, with no parents to guide me through. I spent the majority of my freshman year sleeping in, taking naps, and playing basketball. It is important to be mentally prepared and focused to not fall off the rail while making the best of the freedom one is given. Finding a mentor can be helpful. Staying healthy can be a challenge too. On-campus cafeterias offer a wonderful variety of meals, but very few freshmen are mature enough to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. WM: Is there anything I didn’t ask that you think our community would like to know about you and what you’ve learned along the way? TL: The more years removed from graduation, the more you understand how valuable the whole AISB experience was. I urge everyone to take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities


Brindley. She says the purpose of this project is to “surprise and delight” the AISB community.

8 HIGH SCHOOL ACTORS PERFORM “THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE IN 90 MINUTES” Flora P. If you think Shakespeare is boring, the AISB HS Theater Department proved every audience member wrong, when eight high school cast members performed the easiest and funniest summaries of Shakespeare that you will ever find: “The Complete Works of Shakespeare in 90 minutes.” “People are going to look at Shakespeare in a different light, and see the humor involved in even the serious plots.” – Play Director, Kathleen Caster The title, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare in 90 Minutes,” is practically self-explanatory; it’s a fast-paced collection of highlights from all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays. It was performed by eight actors, which made it particularly special. Because there are so few people, each [person] played multiple characters throughout the performance.

YARN BOMB Tea D. The 10th grade Textile students “yarn bombed” the covered pathway between the cafeteria and secondary school. “Yarn bombing is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint,” explains Design Textile Teacher, Ms. Jann

The individual yarn designs were pitched by the students, and presented to Dr. Robert Brindley, Ms. Dawn Kovacs (the PTO President), and Mr. Erik Peterson (design teacher), who then selected the final concept.


Teenagers love taking photos everywhere. Our camera rolls are filled with hundreds of pictures that consist of selfies, portraits and landscape captures.

Flower Graffiti- Arthur Verona Arthur Verona is a street filled with colorful graffiti creations like walls full of flowers, comic snippets, cartoon-like characters, dead rats and realistic figures. It is a wonderful place to take many creative pictures in different graffiti scenes all in the same street.

George Enescu National Museum This art nouveau entrance is extremely eye-catching and historic for one’s Instagram page. It was built in 1901 until 1903 by Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, Romania’s former prime minister and designed by the architect Ioan D. Berindei.

Every mural is so different that there must be one for every passerby to admire and pose next to.

It is a museum dedicated to Romania’s most famous musician, George Enescu. This building has historic architecture that is temping for photos. While you’re there, you should also explore the works of the musician and discover the life of Romania’s most successful musician.

Location: Strada Pictor Arthur Verona, București 030167

However, out of all the hundreds of photographs, only a number are acceptable to upload to our Instagram pages.

Location: Calea Victoriei 141, București

Herastrau Lake Going to the park is an amazing activity in the spring for riding your bike, taking a walk or just hanging out with friends, so pulling out your phone for a picture could take seconds and will end up gorgeous any time of day. Pasajul Victoria- Umbrella Alley In the center of Bucharest there is an alley that has dozens of colorful umbrellas hanging two meters above your head. It is a very colorful scene that is the ideal place to pose underneath. It is located near a pizza restaurant called ‘Pizzeria Colosseum,’ so after posing and capturing a picture for Instagram you can treat yourself to a slice. Location: Calea Victoriei, nr. 4850 (Pasaj Victoria), București


Herastrau Park is one of Romania’s largest parks; however, the gem is the lake. It is an all-day reflector for its surrounding.

CEC Palace CEC Palace is one of the most popular pictures tagged with #Discoverbucharest. It is a beautiful, historic building with glass rooftops and brick details that was built in 1900.

Although the lake is 187 hectares and has so many perspectives, the best spot is next to the restaurants, sitting on the lake near the Chinese Embassy.

Standing in front or beside this enormous bank gives the shot a stunning historic backdrop. It is placed in the center of Bucharest and is a perfect stop for taking photos and going out to eat or exploring the city more.

Location: Parc Herastrau, Sector 1, Bucharest, București 014192

Location: Calea Victoriei 13, București


THE HS SPEECH AND DEBATE TEAM’S TRIP TO BAKU: A FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE David S. The AISB CEESA High School Speech and Debate team traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan to pursue medals and experiences on the 1st of February. When they came back, they brought trophies and unforgettable memories. Although Speech and Debate competitions require a lot of work and energy, it is definitely worth joining it. The experiences you go through and the different public speaking skills learned are valuable to know and will help you in the future. “It [Speech and Debate] allows people to speak [publicly] which is such an important skill and also teaches people about world issues and problems which is good to know,” says 3rd place debater Mominah I. All of the three days in Azerbaijan consisted of a mix of emotions, interesting experiences, and many lessons learned. Thank you, Baku (and all you had to offer), for the great experience, and a huge thank you to Ms. Cristina Cuzuc and Ms. Meagan Matthews for making these few extraordinary days a reality. JAPANESE FOOD IN BUCHAREST: MORE THAN JUST SUSHI Alex T When you hear the words “Japanese food,” what exactly comes to mind? Chances are your answer is sushi. It’s undoubtedly Japan’s most iconic dish, and for good reason. But Japanese food is so much more than raw fish and hand rolls. There’s yakatori (delicious

skewered chicken), udon (thick noodles in savory broth), soba (thin buckwheat noodles), ramen noodles, pickled vegetables, chicken cooked in teriyaki sauce and a variety of other dishes. Luckily, this traditional, home-style food is available at Dorobanti restaurant YUKI. Owner Ichiro Yuki opened the restaurant in 2015, and was nice enough to answer some of our questions before we sat down to eat. Here’s what he had to say:

WRAPPING UP OUR 1ST YEAR @ THE BITE Toyosi A. Starting from scratch is never easy. In the beginning, all we had was a teacher, a group of high school students, and the mere abstraction of a school newspaper without a logo or even a name. And so, that’s

“What I love about the design is that it is fairly simple, but the B in ‘Bite’ is fun and interesting,” Sophia continues. Then came the hiring process. Few may actually remember this, but The Bite sent out an application form for 9th and 10th graders to become staff members on the Journalism

Q: What inspired you to open this restaurant? A: “I wanted the city of Bucharest to have, and enjoy, an authentic Japanese restaurant that would truly represent our Japanese culture in all aspects – food, service and atmosphere.” Q: What do you think makes your food different/special compared other Japanese restaurants in Bucharest? A: “I understand that sushi is an exotic and catchy type of food for people from outside Japan. But, sushi is NOT everyday food for most Japanese people. YUKI only serves Japanese home dishes that parents prepare for family. It also means that the majority of Japanese restaurants in Japan serve something similar to ours. For your information, only 5% of all restaurants in Tokyo are sushi restaurants. We also cook traditional ingredients with natural (non-chemical) condiments in traditional, slow methods. This is in fact is very rare with Japanese restaurants outside [of] Japan and also becoming rare in Japan lately unfortunately.”

the step that kick-started The Bite’s creation: designing and brainstorming the newspaper’s trademark through a series of workshops. Sophia N., the current Multimedia Manager for The Bite, also happened to be the student who designed the winning logo. “It felt great, and I was happy to contribute to the website,” Sophia says. “There were many other amazing logos and names made by other students, which makes me proud that my logo was chosen out of all of the options.” Some of the runner-ups were

To sum up the experience here at YUKI, it was a great journey! Not only was the food wonderful and uniquely authentic, but the staff was also respectful and polite.

team. Head of the program, Ms. Jennifer Stevens, who originally edited and posted all the content, decided that the site should be more student-led, and hired four students to retake the class as staff members second semester. Ninth grade Copy Editor Maya T. says, “I really liked helping out in this unseen kind of way. As a copy editor, I got to help the writers become happier with their work, and the readers were also happy because the content was easier to understand.” From then on, it was a combination of students writing stories and planning marketing projects for the website, and the work done behind-the-scenes by the staff members that made what The Bite is today.

Bite Rating: 5/5 AISB’s Blood Type, Silent Types, and even The Talking Dead; but in the end, it was Sophia’s short yet catchy name that won the votes and hearts of secondary students.


Interview with

Diana Suciu

AISB Alumna, Class of 2015

Born and raised in Romania, Diana Suciu spent 5 years, grade 8 through 12, as a student at AISB. Her favorite memories at AISB shine a light on the community and opportunity for students to thrive and grow. She shares how her experiences outside of the classroom, then and now, have enhanced her learning and professional growth. Her story is a testament to the power of hard work and determination and we can’t wait to see where she goes next. WM: What is one of your earliest/best memories of AISB? DS: All of my memories of AISB are very dear to me, and it’s difficult to settle on only one. Something that stands out very clearly, though, is my very first Speech & Debate tournament in 8th grade. It was my first year at AISB, and I was very shy and unsure if I had what it takes to make the team. I was incredibly lucky that Mr. Roach was the coach, because he took the time to help me realize my own potential and, in a way, discover myself in the process. I worked harder than ever before to prepare, and in the end it paid off because we won. To this day, I think back to that tournament whenever I feel like I am losing my way. It truly made me see that anything is doable when you give it your best. WM: Tell us a bit about what you have been doing since you graduated from AISB. DS: After graduating in 2015, I studied Law at King’s College London. During university, I was really involved in extracurricular activities, the highlight of which is probably my internship at the European Parliament. I was elected president of King’s Think Tank, the largest student think tank in Europe, which helped me add a political twist to my studies. If anything, my experience serves to show that you


can do a lot even if you are a “simple” university student, if you actively look for opportunities outside of regular class. I just graduated in July 2018, and I am currently pursuing a Master of Law degree at Cornell University. WM: What did you choose to specialize in? What type of law are you pursuing at Cornell? DS: I am currently specializing in Public International Law, which governs the conduct of states, and how they interact with each other and with international organizations. Since PIL is a very broad field, I chose to focus my studies at Cornell on two practice areas: human rights and international trade. While at first glance they may not seem to complement each other much, I find that you can’t understand the strengths of one without understanding the weaknesses of the other. WM: You’ve advised future students to take advantage of all opportunities, tell us about your current adventures as a student at Cornell? DS: At Cornell, you can apply to be part of clinic classes, meaning that you work with your professors on real life cases. I am currently part of the International Human Rights Clinic, and I get to spend 2 weeks this semester in Tanzania and

Malawi working on some of our cases there. The field experience is incredible, and it has opened my eyes to the importance of having an international mechanism for protecting human rights. At the same time, it has made me reflect on the role international advocates should take when working in a country with different customs than your own. We need to be careful not to impose values beyond those that have been agreed upon internationally, because there are very few instances when you can firmly say your culture takes a better approach than another. WM: How did you discover law to be your passion and how has AISB shaped your direction? DS: I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember, at first without having concrete reasons for it. All I knew was that I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of it, coupled with the possibility of making a positive impact in people’s lives. At AISB, I really cultivated that passion into an educated career choice. Through the extracurriculars I was involved in (Speech & Debate, Student Council) and my classes (English and History, in particular) I developed some of the basic skills lawyers need, and really came to see how much I loved the world of advocacy.

We need to be careful not to impose values beyond those that have been agreed upon internationally, because there are very few instances when you can firmly say your culture takes a better approach than another.


WM: What do you see as the biggest differences in curriculum and educational style between London and New York?

even more help as it provides knowledge beyond what is expected of a regular high school student.

DS: I dislike generalizing, because I’ve encountered a wide spectrum of approaches to education in both places. Something that I’ve noticed is that law students in the US tend to come to class better prepared than what I was used to, and the expectation is that class will be a discussion as opposed to a lecture. This is partly because Law is a graduate degree in the US, so students have a better sense of their career goals. Most of my classes here also grade participation, so it can really make or break your final score.

WM: How has high school pushed you towards your passion and how did it prepare you?

WM: How has the IB prepared you for the difficulties of the university curriculum? DS: The IB gave me a solid set of skills that are crucial in a Law degree. It taught me how to articulate my thoughts concisely, both in writing and out loud, and it wired my brain to quickly dissect and analyse complex issues. On the other hand, the subject matter of a Law degree is unlike any of the courses offered by the IB so I had to start from zero in that regard. For some other degrees, I would expect the IB can be of


DS: AISB was the perfect environment for me to begin discovering myself, and it truly gave me the chance to figure out what I wanted to do in life. What truly makes AISB special is not the academic side of things, though. I firmly believe you can excel academically in any school if you put in the effort. What truly makes AISB special is that it is a community more than a school. I learned how to work and co-exist with people, and how to navigate the world through the micro universe that is AISB. I discovered and nurtured my passions through extracurricular activities, CAS, or even just chats with teachers after hours. I cannot stress this enough: get involved in things other than you classes! There is no better way to fully take advantage of what AISB has to offer.

WM: What was the process of application and requirements to get into Cornell? DS: For those familiar with the Common App process for US colleges, applying for grad school is not that much different. I had to submit a personal statement, resume, transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, and some basic demographic information. The only specific requirement of the program was to have a Law degree, and while academic excellence was important, there were no further guidelines for acceptance. This made the process all the more nerve wracking as it was difficult to predict if you were going to get in or not. WM: What are your plans for the future? Do you plan on coming back to Romania? DS: I am planning to take the New York Bar Exam next summer, and I am currently in the process of job hunting. We’ll see what opportunities arise! I am trying to keep an open mind and look for jobs that fit me regardless of where they are located geographically. Regardless of where I end up, I will always dedicate time to promoting Romania and its potential.

World Magazine inquired about this exciting time for Romania, AISB, and the alumni association, asking our alumni team: TM

“Tell us your view on the value of our alumni association in a competitive globalised world where an international education is an asset.”



AISB has collectively gathered over 60 different nationalities together over the course of 56 years, and the AISB Alumni Association aims to maintain this community standing even when students move onto the next step in their lives.

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of attending an international school, wanting to experience what I saw in movies, which was very different than what I was experiencing in the Romanian school system. But while it was only a dream, I never thought it would be possible for me. When I was given the opportunity through a scholarship in 2005 to start high school at AISB, I didn’t know how my future was going to take shape. The way this school has changed the way I think, the way I view the world and how I deal with the constant changes can’t be put in words. I am grateful to have experienced both the Romanian Public school system, and also the American International system, as they both helped me become the person I am today.

As the Alumni Association PR rep, I believe that the best way to achieve this is by using social media and interactive events to stay up to date with each other’s activities. The start of the AISB Alumni Platform (http://alumni. has brought together a community of students that have matured with a very similar foundation, “prepared and inspired to be successful and responsible global citizens”. As a result of that, the AISB Alumni community has grown to be very active and united, allowing us to integrate with each other and continue working together. Only when I graduated in 2014 did I truly realize how much this school has contributed to who I am today, and I believe I speak

for a great number of alumni when I say this. I am grateful for Romania’s 100 years of existence, a century in which the country has battled for unity and democracy. Not many know that AISB had its first “campus” in an attic, with only 6 students from the American Embassy. Today, AISB’s campus is equipped with the most innovative resources and modern technology, on a 10 hectare, state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility. Many AISB alumni still call Romania home, or have done so at some point, and this makes me very proud. We are all an eclipse of the school’s integrity and professionalism and I hope its current students get inspired by each of our accomplishments and use it as fuel for their own dreams. Michelle Ciubuc Alumni Association PR

I have had the privilege to be taught by wonderful dedicated people, who have opened my mind through their teaching and the ways they constantly tried to keep us, the students, interested in their subject. Coming back to Romania after finishing university, and working in the school that has done so much for me, I feel like I can give back to this community, that I can make an impact and help change the world by influencing the young minds of tomorrow. The constant improvements continue to show how AISB has come a long way since starting in 1962, especially

in the past couple of years. The school have been evolving as the world changes. The school invests in the facilities, as well as in the human resources. By hiring experienced professionals, the school provides a nurturing environment where students are empowered and helped to reach their full potential, preparing them to become responsible and openminded global citizens. I am proud to be Romanian, in a country that has fought for independence and democracy for many years and this year celebrates 100 years since its unification. I think I speak for many alumni when I say that we are all unbelievably blessed to have attended such an amazing school. I only hope the work that we, the Alumni Association, with the support of AISB, will help shape and inspire the current students to become adults that one day will change this world and make it a better place. Dorothea Achim Alumni Association Treasurer


proud past.

dynamic future. AISB spans over half a century of exceptional learning, beautiful memories, wonderful community events, inspiring teachers, academic excellence, cultural diversity, and so much more. Our faculty, staff, students, and parents keep the past alive while creating new stories to share with our AISB family every day.



Excerpt from the AISB 50th Anniversary Book


The start of the new millennium found the American International School of Bucharest as a school with strong and deep roots and high aims. “We knew that it was essential for the school to build a single, purpose built campus. However, there were huge challenges in this. First, we had no money to put toward such a project. Second, we had no legal status […] that would allow us to build and own a new school. Finally, we had no land upon which to build.” (Fred Wesson)

Ms. Simona Miculescu, former Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Romania and Susan Johnson, DCM, US Embassy officially open the new campus


On September 5th, 2001, the AISB Elementary School was anxious to start the new school year. Parents and students together were waiting to enter a new home, built especially for them, the new AISB campus in Pipera Tunari 196. Excitement, joy and high expectations were in the air as members of the AISB Board of Directors, administrative team, parents, students and faculty came together to inaugurate the new building. In her dedication speech, Ms. Susan Johnson, US Embassy DCM and Chairperson of the AISB Board of Directors, reminded all of the huge amount of work that made this dream come true but all eyes were ready to explore the new school. The Secondary School students remained in the Dorobanti campus for the first half of the 01-02 school year, anxiously awaiting their move in the winter. In the Carpati Chronicle, the school’s newspaper, Chris Muller, former AISB Secondary School Principal, wrote about how the excitement of moving into the new campus intertwined with the sadness of leaving such a wonderful building as the one in Dorobanti: “So we reach the point where we say goodbye to our beautiful home at Dorobantilor no. 39. Our cozy family home with its guardian angel looking down from the gable. The place that is brimming with memories, from academic trials and tribulations to victories and defeats on the sports field, to

sharing intellectual and cultural pursuits with people from in and outside of our community. We have long dreamed of moving into our beautiful new campus but now that the move is imminent we start to get very sentimental about Doro. The reality is we have outgrown this place and it is time for somebody else to reap the benefits of its unique character and facilities. We are meant for bigger and better things at the new campus.“

In January 2002 the American International School students were under one roof, in the new campus, in a school in which more than 40 nationalities come together to work and play in cultural harmony. For the first time in the 39 years of its existence, AISB had over 300 students under one roof and was not going to keep silent about it. The April 2002 New Campus Dedication Day inaugurated all of the new AISB facilities in a ceremony that was attended by over 1,000 people. The current Central Park of the AISB, the heart of the school, hosted a full size stage and was the focal point of all ceremonies. In attendance

were representatives of the Romanian government, the Orthodox Church, the US Embassy and other embassies, parents, students, family and staff of AISB. They all gathered together to celebrate the dedication of the greatest international school campus in Romania. AISB students enchanted everyone with their talent and showcased the endless possibilities that the new facilities offered. Going around the hallways, classrooms, library, theater or sports facilities, guests could listen to the AISB Steel Drum Band or hear wonderful stories read by Early Childhood teachers. They could see technology on display in the new IT Labs or witness a martial arts demonstration in the Elementary School Gym. They could listen to Spanish songs or view a puppet show in the Art Department. And the list goes on and on…. What a day that was! Food, drinks and entertainment topped the day. All guests were entertained by a famous Romanian pop-band and were invited to Romanian folk dances. In the words of Lynn Wells, AISB Director of Admissions and Advancement “The day was unforgettable … in every way.” AISB was now settled and ready to build on its impressive history, to draw on its outstanding roots and grow. Sky was the limit …

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Join us for the AISB Alumni Reunion in the City by the Bay VENUE: Waterbar 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA The Bridge Tower Room is nestled directly under the Bay Bridge on the San Francisco Bay. Wall-to-wall windows allow for a Bay and City view simultaneously, and the private terrace provides a theatrical backdrop for the private dining room.

DATE: February 3, 2019 TIME: 11:30 - 15:00

Sos. Pipera Tunari 196, Voluntari, Jud. Ilfov 077190 Romania Tel: (40 21) 204-4300