Grade 10 student Irina M. talks about her experience being a girl in both Romania and Sweden, and how it can shape your life and perspective in this world.

What follows is Irina’s story, in her own words:

“I honestly think this is the best school I have been to yet because it’s just so accepting of everyone and it really gives you all the support that you need and the resources for it. I think AISB definitely has more diversity than the other schools I’ve been to. It really puts the international underlined. I think it really changed my view on learning because last year I lived in Sweden for a year and it was so so different—like extremely different. Everything like the culture, just the work ethic, I guess. It’s so much easier being in your home country; you speak the language and you know the culture just makes sense to you compared to how it is in other countries. 

Honestly, it can be very challenging sometimes being a girl in Romania. It can also be very unsafe at times, especially at night. I feel wherever I go out and wear something more revealing I definitely feel objectified. I always see just old guys, like, staring at me and, you know. Whenever I wanna go out and wear something, even my mum always tells me to, like, change because it’s not appropriate. And I tell her, you know, why can’t it be it’s my body my choice, and she’s, like, I know but you don’t want to know what happens if you dress like that. When we are talking about gender it literally makes almost no difference in Sweden—it’s literally so safe in most places. But compared to Romania it is so much safer and you can literally wear whatever you want, nobody cares. They literally just mind their own business and you know everyone does their own thing compared to Romania, where everybody judges you if you dress a certain way, if you don’t look a certain way. 

Honestly, the school is really against bullying or, you know, harassment and things like that, so that part of it is really amazing. I love that part. But parts that are not spoken about in this school are, like, all the guys, you know? For example, I know in our grade they started rating girls in class, and you know it really did feel horrible because you could hear everything that they were saying, and I think honestly they did it on purpose. But yeah, it honestly just feels horrible. And it’s not more about what you are wearing, it’s more about what group you are in, because no matter how you look they will always judge you.”