One of the greatest opportunities that AISB offers is getting involved in CEESA activities. For those who don’t know, CEESA is The Central & Eastern European Schools Association, which was created as the result of the region’s growth of international schools. Because many CEESA schools are far from each other, they are actually quite isolated, and the only connection that they have is the international or American curriculum. CEESA in an international community that brings American and international Schools together.
There are different types of CEESA sports and activities such as CEESA band and choir, in which all the schools in that division learn the same musical pieces and they have four days to put it together. CEESA sports events are more competitive, as the various school teams are battling for first place.
The CEESA tournaments are held in different countries each year according to the sport. For example, our school is in the Red Division, along with The Moscow Penguins, The Prague Falcons, The Budapest Beavers, The Warsaw Warriors, The Istanbul Dolphins and The Kyiv Kozaks.
The association also has different seasons: fall, winter and spring. The many opportunities include the high school sports, in fall, which are Volleyball, Football or Cross Country, and Band and Choir are spring activities. The high school winter sports are Swimming and Basketball, while the spring activities are Softball and Tennis.
According to the Athletics Director David Hughes, the most anticipated CEESA events are the ones that AISB hosts. One of these will be football (or soccer, for Americans), which will be happening on November 9-12th. It is always a great opportunity to showcase our facilities and it is great to see how well the Varsity Club organises and coordinates the tournaments. Hughes also loves hosting the music and activity events such as MUN and choir that happened last year.
Students benefit from CEESA events in many ways. They get great tournament and event experiences throughout Europe, and it’s a chance to get together with friends from other schools as well, and a wonderful opportunity to stay with host families. It is always so lovely to see students come back to Bucharest and reunite with coaches and players with whom they have worked with before.
Mr. Hughes is a big fan of CEESA and all that it offers, and he hopes that all the students will realise how fortunate they are to have these opportunities, which he didn’t have when he was growing up.
Now, according to the Band Director, Jeffrey Taylor, the most anticipated CEESA music event would be Middle School CEESA Band/Strings Festival (January 31-February 4) and the High School Band/Choir Festival (April 18-22) .
Students participating in these festivals have the opportunity to meet, rehearse and perform with students from several other international schools from Eastern Europe. They have the chance to work in large ensembles that they might not have in their own schools, and they also get to see what life is like at other schools in the conference.
“This year is my third year working with students in the CEESA schools,” says Dr. Taylor. “I have truly enjoyed working with students from other schools alongside my own students at the festivals.” Taylor believes that CEESA offers a very valuable experience for our students to meet peers from similar international schools in other countries. Some of the relationships formed will last for many years after they leave AISB.
For more information on CEESA, visit https://www.ceesa.org/about-ceesa/members/member-schools.html.