Ana Ilinca Segărceanu, Class of 2020

Avenor prepared me really well for University and made the transition from school to University smoother. I felt very well prepared academically as I learnt how to work hard and be organised in all my subjects. I formed connections with my teachers who encouraged me and gave me confidence within myself. This made me more prepared mentally and emotionally for University and made me feel less intimidated about the big change. One of the most useful opportunities I have had at Avenor was the internship experiences we had. My practical work experiences during high school helped me choose my career path better and significantly improved my CV while at University. Having already experienced internships, made me more prepared and skilled for future job opportunities during and after University.

Ana Ilinca graduated from Avenor International High School in 2020 and is a 3rd year student at City, University of London, where she studies Psychology and takes advantage of the practical training opportunities she has, just as she did in high school.

 

How did you take the decision to study Psychology ?

Ana: My two big passions in high school were Art and Psychology, so I was sure I would pursue one of them at University. After completing an Architecture course in New York, I decided that Psychology would be the better option for me, so I continued with a Psychology A Level in my last year of high school. I was supported by excellent Psychology teachers during my A levels, which made me fall in love with Psychology even more and made me sure that it was the subject I wanted to study further. 

Avenor: How did Avenor prepare you for the University experience?

Ana: Avenor prepared me really well for University and made the transition from school to University smoother. I felt very well prepared academically as I learnt how to work hard and be organised in all my subjects. I formed connections with my teachers who encouraged me and gave me confidence within myself. This made me more prepared mentally and emotionally for University and made me feel less intimidated about the big change. One of the most useful opportunities I have had at Avenor was the internship experiences we had. My practical work experiences during high school helped me choose my career path better and significantly improved my CV while at University. Having already experienced internships, made me more prepared and skilled for future job opportunities during and after University. 

Avenor: At this point in your life, how close is reality to the projection you made when you were a student at Avenor?

Ana: During my time at Avenor, I probably would have never thought I will be where I am today. I never expected to have as many work opportunities as I had and I thought my University experience would only be about studying, which was not the case at all. I was able to have a lot of different types of internships and placements which made my experience at City so much more complex and exciting. I was able to apply to be a Brand Ambassador at City, I did a 1-month work placement in the summer at the City’s Student’s Union and I am now doing a 9 month placement as a support worker at a mental health charity. 

Avenor: How did Avenor help you to become the person you are today?

Ana: Avenor offered a supportive and comforting place to learn, grow and make mistakes, all done in a safe environment. I have formed amazing connections with teachers and students that helped me learn better and enjoy my time in highschool. I have formed strong friendships, which are still important to me now and a lot of the students from Avenor are also studying in London with me. I have met amazing teachers which encouraged me, taught me how to work hard and always believed in me. I believe teachers have a huge impact in your life and how you view yourself. Avenor connected me to some special teachers which made me believe in myself and showed me my potential. 

Avenor: What advice do you have for our current students? What should they pay attention to? What should they do better during high school?

Ana: I would tell students to take advantage of their internships and choose them wisely. I think they are such a great opportunity to better understand what you will want to do in the future and to find out what you actually enjoy. There is so much variety to choose from and you can experiment and try so many different types of jobs, which is such a unique opportunity. I remember doing such an important 2-week internship that made me realise that I would really dislike working in that industry. It was something I was so passionate about, and I really saw myself having that career path. I was really thankful for the internship, which showed me the reality of certain industries and made me choose my path more easily. Furthermore, your internships will help you even if you are not sure which career path you want to take, which is very common and normal. In almost all internships you will find transferable skills which can be applied to any degree and career path. 

Avenor: What are your co-curricular activities at the University?

Ana: I am currently doing a 1-year work placement, which is a part of my degree. I am working 4 days a week for 1 year, and I will be going to my final year of University in October 2023. I am a support worker at Likewise, a London-based mental health charity. This placement makes me graduate with so much more experience and many more skills. It also helps decide which path in Psychology I would like to specialise in. 

Avenor: If you had to mention a person, an experience or an opportunity from your university life, which decisively influenced / helped / impressed you, what would it be?

Ana: I have felt very grateful with how supportive my University has been throughout my whole University experience. All the lecturers, tutors and staff are very receptive and have always been very open to help the students and answer questions. This was especially helpful in my first year, which was fully online. Having such a warm and supportive environment really improved my University experience throughout the more difficult times. We had a personal tutor and had meetings with him weekly and we had multiple points of contact for any specific issue. This made me feel less intimidated by my first year at University and made me feel more welcome. 

Avenor: If you had to send a message to one of your teachers at Avenor who influenced you in a decisive way at some point, what would that message be?

Ana: My message is to Miss Mihaela Ancuta. She taught me how having a strong relationship between a teacher and a student can make anyone good at anything they want. Miss Mihaela modelled a wonderful and healthy student-teacher relationship and helped every student reach their full potential in Maths. She showed me how being encouraged by your teacher and being encouraged to work hard can make you excel. I have fallen in love with Math because of Miss Mihaela and I have learnt to have confidence in myself and in my Maths abilities. My statistics module in University was one of my best, and it is mainly because of the strong foundation I received from learning with her. 

Daniel Mitoiu, Class of 2020

Given that I studied math, statistics, computer science and economics for my A levels, I had an easy transition from high school to my first year of university, which was easy from an academic standpoint. From an interpersonal perspective, Avenor has taught me the ability to interact with people coming from different cultural backgrounds and having had the chance to study in an international environment made it easier for me to interact and make friends abroad. 

I’ll also have to say that the professional experience Avenor offered me via two internships was exponential for me to secure an internship abroad at Bank of America.” – Daniel, Class of 2020

Daniel, member of the second cohort of Avenor graduates, is making the most of college life while keeping his sights set on his long-term goals, much like he did in high school.

 

Avenor: Where are you now, and what do you study?

Daniel: I’m a 3rd year student at Bocconi University in Milan, studying Computer Science and Economics. However, for the past semester I’ve been an exchange student studying at Manchester University, where I took some interesting courses including financial derivatives.

Avenor: How did you take the decision to study Computer Science and Economics?

Daniel: I first applied for a Finance Bachelor at Bocconi, but later changed my mind. This was after I realized that the industry in which I would like to work, more specifically trading, has become heavily dependent on technology. Hence, I decided to re-apply for an Economics and Computer Science major, and I don’t regret my choice. The course I chose at Bocconi has been applied and practical, or at least more applied than the other available options 😊. The course helped me improve my coding skills but also get a theoretical understanding of many machine learning and computer science concepts.

Avenor: How did Avenor prepare you for the college experience?

Daniel: Given that I studied math, statistics, computer science and economics for my A levels, I had an easy transition from high school to my first year of university, which was easy from an academic standpoint. From an interpersonal perspective, Avenor has taught me the ability to interact with people coming from different cultural backgrounds and having had the chance to study in an international environment made it easier for me to interact and make friends abroad. 

I’ll also have to say that the professional experience Avenor offered me via two internships was exponential for me to secure an internship abroad at Bank of America.

Avenor: What advice do you have for our current students? What should they pay attention to? What should they do better during high school?

Daniel: Life is getting harder because it gets real. Hence, any advance preparation is more than welcome. My biggest advice is for people to try to excel at something they really like. School is important, but it is only a requirement, so it is better if you go above and beyond what you learn in class for those subjects that interest you. 

Also, I wasn’t one of those students who had lots of fun in high school, but I can definitely say that the better I got at what I wanted to do professionally, the more fun I started to have. So, the message would be to not worry if you are working too hard now because your work will eventually pay off and you will also get the chance to have fun.

Avenor: If you had to mention a person, an experience, or an opportunity from your college life, which decisively influenced / helped / impressed you, what would it be?

Daniel: Overall, I would say the university life has been an experience itself and being able to make friends and discover Italian and British cultures has been fantastic. The most important thing is that university gave me the opportunity to study something that was close to my interests while also acting as a smooth transition into real life.

Avenor: What are your co-curricular activities in college?

Daniel: As well as I did in high school, apart from the normal classes I took in university, I got involved in co-curricular activities related to my interests. Thus, I joined two student associations: a financial markets club and an asset management club whose leader I became after a year.

Together with two friends, I also tried to launch a start-up in the summer between my first and second year, but I quickly discovered that this is something which requires a lot of experience and commitment, something that I would still like to try, maybe later on in my professional life.

Avenor: If you had to send a message to one of your teachers at Avenor who influenced you in a decisive way at some point, what would that message be?

Daniel: I think that all members of the educational team at Avenor have been supportive throughout my time spent in middle school and high school. However, I would like to thank in particular two people whose support has been exponential for my development. 

The first person is Mihaela Ancuta, who has been a great supporter since the first day I came to Avenor. During the admission process I had to solve some math problems, 40% of which I messed up by confusing the cotangent and tangent concepts. In spite of my mistake, Ms. Ancuta saw my potential and offered me the chance to join the class. From that moment on, she has been a constant supporter who encouraged me to believe in my passion, helped me excel at math and guided me throughout all the challenges I faced in high school. For this reason, I will be forever grateful.  

The second person has been Diana Segarceanu, who has been a great role model for someone aiming to be a successful business person in the future. She has constantly championed my deep interest with financial markets and has encouraged me many times to talk about my passion but also introduced me to important people in the industry, including Peter Barta and Valentin Neacșu. Most importantly, I am grateful for the supportive environment Ms. Segarceanu has created at Avenor, one which truly encourages students to pursue their passion regardless of what that might be.

Maria Neacșu, Class of 2019

Switching from a Romanian-system middle school to a Cambridge-curriculum high school was a big change I had to adapt to. I was very lucky that all the teachers in Year 10 were very patient with us and created a smooth transition to a completely different teaching approach, on top of studying in a different language. 

Throughout my time in Avenor, I really understood the Cambridge curriculum with the help of the British teachers, and experienced teachers in the system, which was an important step towards following a university degree in England. 

This really made my first year of university a lot easier and enjoyable, because it was a big part of the experience that didn’t need adapting to, so I could focus on meeting people and getting to know the culture.

Maria is an Avenor alumnus from the first generation of graduate students. She finished university and was recently employed in the UK, in a cybersecurity consultancy company.

 

Avenor: Where are you now, and what did you study? 

Maria: I studied Physics at University of Liverpool for the past 3 years, I graduated in July and I just started my first job this month at CyberIAM, a cybersecurity consultancy company which is located very close to Liverpool. 

Avenor: How did you take the decision to study Physics?

Maria: I played tennis professionally until I was 16-17 years old. After the IGCSEs I felt like I would like to follow a different path to tennis and go to university, so I started thinking about my favourite subjects in school. Maths was always a big passion of mine, as well as sciences, so I decided to try the Physics A Level. During Year 12 I really discovered and developed my passion and curiosity in the physics field, so I started looking at physics programmes for university. 

Avenor: How did Avenor prepare you for the college experience?

Maria: Switching from a Romanian-system middle school to a Cambridge-curriculum high school was a big change I had to adapt to. I was very lucky that all the teachers in Year 10 were very patient with us and created a smooth transition to a completely different teaching approach, on top of studying in a different language. 

Throughout my time in Avenor, I really understood the Cambridge curriculum with the help of the British teachers, and experienced teachers in the system, which was an important step towards following a university degree in England. 

This really made my first year of university a lot easier and enjoyable, because it was a big part of the experience that didn’t need adapting to, so I could focus on meeting people and getting to know the culture. 

Being quite a small school at the time, my generation and I had the chance to be part of very small classes which meant more interaction with the teachers and more attention being paid to our progress and to individual plans to reach our targeted grades. It was also great to get used to some English accents :).

Avenor: If you had to send a message to one of your teachers at Avenor who influenced you in a decisive way at some point, what would that message be?

Maria: Ms. Gillian, thank you so much for all the help provided throughout my A Level. Thank you so much for replying to my countless emails with past paper exercises I was struggling with. Thank you so much for being patient with my silly mistakes in mechanics. Thank you so much for helping me prepare for the interview for University of Southampton. Thank you so much for selecting  and marking countless past paper questions on the communications and circuits topics that I always hated. Thank you so much for helping me discover my passion and curiosity for this extremely interesting subject that brought me where I am today and paved a wonderful career path!

Alex Gheorghiță – Class of 2019

Avenor offered me the proper environment to develop as a person. Unlike normal schools, I met some amazing professors who made me enjoy studying their disciplines, I had the opportunity to become fluent in English, so much so that people ask me if I am actually Romanian, I was able to take globally recognized exams that opened many doors for me, and I had the pleasure to participate in a multitude of activities that shape your way of thinking and remain imprinted in your memory, such as the beautiful internships, one-day trips, volunteering activities, and famous guests that were invited.” Alex – Avenor alumnus, class of 2019. 

The first generation of the Avenor International High School graduates, Alex‘s generation, finished college and is already employed. Their story is the best guide for our current students who are looking into the future.

Avenor: Please tell us a few words about Alex Gheorghiță – newly hired employee.

Alex: In the beginning I felt immensely joyful and anxious at the same time, as it was my first serious, full-time job, showing me the reality of adulthood and both the responsibilities and perks that came with having a job. While personal time has decreased substantially from what it used to be during Faculty days, it also meant a huge increase in personal and technical skills development, representing a stage of maturing. As months passed, I overcame the shock that everybody experiences when they first start working for real, and slowly but surely gathered substantial amounts of knowledge and skills to, at some point, become a professional Full-Stack engineer.

Avenor: At this point in your life, how close is reality to the projection you made when you were a student?

Alex: Well, the funny thing is that when I was a student at Avenor I really wished to become a civil engineer. I even participated in some internships to two architecture studios and a construction site, an experience which I will never forget. However, in grade 11 or 12 my Computer Science professor, Mr. Ali, told my parents that I was really good at programming and that I should maybe consider it as a career for the future. I am more than glad to say that you were right Mr. Ali, it is a much more satisfying and creative career. Therefore, I thank you very much!

Avenor: How did Avenor help you to become the person you are today?

Alex: Avenor offered me the proper environment to develop as a person. Unlike normal schools, I met some amazing professors who made me enjoy studying their disciplines, I had the opportunity to become fluent in English, so much so that people ask me if I am actually Romanian, I was able to take globally recognized exams that opened many doors for me, and I had the pleasure to participate in a multitude of activities that shape your way of thinking and remain imprinted in your memory, such as the beautiful internships, one-day trips, volunteering activities, and famous guests that were invited.

Avenor: How difficult or easy was the transition from student at Avenor to student at the University?

Alex: In all honesty it was not a difficult transition, and that is because all the studying and preparation for Cambridge exams at Avenor prepared me mentally and gave me the necessary discipline to easily manage life at University. I can say that at moments, studying for Cambridge exams felt like being in University already. However, from a social standpoint, the aspect that changed at University is that I have met and befriended people from all around the globe, from the United States all the way to the Middle East and Asia, friends that I still talk to and go out with even today.

Avenor: What is your most vivid and cherished memory of Avenor?

Alex: There are many such instances of cherished memories. In spite of this, I have to say that the first few weeks at Avenor is the memory that is most alive to me. Why? Because until then, coming from a normal, public school where students would constantly be stuck in a survival mode, I had never thought that there could be such a wonderful school-experience. Besides the jaw-dropping building and hallways that I only saw in movies, the lessons that I attended those weeks left me speechless and craving for more.

We open the Avenor scholarship programme

120 beneficiary students, an experience of 13 years and a program of over 650.00 euros. This is the very brief description of the Avenor Scholarship Program. But what does this scholarship program mean beyond the numbers?

 

There are voices describing the program as a chance for excellence, others as an opportunity not to be missed. Some are motivated by the desire to succeed, encouraged by the results of an education system that proves its effectiveness every year, and others are captivated by the success stories of others, by the projects carried out and by the impact they have on the community.

Regardless of the goals that lead them to apply to the scholarship program, the candidates are definitely extraordinary students who want to help, to get involved, to make a difference – for themselves and for those around them.

Dana Papadima, Educational Director at Avenor and member of the Scholarship Committee provides a full description of the Avenor Scholar profile.

The Avenor Scholar brings together a number of academic characteristics and moral traits that derive directly from the values ​​of our School and make the most of the Avenor Learner Profile, in general.

 Obviously, the standards of academic excellence are extremely high, but, along with these, we want our scholars to demonstrate a constant proactive attitude, to exemplarily respect the standards of behavior, to participate in all the School’s events, to be true role models for our entire school community. Along with these desirable criteria for all our students, the Avenor scholarship holder demonstrates his added value through an individual project (or a mini-team) that he proposes, leads and monitors during a school year, or over several years. Obviously, the project of each scholarship holder also circumscribes the Avenor Learner Profile, taking different forms (artistic, ecological, academic, creating events) that reflects work autonomy and emotional and moral engagement in community life.

Meet the Avenor scholars from 2021-2022 school year

In the 2021 – 2022 school year, Avenor supported 14 scholars – 10 students continued their scholarship from the previous year (2020-2021) and 4 new students. 

We invite you to find out the reasons behind the decision of each of the new scholars to enroll in this race for excellence.

Tudor, grade 9

“For me, the scholarship status is an honor, but also an opportunity to develop and evolve. Coming from the national school system, I was looking for an education system that would encourage student development at all levels. I applied for a scholarship at Avenor because I identified with the school’s values ​​and because I wanted to develop and reach my full potential.”

 

Antonia, grade 11

”I applied for a scholarship here at Avenor because I admired the other scholarship students as well as their projects and I wanted to achieve the same thing. It was a way for me to take on more responsibilities, challenge myself and give back to the community. It has been a great journey so far and I am glad I get to be a part of it.”

Ada, grade 11

”When I first applied, my initial motivation was to take on a new challenge. I have always found I could balance all my subjects and extra-curricular activities rather easily, so I was excited to change things up.

Additionally, I acknowledged it as an opportunity to develop organizational and leadership skills. Looking at fellow scholarship students, I appreciated all the effort and ambition with which they worked to bring their projects to life. I was sure of the fact that there were long hours of work behind the scenes, but with those came the opportunity to learn and progress.

Lastly, I was convinced of the fact that it would have a long-term impact on my professional and personal life. It would give me endless opportunities to make connections, explore different topics and subjects, help my peers and my community and make a change in life at Avenor.”

Alexa, grade 9

”I chose to apply for my scholarship because, at the time, I firmly believed I met the criteria of a scholarship student. I had the grades necessary to apply, but that was not the main reason. I decided to apply because I wanted to bring a new perspective to the community with my project, Avenor Wellbeing, a project which focuses on the wellbeing of the students in Avenor. In addition, I wanted to be a role model to the other students and to motivate them to achieve their goals.”

The Avenor College Scholarship Programme offers High School students scholarships that cover between 25% and 100% of the annual tuition fee. The scholarships are awarded until the end of the current educational cycle, subject to compliance with the terms of the scholarship contract.

More information about the awarding of scholarships, criteria, registration and the programme schedule for the 2023-2024 school year can be found on the Avenor website.

Did you get your Christmas present on time?

Our passionate mathematicians from Math-ly News have decided to put together a little something for you to enjoy over these holidays! Please find out from these two articles published in the most recent Maths newsletter why you got or why you didn’t get your Christmas presents on time.

How can Santa visit all the children in the world in one midnight?

Written by Stefan O. (8 Delta)

A lot of people thought about this question, but nobody seemed to have a clear idea of how Santa manages to do this. In my opinion, Santa uses math to achieve delivering Presents. 

You now ask yourself how? Well the answer is pretty simple. We know that the surface area of the Earth is approximately 510 million square km and Santa travels for about 9-12 hours to almost 4 Billion people. This means that Santa and his reindeers need to travel at approximately 6000000 square kilometers per hour.

Another aspect that Santa considers is the time. With so many different hours around the globe he needs to prioritize. In order to do this, he should start at exactly at 12 am and start with the countries that have the hour most near to morning.

To sum up, Santa uses a lot of math to do this job every year.

 

How fast does Santa’s sleigh need to fly in order to deliver gifts to all children of this world?

Written by Maya and Tania (6 Delta)

As you all know, Santa Claus delivers gifts to children all over the world in just one night! We’re sure that most of you are wondering how he manages to do this. Well we can easily find out, using the power of Math’s.

We know for a fact that there are about 1.6 billion households in the world and since our planet has about 65 million square kilometers of habitable land, the distance between any two houses should be more or less 0.225 km. Santa is responsible for delivering presents to about 500 million households, since the rest of the people don’t believe in him.

Santa has around 42 hours to deliver presents due to different time zones around the world and because the night is longer in winter. During this time he has to travel a distance of about 0.33 km from each house, place the gifts under the Christmas tree, eat any snacks left for him and travel to the next house.

This means that Santa must spend 300 microseconds (0.003) per house. It sounds impossible for any ordinary person, but we are sure that Santa gets a little bit of help from Christmas magic!

Avenor high school students collected 40,000 lei for the “Ajungem Mari” Association at the Avenor Christmas Charity Fair

With a new team of coordinators, an ambitious goal and a consistent effort, the Avenor Christmas Charity Fair was the event that, just days before Christmas, brought the Avenor community together to enjoy and give in the same time.

We are proud of the 7th edition of the Christmas Fair and the team of high school organisers who once again managed to pleasantly surprise us with their professionalism, involvement and care for those around them.

The Avenor Christmas Charity Fair is the way we carry on the Christmas spirit every year, with generosity and the joy of being together. This year’s edition took place on December 20 and was an event that, after a long time, brought together students, teachers, parents, alumni and also guests from outside the Avenor community.

The work behind the event

The whole event is 100% student led! The team of Fair organisers was formed this year by 60 high school students who are enthusiastic, involved, innovative and with a genuine desire to produce a change for the better.

The organising team, under the coordination of Clara and Maria, two 11th grade students, worked for almost a month to plan, execute, communicate and implement this project so that the Christmas Fair will take place according to the tradition – involving everyone, with attention to detail, with surprises and good cheer and last but not least, safe for all participants.

The organising team issued an open invitation to the entire community in order to bring as many guests as possible to the campus to enjoy and at the same time help the less fortunate.

We receive, but we want to give. We want to help those who don’t have the same opportunities or resources as us, or don’t have the love and support they so desperately need.

Our Christmas Fair is a place to meet friends, have fun and eat goodies, but also make a difference!” – Clara and Maria, coordinators of the Avenor Christmas Charity Fair.

 

The charitable cause of the event

A charitable cause mobilised the entire community – the cause of the ”Ajungem Mari” Association – an organisation nationally acclaimed for their immeasurable contribution towards bettering the lives and education of children from orphanages or disfavoured environments.

The amount of 40,000 lei that comes from the proceeds and donations from the Fair will be directed to the “Ajungem Mari” Association.

The Fair Day

On the day of the Fair, the high school students delighted their younger colleagues with cotton candy, pancakes, popcorn, hot chocolate, hot dogs, photos with Santa, photo booths, skill games, jumping games and video games. Every student in the school toured the Fair to see what surprise awaits at the next stand. Whether they participated with their schoolmates, or were accompanied by their parents or friends, all Avenor students felt the joy of this day.

The atmosphere was assured by the best carolers – the teachers’ choir, students from the Good Vibes club and Sara’s Band.

Congratulations to the student organisers and thanks to the entire community for keeping the Christmas spirit alive together!

Santa’s Little Helpers

Three 10th grade students – Brianna, Iarina and Andrada – are the founders of a project entirely student-led, through which they invite Avenor students to put themselves in the position of Santa’s elves and to prepare gifts for children who are less fortunate enjoy the holidays as they deserve. In the message below from the three organizers, you can find all the details that can transform you, if you want, into real elves.

 

The ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ project started last year when we were discussing our experiences as volunteers at „Salvati Copii“ Romania. Many times we don’t realize how privileged we are, especially on Christmas morning when we wake up in the morning with presents arranged under the tree. This is how we came up with the idea of ​​the project, from our desire to bring joy to the less fortunate children during the winter holidays.

 

Last year we managed to collect 90 gifts for the little ones, this year we aim to collect 140. The goal is big, so we need as many elves as possible who want to help us.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN “SANTA’S LITTLE HELPERS”

❄️Enter HERE and you will find the list of all the children who need our help. Choose who you want to give a gift to and write your full name, email address, phone number and class next to the child you chose.

❄️ Follow the gift suggestions from the chosen child (mentioned by him as he wishes) and try to include them in the package made by you. If no size is specified, then the child does not want the clothing.

❄️Pack the gift in a SEALED cardboard box! Don’t forget to decorate it in a packaging suitable for the Holidays.

❄️Put the label with the child’s name, age and the educational center for which you prepared the gift. Make sure this gift comes from SANTA and not you, so we don’t ruin the magic of Christmas for the little ones.

Since we want each child to enjoy similar gifts, we would be very happy if each was worth around 250 – 500 lei.

How many gifts can you give? Santa has no limits, so if you want to take on more children, we are more than happy for you to do so!

🛎️DEADLINE 12 December – Office, Secondary building.

 

 

Back to Romania

On the eve of December 1 and the celebration of Romania’s National Day, it gives us great joy to present to our entire community a family of Avenorians who have re-elected Romania after 20 years spent outside the country. We thank them for their honest testimony, for the joy and hope they manage to convey through this message.

 

Happy Anniversary Romania!

We are a family of 5 – the parents – Lili and Ionut – and the children – Vlad (21 years old), Maria (19 years old) and Luca (12 years old).

I left Romania in 2000, a young couple with good prospects in Romania: Lili, a doctor in medicine, Ionuț, a computer engineer, at the invitation of a Japanese medical software company. We planned to go for 2 years, during which time we would explore wonderful Japan and exotic Asia.

We did not imagine that the 2 years would turn into 22 and an extraordinary life journey, to which, by divine grace, our 3 children joined us along the way and they are extraordinary and wonderful as well.

Maybe we would have stayed longer, although the plan was to return after 20 years, to be with our parents, but last year the second grandfather left us and we came to be the support to our kind grandmothers, both of them caught up in countryside life, with chickens and gardens.

We missed home, although we came to visit every year and stayed as long as we could, which was very good for us and the children.

We love Romania and Romanians and the longer we stayed in Japan (12 years) and then in Singapore (10 years), the more we came to appreciate them.

In the country many things have changed for the better during this time. Romanians are open-minded and open-hearted, laborious and enterprising. We felt the change from year to year, so we ended up finding at home everything that was abroad.

At one point I even realised that people at home live better than foreigners and they don’t even realise it or unfortunately don’t appreciate it. Probably with some leaders truly dedicated to the community and its holistic development, Romania could become heaven on earth from all points of view, a heaven that we would all enjoy to the fullest.

We hope to be able to contribute now that we’re back, with a lot of ideas and enthusiasm. We feel the same as Adrian Păunescu writes in this poem full of soul and teachings, “Întoarcerea țăranului”, sung by Ștefan Hrușcă:

Ai colindat ce-ai colindat

Prin lumea veşnic friguroasă, 

Acum bine-ai venit în sat,

Mai cald e totuşi pe acasă…

…especially since joining the warm and welcoming community of Avenor College!

We feel very lucky and are very excited about everything we found here.

We really like the teachers and Luca integrated very well in the class. He has made friends, he is very motivated and we are happy to see him growing day by day in height and intelligence!

Now we are preparing for the holidays, and I hope to gather in December at the school, as many as possible – parents, children, colleagues with Luca – for a workshop on traditional bread yeast, to learn to enjoy the beautiful, growing culture and thriving like the yeast that makes our bread healthy.

And inspired by this magical process, let’s put the same spirit of communication, contribution and collective flourishing into practice in our culture, for an even better life, every day. God help!

Thank you for everything!

Lili, Ionuț, Maria, Vlad and Luca

Why are competing shops always set next to each other?

We invite you to read one of the most interesting articles written by Maria B. (11 Alfa) for Issue 10 of 𝗠𝗔𝗧𝗛-𝗟𝗬-𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦, the first Avenor mathematics magazine, initiated by Miss Mihaela Ancuța – Mathematics Teacher, and  coordinated by a team of students from middle school and high school.

Have you ever asked yourself why you can always find both McDonald’s and KFC on the same street? Why are there 5 coffee shops around the same corner, but none for the following 5 streets? How is that smart for the businesses? Game theory has the answer.

Game theory is the branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. So put shortly, the way in which people, businesses, governments, and more make decisions when they are interdependent.

Before John Nash developed Game Theory, an economic theory suggested that if everyone did what was best for themselves it would lead to the best possible outcome for society. Game theory refutes this idea and leads to a complete rethink of economics and a Nobel Prize for John Nash. There is actually a fantastic film about this called A Beautiful Mind starring Russel Crowe!

Let’s take the most popular scenario in which this idea comes into play: the Prisoner’s dilemma. Let’s consider two friends, Amy and Trefor, who were suspected of robbing a bank. They were taken for interrogation, into separate rooms and given two choices.

Either they confess and get 2 years in prison, or they deny and only get one year for different offenses in their past. That seems like a no-brainer, obviously both of them will choose to deny.

However, let’s see what happens when their decisions become interdependent. The interrogator adds a new condition: If Amy confesses and snitches on Trefor then she will be given immunity and serve no time in prison, whereas Trefor will serve 3 years if he continues to deny the crime. The same offer is given to Trefor. Considering they do not know what the other will answer, they both confess, avoiding the risk of 3 years in prison.

 

If Amy assumes Trefor is going to deny the crime, it is better for Amy to confess. If Amy assumes Trefor is going to confess then it is also better for her to confess. Therefore her best choice is always to confess. The same is true of Trefor and both people end up confessing even though it would have been better for them both to deny.

See how their plea changes completely when their decisions become interdependent?. Interesting isn’t it? But how does any of this apply to Economics?

Imagine the following scenario. You sell ice cream on a beach which has no other ice cream shops. Where would you place your cart to attract the most customers? At the center. But one day another ice cream cart appears on the beach. Luckily the owners agree to split the beach in half so both shops are set in the middle of the separated sections.

 

However, the next day, the competition decides to move right between the two territories, at the center of the beach as that will not only attract the customers on his half of the beach, but also a quarter of the ones on your territory.

The next day, you both set your ice cream carts back-to-back at the center of the beach and realize there is no other place either one can move to gain more customers. This way, neither of you can improve your position without losing customers-this is known as Nash Equilibrium. Nash equilibrium is the position in which nothing is gained if any of the players change their strategy if all other players maintain theirs. The first position of the ice cream carts, although better for the customers, as they had to walk much less, couldn’t last as it did not create a Nash equilibrium.

The same theory will apply to real life. Although many other aspects come into play, marketing strategies, quality of services, price differences and more, at the heart of their strategies, you will always find the principles of Game Theory.