Having lived roughly 70% of my life around foreign teenagers and adults, I have now gained the ability to understand the life of an expat. Moving from place to place and eventually ending up in Romania, expat teenagers are all open to change, quickly going from knowing nothing about the Bucharest life to naming each club around. As a Romanian going to an International school, I’ve met dozens of teenagers who arrive in Bucharest without a single clue about the highlights of this magnificent city.
Claire (17), an expat who moved to Bucharest a year ago, claims that she loves the variety of music venues around. “It’s nice because you can go to Fabrica, Studio Martin, or Kristal Glam Club and hear drum and bass or electro from DJ’s all around the world. The atmosphere is great and there are a bunch of underground clubs and pubs people can also go to if they like that kind of music. I like that I have a variety of choices around the city and there aren’t only clubs with mainstream music”, she says. As new clubs open each month, any adolescent will inevitably find a spot with their own style of music. With a growing number of concerts showcasing globally renown artists, Bucharest has become a main stage of Europe.
Newly arrived expat Josh (16), was initially surprised at how easy it is to get around the city. “I like that cabs are so cheap here!”, he says, “You can get anywhere you want. The subway is really easy to take and it can take you from one corner of town to another.” Transport around the city has gradually improved throughout the past couple of years, but with new constructions each day, the traffic can get quite busy. The subway is excellent for getting anywhere quickly and expats often find it the easiest means of transport.
Emma (14), is extremely content with the shopping in Bucharest. “There’s so many malls,” she says, “its hard to pick one to go to. All of them have great shopping. There’s stores from all over the world, especially in AFI Palace Cotroceni, which is the biggest mall in Bucharest.” With a recent increase in tourism, Bucharest has found it necessary to open a large number of shopping venues to the public. While Calea Victoriei and the Dorobanti area offer designer stores such as Moschino and Christian Dior, high street shops such as Zara and Mango can be found in each mall. Despite the global economic distress, Bucharest’s tourist areas seem to be thriving.
In recent years, the number of expats in Bucharest has been exponential. The city has become increasingly open to the growing number of foreign teenagers everywhere. My job, is to show them the best that this city has to offer. And while they slowly discover their new favorite attractions, they begin to embrace their move to the Little Paris.