Going to school in Saudi Arabia has more pros than cons when it comes to meeting friends from different backgrounds. The playground is probably more diverse than the UN's General Assembly. But as with everything in life, these pros comes a series of cons that may sound absurd to some.
1. Wearing regular-length skirts
Saudi (and some International) Schools have very peculiar dress codes. Most uniforms are mainly Grey or Olive green in colour, and they are incredibly drab. They're so long and loosely-fit you can practically sweep the floor with them. If your grow taller throughout the year, you'll be reminded to buy another uniform, even if you're one month away from finishing school.
2. Bringing gadgets to school
At some point, schools banned these gadgets along with things like Tamagotchi's, cellphones and magazines. They would carry out random searches nearly every other day when they would barge into the classroom and sweep up the gadgets. You couldn't get them back until the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR! Needless to say, cellphones were not allowed.
3. Discussing boy bands
Not only were we not allowed to exchange cassettes and posters with other friends but we couldn't discuss Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync in school because if the supervisor or principle heard you, they would lecture you on why discussing music and boys are "haram". He's also give you a detailed account of how, on judgement day, God will put a burned mental rod in your ear for listening to music. Mind you, we were around 10 or 11 years old.
4. Going to the Arabic section
Some things in life are a mystery. Like why we fall out of love with someone, where we go after death and why English speaking students in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to go into the Arabic section. Yes, schools were segregated according to whether or not you are an Arab native.
5. A gruelling morning assembly
Nothing like spending an entire hour singing the Saudi national antehm and doing some exercises up at 6 a.m. If you repeatedly didn't show up, you would eventually be sent to the principle's office. Good times in "here's a punishment for everything you do" land!
6. Talking to boys outside of the school
Just don't do it.