The most unique, comprehensive, and FUN study abroad program! May 11, 2014

By (International Affairs, Gordon College) - abroad from 08/22/2014 to 12/08/2011 with

Northwestern College: Romania Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
That's a loaded question. Yes, it was worthwhile. I learned that problem-solving is a very important life skill, and that living in community is the best way to live a good life. I learned about life under communism and how it has effected the Romanian people and society today.

Review Photos

Northwestern College: Lupeni - Fall Semester Program in Romania Photo Northwestern College: Lupeni - Fall Semester Program in Romania Photo Northwestern College: Lupeni - Fall Semester Program in Romania Photo Northwestern College: Lupeni - Fall Semester Program in Romania Photo Northwestern College: Lupeni - Fall Semester Program in Romania Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There aren't many courses to choose from, but I benefited most from the courses on Sustainable Development, Experiential Education, and Romanian History and Culture. Overall, it is a very rich educational experience because the subjects of the courses are right there at your fingertips ready to be explored.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

One of the highlights of the program was living with a host family for six weeks. It really helped me pick up the language quickly, and had so many rich experiences with my host family, including harvesting 10 bushels of potatoes from their garden, cooking fresh fish over a fire in the mountains, and riding a four wheeler through the Romanian countryside. For the rest of the semester we lived in apartments, which were well-furnished with everything we needed.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You never really feel fully integrated with the culture if you're only there for four months, but having traveled quite a bit, this Romanian experience was the most culturally integrated experience I've ever had.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Just be wary of the stray dogs. It's probably a lot better now.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Very low cost of living, and there are several discount airlines that can fly you all over Europe during the Fall break!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginner level French
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Retezat backpacking trip
  • Field trips and internship
  • Sustainable Development course
* What could be improved?
  • More diverse internship opportunities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had asked more questions.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Sustainable Development

Course Department:
Instructor: Dana Bates, P.h.d.
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging, engaging, and eye-opening. We couldn't have had a better instructor than Dana Bates, who started New Horizons, a phenomenal example of sustainable development. We studied the theories of different sociologists and development scholars, including Francis Fukuyama, Robert Putnam, Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen. As part of the course, we spent a week in the cosmopolitan city of Cluj, where we participated in lectures at Babes-Bolyai University's Center for Democracy. The lectures were on the role of religion and civic participation in Romania, Romanian history prior to communism, and Marxist inspired communism. To cap off the course we did an oral presentation/research project on a developing country of our choice.
Credit Transfer Issues: There were no problems at all with transferring credit.