Learning to Love in Romania - BYU in Iasi Past Review

By (Kinesiology and Exercise Science., Brigham Young University) - abroad from 04/24/2012 to 07/23/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Romania

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much knowledge, not only about the Romanian language and culture but also about getting along with people and becoming selfless. I now have a deeper understanding of how blessed I am. I learned that it is never a mistake to open your heart to love. My internship abroad was definitely worthwhile!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

In Romania it was easy to procrastinate homework. As I strove to focus on my coursework, however, I came to enjoy it, even my cultural proofs class. Learning more about Romanian culture academically enriched my experience and increased my enjoyment of the culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our student facilitator and in-country facilitator were both dedicated, friendly, and always available to help whenever a question or concern arose.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our traditional Romanian apartment had a wonderful location. While we were occasionally invaded by mosquitoes, it was a great place to live.

* Food:

Traditional Romanian food is excellent, but it does take some getting used to. Never eat sarmale cold.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was not completely integrated into the local culture; however, I did come to understand the local culture. Upon returning to America, I realized how much I miss Romanians.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

While there were a few incidents of sexual harassment, Iasi is for the most part a safe city for students. It is important to note that Romanian culture is different from American culture, and some things that we take very seriously are not taken as seriously there. That being said, if students travel in small groups, avoid being outside at night, and do not go out of their way to attract attention, they should be fine.

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


* 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)

Food is mostly inexpensive in Romania. If you do not splurge too much on chocolate, pretzels, and other treats, living expenses are very cheap.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Romanian malls are wonderful. That being said, do not visit them every weekend.


* 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? Beginner
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? FLang 100 - Beginning level Romanian
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Look up new words, especially verbs. Try out the conjugations. Ask the workers at the orphanage for help if needed. Always be learning a new grammar principle and incorporating it into your vocabulary.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Working with six little boys at the orphanage every day.
  • Living in another country and learning more about their culture.
  • Traveling to various parts of Romania and seeing its beauty.
* What could be improved?
  • If Romania could be opened for international adoption, that would be wonderful. Other than that, I cannot think of anything to change. All of the hardships of the Romania experience are part of what makes the experience so wonderful.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I would be allergic to some Romanian plants. I would have brought more sinus medicines and a giant box of Kleenex.