Those kids are worth anything you go through to get there! BYU in Iasi Past Review

By (Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services., Brigham Young University) - abroad from 09/03/2012 to 12/02/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Romania

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how important it is for children to have parents or a guardian be there to provide the necessary developmental progression that a child needs. For example, children need stimulation in their brain that many of the kids we worked with were not getting. Most of this stimulation can occur simply by giving the child attention and teaching them how to babble or talk or how to play with a toy. The experience abroad taught me how to take what I had learned in the classroom and directly apply it to the children I worked with. The experience abroad was worth every struggle or hardship it took to get there and even while being there. Those kids make all the difference.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The only problem with the program was the lack of communication and understanding when it came to finances. This is something that is being attempted to be fixed and hopefully will not be a problem for future interns.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mario provided the basic needs (took care of finances) but besides that was not really involved with us. We always felt like a burden to her and didn't like turning to her for help. Again, this is something that has been brought to the committees attention and is being looked into.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Besides not having internet in our apartment, the location and living space was very nice.

* Food:

The food is heaven! Obviously there are things that were not like but much of the food is to die for! They not only have multiple food markets within 10-15 minute walk but also a piata (kind of like a farmers market) where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

For the most part we did very well at trying to be a part of the local culture. We were able to explore the city and other areas of the country with locals who explained the culture and significant historical backgrounds to us. I feel we would have been even more integrated into the culture if we had known more of the language. The language barrier is what stopped us from doing a lot of amazing cultural experiences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Although I didn't ever need to use the healthcare in Romania, a few of the girls in the program did. From what I heard, the service is different than would be in America. The girls said the Doctor would guess a lot on what was the cause of the problem and wanted to do a bunch of tests on them when it was a minor cold. A lot of this difference is due to the culture and the problems they are having with their healthcare system due to a corrupt government.

* Safety:

In Iasi, it is pretty safe. As long as you are stupid and stay quite and not draw attention to yourself, you will be fine. Guys are pretty straight-forward there. Don't talk to the dudes! They will want to hang out and have your number and do who knows what. Don't be out late, there are drunks and lots of boys who think they are cool. So make sure to be in a group and don't be alone especially at night.

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)

Because of the exchange rate, it was easy to live on a student's budget. As roommates we started making meals together which meant we saved a lot of money. Of course since we were in a foreign country I did spend more money than I ever would at home since I was getting things to take home but if this wasn't the case than I would have spent very little money on basic needs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? For food I spent around $20-30 a week. Depending the week and if we went on shopping sprees, I would say on average we spent another $30 each week on other things
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy everything you want. Remember that you will be there a few months so don't go crazy buying everything at first. Keep looking around, find the things you really really want and spend your money on that. And remember suitcase storage. A lot of us girls brought clothes we didn't like and then left them their so we would have luggage space for everything that we got there.


* 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

Our program had an assignment to spend 30 minutes each day using the language. Half of that time had to be with a native. They strongly encouraged language use.

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? The beginners class. Romanian 100
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? Practice with someone else! You feed off of each other and can learn from each other if you do that! It is so much easier than doing it by yourself!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Getting to be surrounded by incredible children who need so much love and guidance.
  • Being able to explore and learn about another culture.
  • The food!!!
* What could be improved?
  • Preparing the group with exactly what they will be doing everyday and what is expected with each location they will work in.
  • Understanding more of the finances that will occur.
  • Knowing that their will be internet and a phone but to be told what the limits are on the phones or internet access.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The apartments were far apart from each other and that one of the apartments did not have internet.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.