Children, culture, countryside, cuisine and an unexpectedly immense love for all. BYU in Iasi Past Review

By (Family Studies, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/01/2013 to 07/24/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Romania

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned what it's like to live in another country in a demographic completely different from what I grew up in. I learned to be grateful for the blessings I have and for my family. I learned how to love others and myself better. I felt a greater love for the kids I worked with than I knew I was capable of. I grew so much and became closer to God. This internship was immensely worthwhile and I wouldn't trade it for any other.

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.

We were completely immersed in the Romanian culture and gained irreplaceable hands-on experience with orphans, many of whom had various handicaps. We also learned much about taking perspective and being flexible as we worked with those who did not speak English and had different patterns of doing things.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mario bends over backwards to help us. She's really the greatest woman ever.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were very humble, but it increased the realism of the experience. The only hard thing was being away from the others in the group.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Iasi is a huge city, but as long as you are smart, keep a partner with you all the time, and actually try to not be a loud American, there shouldn't be many problems.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 30 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The Romanian cost of living is much lower, but if you are only willing to do and eat American things, then you will pay American prices.


* 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? 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? Learn kid songs in Romanian, learn basic child phrases like colors and animals, and be comfortable with basic conversation (Hello, how are you, etc)

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?
  • Lots of time spent with children
  • Travel to other parts of Romania incouraged
  • Cultural immersion is easy
* What could be improved?
  • More equal living conditions
  • More knowledge of developmental disabilities before departure
  • Less down time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd have known how cheap things were in Romania so I had brought more money for gifts and souvenirs

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.