It was life-changing, extremely difficult, and spiritually strengthening. BYU in Iasi Past Review

By (English Teaching, 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 that while people come from different places and speak different languages, for the most part we are all the same. People in Romania are trying to succeed and to make good lives for themselves and their families. But there are many problems in every society that are not being fixed. In Romania it is the problem of children without families and homes. To Americans this is something that seems easy to fix since there are so many families willing to adopt. But Romanian law prohibits international adoptions, and this is something that is hard to understand. I have learned that people see reason in different lights and that opinions, beliefs, and traditions vary from culture to culture. It is our job to fight the darkness that overcomes the world at times, but it is also our responsibility to respect our fellow human beings. I have learned selfless love and charity and also how to understand other people. It was definitely worthwhile and something I would not trade for anything.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had very helpful in-country facilitators. They are native to Romania and so whenever we had questions they were quick to answer. They also helped us experience the culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There are three apartments for the eleven interns, two being in the same complex. The one I live in is twenty minutes away from the other two. I wasn't able to choose where I live so I was not satisfied with being separated from the "home base" apartment. Also the apartment I live in does not have the same amenities as the other two, yet we have to pay the same amount to live there.

* Food:

The food available was relatively cheap and convenient. It was fun to experience food of another culture.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I am actually living like a native Romanian because I have been able to get into a routine living in the city. I have been able to take advantage of cultural events and spend time with locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I would not feel comfortable going to a local hospital for treatment. The conditions are very bad compared to those in America and hospitals are not sanitary. However, I never had any serious health problems.

* Safety:

I became very comfortable where I lived and rarely felt unsafe. However I would warn any future intern to take precautions and not appear too vulnerable on the streets. While I felt safe as an individual, theft was a relevant problem we faced.

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)

Living in Romania is much cheaper than living in America so I found it much easier to live on a student's budget. I was able to buy food for a third of the cost and rent was much cheaper.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget your money because it will go fast. Being in a foreign place is exciting and you will want to buy tons of souvenirs and all of the foods that you don't have in America. Set aside a specific amount each week for groceries, entertainment, and eating out. And then if you go over it won't be a big deal but you won't lose track of the money you are spending this way.


* 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

We were encouraged to use the language at all time unless we were just with our fellow interns. The people we work with speak Romanian and we are required to speak with them each day.

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? 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? Speak with native speakers or people who are fluent in the language. Speaking is really the best way to learn.

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 children
  • Becoming immersed in a new culture
  • Building friendships
* What could be improved?
  • Living arrangements
  • Program organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How emotionally draining it would actually be.

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.'