Hardest, yet most rewarding experience! BYU in Iasi Past Review

By (Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services., Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/01/2013 to 07/25/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Romania

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A stronger love for others, and ability to look past outer appearances. It was definitely worthwhile, although there are things I would have changed.

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.

I felt that we had too many papers to write and not enough information to complete them. It wasn't that the amount was hard, but they were time consuming and felt like busy work. We are immersed in the culture by living in a different country and I don't feel like we had to write 13 papers on the culture to prove it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mario, the in-country facilitator, was very helpful. She handled every problem we went through and was very nice to us. I have nothing bad to say about Mario.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment I lived in was the main "headquarters" and was very nice (for Romanian standards). However, the other two apartments weren't as nice as the one I lived in, and I felt bad for the girls that were stuck in those apartments.

* Food:

We made all of our food, so the only complaint I could have on this is not being a good enough cook! The Piata (outdoor market) was close to our apartment as well as a supermarket so it was very easy to buy food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We interacted with the branch here in Iasi a lot, which was a lot of fun. I felt like we interacted with the members in cultural activities as much as we could and learned a lot from them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I came well prepared for any illness that could happen. I never had a medical problem other than allergies, so this was not a problem for me. However, had something happened I would not have been comfortable going to any doctor here in Romania.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Iasi, I never had any problems with sketchy taxi drivers or any problems with safety in general.

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)

Budget here was not an issue for me.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Tops, I spent about $60, if we were not traveling.


* 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

It was strongly encouraged before we got here, therefore I took a Romanian 100 course. Once we got here our facilitator, who speaks Romanian, would take over for us and therefore we didn't have the need to speak when we were with her.

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? Take the 100 course and do practice worksheets.

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?
  • The children
* What could be improved?
  • The preparation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That we are basically on our own. We have people we can contact/ask for help, but we do everything on our own.