The Incredibly Complex Path

As my time in Romania draws to a close, I have to think of all the experiences this has given me. Before coming to Romania I'd never been more than a long drive away from my parents and my home. Now I've lived in a foreign country for 3 months. A country where I barely speak the language with only a handful of other native English speaking people. I'm not going to say that it was easy, sometimes it was really hard knowing that none of the people I love were so far from my reach. It's not just that either, when we first got here everything seemed like a challenge.


Imi Va Fi Dor De Voi

We are in our last week in Romania and it has been a series of lasts. Every time I step into a second-hand shop, a restaurant, or a grocery store, I keep thinking that that time is the last moment, or memory, I will have of that place. Although I am really excited to be home and be with my family, I am sad to leave Romania. Over these last few months, I have grown an appreciation for the country and for the people within it. Romania is a beautiful country that has taught me a lot about myself and has given me the opportunity to experience new things.

New Friendships, New Experiences

When first coming to Romania, I didn’t really know what to expect. What would the people be like? What would the culture be like? More importantly, what would I be like when faced with a strange and new situation? Needless to say, I was scared, and afraid of being alone. Lucky for me, there were four other students in the same boat, all experiencing similar emotions to me. The first night in Lupeni, Romania, I thought to myself, “Crap, what have I done?


Full of Memories

We are nearing the end of our time here in Romania.  Soon we will be back with our friends and family at home. Currently we are working on finishing finals and spending as much time with our friends and families we have made in Romania.  Going home is a very bittersweet feeling.

I am excited to see my family and friends back home, but I hate to leave everyone I have met here.  Lupeni is full of memories I have made over these past three and a half months. 


Home Is Where The Heart Is

Time has flown by literally; today marks just eighteen days until I am home. It is so crazy how much I have done and what I have seen. As I reflect on the past couple months I think back to the first full week we were in Romania. An unfamiliar environment, new people, a new language, new food, and a new chapter began in my life. To be completely honest I had no idea what to expect being here; the reason I initially came here was to full-fill my language requirements and to live outside of Orange City.


Romanian Ingredients

One thing I didn't consider thoroughly before coming to Romania was cooking. I thought about trying new foods and exploring different ingredients. It was exciting to look forward to, and it was as great as expected. Trying Romanian dishes has been one of my favorite parts of this experience. Being able to try new dishes and bond with the people who made it has been amazing. Romanian food is so good! Sarmale is this great traditional dish that's a mixture of rice, meat, and spices that's them wrapped in cabbage leaves to make little 3-inch pockets of delicious-ness.


On The Road Again

On October 29 the Romania students returned from a ten daylong fall break.  The break was full of travel and sightseeing.  While the trip was wonderful and full of amazing sights and experiences we came home exhausted and ready for some normal days again.  We had this for a week and then we were on the road again, this time for a week of learning with the organization.  While we were still a little tired we were excited for this next experience.


Exploring Breb

This last week we spent in Cluj and Maramures. We stayed a few days in the village of Breb. It is in the northern part of Romania in the Maramures county. It is a village that wasn’t affected as much by the industrialization of Communism. The village shows what the traditional Romania looked like. The town has just started a green IMPACT club. The club focuses on preserving nature and historical landmarks. We got to meet the children that are in the club; we taught them games we have in America and they taught us a Romanian game.


Traveling for Dayz

            One of the best parts about being in Romania is how easy it is to travel within Europe. Most weekends we’re traveling somewhere in Romania—from Retezat (beautiful mountains that were a serious challenge to climb) to gorgeous cities like Cluj—we are always busy and on the move. I’ve loved almost every minute of travel. Every place we go has a unique feel and something new to experience. In a recent trip we got to go to the village of Breb.


Half-Way Finished

It is crazy to think that I am already half-way finished with this semester abroad! Seems like yesterday I just got here; so much has happened the last two months. As I look back at what has happened the last few weeks I have realized that I have grown in so many ways. My comfort zone has been expanded so much; when I first came here I wasn’t comfortable with trying everything from food to meeting new people and so on.


Learn With Experience

This semester is definitely atypical compared to my past Northwestern semesters.  Most years at school I am constantly busy at school, I am working to meet deadlines and get to meetings.  I have three planners, one with my syllabus information, one with my actual assignments to currently do, and one that has my day planned out.  My weekdays follow a pretty strict schedule.


The Weekend

Host Family In RiverStaying with a host family has been so much fun.