The Host Life

When I first arrived at my host family stay, I had no idea what to expect. My host family had just gotten back from a long, busy vacation in Croatia. They were exhausted when they came to the apartment to pick me up, and I was incredibly anxious as I waited for them. Before coming to Romania, we had learned some of the customs and what to expect from our host families, but like most things in life, it is different to experience it for yourself. What would my place be in their home? Would they speak English? I was both excited and a little nervous to find out for myself.


Home Away From Home

Officially I have been here for half of a semester! Wow, time has gone so fast but the time was well spent! Over the last few weeks I have been a part of a host family and to simply say that I enjoyed my time would be a huge understatement. My host dad doesn’t speak any English but this has made the experience all the more interesting. Most of the time I have relied on Google translate to have a conversation with my host dad but this has made the experience all the more fun. As I look back on the last few weeks I think about how much I have grown and how my life has really changed.


When Parents Visit

This last week my parents could come visit me here in Romania. On their way to Lupeni, they took the same route that I did when I flew in. They stopped to see the Peles Castle, Bran Castle, and the Fagaras Citadel. They got to experience a lot of the same historical sites that I got to experience while I have been here. It has become great memories and bounding moments to talk about places that we loved to experience and see while we were all in Romania. While I was with them, we went on a day trip to Sibiu and a trip to the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara.


Climb to the Top

Before I came here I had all sorts of ideas of what this place was going to be like; it would be hard to get used to but for the most part everything would be a long vacation. When we first got here our group decided to go on a five-day hiking trip into the mountains called Retezat National Park. I’ve done tiny amounts of hiking before and my mind set was that this experience was going to be a long walk in the woods with no shower; I was wrong!


Animals of Romania

Coming to Romania, I had heard that there were wild dogs roaming the streets. I’d heard and read that the wild dogs were a serious problem and that caution is advised when walking alone. When I first got to Romania I believed in those stories wholeheartedly and was scared whenever I saw a dog on the street that even came nearby. At night, hearing the dogs howl and fight outside was so disturbing the first few nights.


Unexpected Challenges

This semester has already brought so many new changes and challenges. Coming into this experience in Romania, one of my biggest fears was that I was going to be stuck eating food I didn’t like for four months. On one of the first nights in Romania, I was eating at a restaurant and order fried fish. When the fish came out as the full fish, with the head and eyes and skin still attached, I had a bit of an inner-meltdown. I was so worried that I was going to be eating the strangest food for four months.


Food For Thought

In the short time I’ve been in Romania, I’ve learned a few important bits of information. One bit I learned is; the food is amazing, and the second I learned is; Romanians love to show their affection through food. There hasn’t been a day so far that I haven’t had some form of bread at any given moment of the day. In my host family, we have bread at every meal. Whether it be homemade white bread or fancy breads that I have a hard time pronouncing, I am without a doubt always full by the time I’m done eating.


Communication Prevails No Matter The Obstacles

Communication is so easy to take for granted.  This is especially true when speaking a native language in a culture that is all too familiar.  Both verbal and nonverbal communication comes so naturally when at home.  When I arrived in Romania I became much more intentional with how I interacted with others.  This is particularly true with my host family.


Want To Read Older Posts?

To read student's reflections from 2012 & 2013, please click here. For student reflections from 2008 to 2012, please visit this blog


Looking Back

It's been more than a month now, since I have been in the lovely country of Romania. It's been a long month, filled with emotions and unfortunate events and when you have a month like that it seems as though time stretches out and what came before seems much farther away than it maybe otherwise would have.

I had to leave early, due to family reasons, but here is what I remember from my last few (I didn't know they were my last few) days in Romania.