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.



I was warned about reverse culture shock before I left Romania. I’ve only been back a few days, so I don’t think I know exactly what it looks like yet, but considering I did not experience culture shock in Romania until about two months after I got there, it would not surprise me if it is a bit late in setting in here too. The whole concept of “reverse culture shock” seems strange to me. That I should be shocked by my own home, where I’ve grown up and been formed for the past three years. How could three and a half months change me so much as to forget my own home?

Home Again, Home Again...

The weekend following Thanksgiving was a blissful time—meals made together, a Saturday night talent show, and the glorious mountaintop view from the Cabana where we stayed in the nearby town of Straja. Still, throughout the weekend, there was an air of the ever-looming days to come in December.
The return to the homeland.

On Giving Thanks

Each week, one of my colleagues and I pay the equivalency of about 70 American cents to ride in a large white van stuffed with passengers to our neighboring town, Uricani. We climb up a set of crumbling steps to a large clementine orange cement square of a building- the Uricani Primary School. Before even opening the door, we hear the excited shouts of around 30 middle schoolers drifting out through an open window. We take a deep breath, and submerge ourselves in the chaos that is IMPACT Club Clever.


Wedded to Work

My host parents seemed to go to a wedding every weekend. Whether it was due to how surprisingly young they are and all of their friends are getting married, or that they are simply that popular, I could not tell. I also could not understand why they would not leave for the wedding until nine or ten in the evening only to return late in the night. Fortunately, one of the weddings was at our house so I got an invite.