Bună din România! Hello from Romania!
I am about halfway through my semester in Romania. I am with a group of four other students, living in a small mining town in the Jiu Valley. Classes are taken in a small building, not a university, and I am currently living with a host family. The Romania Semester is different from most study abroad opportunities, but it has been my favorite semester at Northwestern so far. I am excited to describe my experiences to you as my semester continues, but I’ll start with how I got here in the first place.
The Romania semester is one of two study abroad programs offered at Northwestern, the other being Oman (if you go to Northwestern and don’t wish to study abroad at either location, Northwestern is amazing at connecting you to other schools that have programs in other countries as well). Originally I was not going to study in Romania; I planned on going to Oman in the spring of 2017.
My plans changed because I had been in Ireland the previous summer volunteering with a mission and had not had the chance to work, so I wanted one more summer to work before leaving the country. As I looked at other programs, I talked a lot with students of past Romania semesters. If you ever want to know more about a program, talking with people who have first hand experience is always the best way to go. Everyone I talked with had only the best stories and feelings toward the Romania semester. As I continue with these posts, I think you’ll find I have very similar feelings.
The Romania semester puts me in a new culture and overall environment. Anytime you leave the country there is going to be a change, but some countries can still be fairly similar to the United States, specifically places in Western Europe. The Romania semester offers new challenges and growing space in the culture and language, which is something I was specifically looking for.
As I was talking with other students of past semesters, I also visited the Global Education Center often. Nancy Landhuis and John Hubers are fantastic resources to use when it comes to studying abroad. I worked a lot with Nancy, and she laid out the entire application process, as well as what happens after being accepted into the program, from payments to the documents needed to leave the country.
The application was very simple. Northwestern has a website that current students use to connect different services in one place; the Global Education Center has a link there. It provides information on Northwestern study abroad programs, as well as connections to other study abroad programs in other countries. The application to study in Romania and Oman are both found here as well, and it is all done online. To apply, the application asks for references and basic information about your class standing. There are also two essays to complete, asking about your interest in the program and skills you possess to interact with other cultures. After submitting the application there is no interview, and the Global Education Center gets back to you shortly after deadline date.
Once being accepted into the program, you, along with and other students participating in the same study abroad semester, meet with John Hubers for preparation meetings. These meetings cover everything from culture shock to the logistics of actually leaving. The people at the Global Education Center take care of figuring out flights and specifics.
It’s crazy thinking about the process from the beginning until where I am at right now. I have completely loved my experience so far, and I cannot wait to see how the semester continues. Now, I can’t wait to take you along and share my experience with you all!
Pe curând! Ceau! See you soon! Bye!