Romania

Projects Abroad

My experience volunteering with Projects Abroad was absolutely life changing. From my first desires to volunteer abroad to completion of my volunteer program, I felt entirely supported by the Projects Abroad team. I chose to volunteer in Romania as a Drama volunteer because I wanted to bring theater education to disadvantaged youth in Brasov. My volunteer advisor emailed me several times before I left for Romania and he made sure I had all of my questions answered about accommodation, transportation, and general life abroad.

Once I arrived in Romania, I was picked up at the airport by one of the local Projects Abroad staff. Razvan was extremely helpful and I immediately felt welcomed in Romania after many stressful hours of traveling. He and I drove 3 hours to Brasov and he made sure I was safe and sound at my host family's house. I truly lucked out with one of the most wonderful host families! My host mother" Rodica welcomed me into her home with open arms and a warm meal. I swear I have never eaten better in my life! Although there was a language barrier between us I knew that I could always come to her with any questions about my stay in Brasov.

The Projects Abroad team in Romania helped me navigate my way through my volunteer program. One of the head coordinators, Ali, made sure I was happy with all of my placements and she even took the time to accompany me to many of my volunteer locations to make sure I was comfortable with the children and staff. She was always open to communication and we spoke almost every day about how my drama program was coming along. Overall, the entire Projects Abroad team was incredibly supportive and I will forever be thankful for them.

Last but not least, through my experience with Projects Abroad I made life long friendships. Many of my fellow volunteers were from the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and the USA. We bonded over our experiences and explored beautiful Romania. Overall, my volunteer opportunity in Romania allowed me to give back to others and it wouldn't have been possible without the supportive team at Projects Abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Romania
Posted: May 6, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

Projects Abroad

This past August, I had the privilege of joining Projects Abroad Romania for the drama placement. It was one of the most profound and eye-opening experiences that I have ever had.
For those who are not familiar with the organization, Projects Abroad provides volunteers with an assignment that is very much needed in the local community (in this case, Prejmer, a suburb of Brasov). The program fee also includes accommodation, which in the case of Romania, is a local host family. My host was an older couple who was absolutely delighted to have me: they did everything they could to make sure that I had a nice, comfortable bed to sleep in every day as well as plenty of food. There is certainly no danger of going hungry in Romania. While my hosts did not speak my language (I refuse to call it a "barrier"), they found other, more sincere ways to communicate. I will forever be grateful for their hospitality.
My placements were tremendously fulfilling, both for the organizations and myself. I will admit that I went in an off-season, when the official drama program was not offered. However, Alexandra from the Projects Abroad staff created a special drama workshop wherein I taught two high school students the essentials of video production. I also had a longer placement working at a foster home in Prejmer, wherein I mentored children who have no other recourse. The director of the institution also wanted me to create a promotional video for the establishment, a task that I am always happy to do.
The other volunteers were truly delightful. Every Projects Abroad trip has this incredible social aspect. We went out every Thursday to discuss the best and worst parts of the week. In terms of the staff at Projects Abroad, the workers at my placements, and the other volunteers, I have truly become a part of an amazing fairy tale, in a country that is crowned with unrivaled natural and architectural beauty. If you want to see Romania, you owe it to yourself to do it with Projects Abroad.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Romania
Posted: Oct 6, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi there! Thank you very much for sharing your experience! Our Creative & Performing Arts projects are a wonderful options for artistic volunteers such as yourself! We are glad you were able to join us and share your skills with the Romanian children. In terms of the local language, this can be a bit challenging at first, but our host families are great at giving that extra so you can communicate with one another. We hope you are able to keep in touch with them. Thank you again for your trust!

Projects Abroad

Volunteering abroad through Projects Abroad was one of the best decisions that I have made. This program was very helpful during my initial process of finding a program. They assisted me with all of my questions, helped me to navigate their website, and even held Skype informational meetings to answer all of my questions. I was able to have a contact through the organization who helped me with the registration process, and he even helped me with formulating ideas for raising funds, through sending me a packet of ideas. I was quite apprehensive at first, but the money that I spent on travelling and volunteering abroad was well utilized. I was shown and explained where all the money was going, and my room and board were covered within the expenses. I even had the option of having my flights arranged and the tickets purchased by Projects Abroad. Letting them take care of this detail of my travels took a lot of stress out of the planning process, and I was quite thankful that I left this detail in their handling. The paperwork process that needed to be completed before travelling and serving with children in an orphanage, was a bit complicated. It required much patience and a large amount of communication between myself and the representatives, but eventually, we figured out all that had to be accomplished before my arrival. Upon my arrival, I had three square meals a day, a great orientation process, and was picked up from the airport when I arrived. I was also dropped off at the airport when I departed, and this was wonderful because I did not have to worry about arranging a taxi for the three hour road trip from Bucharest to Brasov. My driver even assisted me with obtaining all of my luggage and helped me recover from the culture shock that I experienced upon my first international trip. During my time in Brasov, Romania, I was able to learn much about the people and my service site through my experiences. The memories that I made during my experience were formed significantly by the assistance and involvement by the employees of Projects Abroad. They even helped me to communicate with the other volunteers in the area and themselves by providing me with a cell phone and minutes during my time abroad. They also arranged group projects for us to do service together, as well as other social outings and gatherings. I could really feel their care for all of the volunteers during the four weeks that I spent in Romania, as they were always interested in our safety and comfort. They regularly checked in with all of the volunteers, and even assisted us in planning our outings around the country during the weekends. We were able to live independently, explore the area, and interact with the culture, but always had the support and encouragement of the Projects Abroad staff. I loved the time I spent in service and truly appreciated all of the structure that was available within that setting. There was plenty of room for myself to make my experience my own, and to invest in the lives of those that I served with and lived with. I have made lifelong friends through my time with the other volunteers also, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have traveled through Projects Abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Romania
Posted: Jan 9, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

I contacted the Projects Abroad Organization about two weeks before the start of my final undergraduate semester with Long Island University. As a student majoring in Global Studies, I was looking for a program that would allow me to volunteer with orphans for my independent field research project. I also needed an organization that would allow me to take language classes, cooking classes, and assist me in meeting the needs of my other academic requirements. To make matters more complicated, I also needed an apartment accommodation, rather than a home-stay, in order to study most efficiently and accommodate the needs of an unrelated disability.

All of these "demands" were put forth just two weeks before the start of my semester. (As a contentious student, I had initially planned ahead for all of these things with a different volunteer organization, only to be "dismissed" in mid-August on the basis of the program no longer wishing to be affiliated with my academic research.) In any case, I came to Projects Abroad in a state of "academic desperation," so to speak. My graduation depended on my preparing an alternative placement, and with only two weeks, I was doubtful that any other organization would accommodate my needs.

Needless to say, Projects Abroad was my "life-saver." Not only did they work to meet every single academic requirement, they expedited my enrollment form so that I could begin my pre-departure preparations and not lose my semester. Terri and Rachel, both coordinators in the New York Headquarters, were absolutely wonderful-- they gave me an enormous amount of time both on the phone, over e-mail, and in person to answer each and every question that arose.

When I finally arrived in Romania, I was met at the airport by Dani, and then transported to Brasov. After I arrived in Brasov, I was given some time to rest, and then met at my apartment (which was pre-arranged ahead of time by Projects Abroad) by Daniela, my care placement supervisor. She took me around town, bought me lunch, and then took me to the Projects Abroad Offices to introduce me to all of the staff and several volunteers. She presented me with a schedule of my cooking classes, language classes, volunteer placement days, and open "study times." Needless to say, the fact that she had taken the time to plan everything and make me feel so welcome created the perfect start to what would became one of the best experiences in my life.

Overall, there are no words (in English or Romanian) that can properly encapsulate the essence of my time in Romania. Working with those children, getting to know the other volunteers, and being so welcomed by the staff is not something I will ever forget. I will also never forget all of my "dinner host families," who welcomed me into their homes and taught me how to cook Romanian cuisine for my classes-- not something traditionally done through the program, but included at my request to fulfill my academic requirements.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of studying abroad or conducting academic research for your degree, Projects Abroad is definitely the "way to go." Not only do they make a wonderful experience for anyone simply wishing to volunteer, they also are extremely accommodating in meeting the needs of students who are venturing abroad for academic purposes.

To that I say--in the words of the Romanian Orphans with whom I worked with-- "Foarte Bine" (Very Good/ Well Done!) Projects Abroad. I will definitely be volunteering with your organization again in the future.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Romania
Posted: Feb 21, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

I spent two months in Romania doing a physical therapy placement and loved every single minute of it. Before this experience, the only time I had spent abroad was a week of an alternative spring break trip with 14 of my classmates, so I was a little nervous about going so far from home on my own. Those worries disappeared the minute I arrived to see the Projects Abroad sign in the airport. The staff was incredible at making me feel at home and trying to morph my experience into what I was looking for. For example, when I wanted a different experience from my placement, they had one set up for me within the week.

My placement was at Hospice Casa Sperantei where I worked with children with lifelong disabilities and terminal illnesses. The physiotherapist I shadowed was amazing and really invested in teaching me. I was allowed to touch the patients, interact with them, feel their stiffness and crooked spines: experiences I hadn't had shadowing physical therapists in the US. I left this experience with no doubt that this was what I wanted to do as a career. I was so excited about it, I actually filled out almost all of my physical therapy school application while I was abroad!

Being abroad over the summer was awesome. Since you can come and go when you want with Projects Abroad, I crossed path with 40some volunteers from all over the world. Every night we would meet up for dessert or karaoke or coffee, and on the weekends there was always someone to explore the country with. We became so close that I will always call them my Projects Abroad "family".

I learned so much in Romania about myself and what I wanted in life. I met some incredible people and learned not only a ton about Romania, but the places where my fellow volunteers were from too. All of this with the beautiful Romanian backdrop, the summer I spent there was the best of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Romania
Posted: Feb 12, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

A small city in the Eastern European country of Romania is not where many people would go. However, for me, it was the most amazing 1-month experience I could have asked for and my choice to volunteer with Projects Abroad was the best decision ever. This summer I spent 1-month in a medical internship in Brasov, Romania through Projects Abroad. Preparing for my trip, I had no idea what to expect but the PA staff were with me from the time I considered a project. With frequent check-ups before my arrival in Romania, my friend and I felt ready to go to a new place. After travelling across time zones we arrived in Romania and it was unlike any place I had been before. The structure of the Projects Abroad program is what made it such a special experience for me. I lived with a host family and had a placement at a local care center for children with Down Syndrome. When I wanted more medical experience, the PA staff immediately gave me an opportunity to work in a local hospital as well. The freedom and flexibility of this program appealed to me the most. After being taught transportation and directions to work and the city center, we were responsible for attending every day. We could plan our own trips with other volunteers and if we ever had any questions, the PA office was just a 10 minute walk and the staff was more than happy to help plan. Romania was a place I had never before thought about going to, but ever since I returned to America, I can't stop talking about it. The friendships I made through my 1 month in Romania are more than I could have asked for. Projects Abroad was fantastic in every aspect of this trip and made my experience the way it was. Projects Abroad is a wonderful organization and I hope to participate in another program with them. I feel that everyone should participate in such eye-opening and life-changing experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Romania
Posted: Oct 12, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8
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