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Care Work in Romania with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Care Placement in Brasov, Romania Through Projects Abroad

This past summer, I traveled through Projects Abroad to Brasov, Romania, for four weeks. I worked in an orphanage with mentally and physically disabled children, and it was quite a challenging experience. This was my first trip abroad, and it was really great to have the help and support of the staff at Projects Abroad to help me iron out all of the details. They had been really good with communication throughout the entire planning process, and they answered my many emails, phone calls, Skype calls, etc. Initially, I was frustrated with the paperwork procedure, as I thought that I had everything filled out and ready to go. Last minute, I was told of some changes that I needed to make in updating my files. I eventually worked things out with a representative who was personally assigned to me. The medical requirements were a bit confusing and unclear as well, but eventually, I was able to clear things up and was on my way.

It was really great to have Projects Abroad pick me up from the airport upon my arrival, help me with my luggage, and drive me three hours to Brasov from Bucharest. The day I arrived, I was greeted by my family that I would be living with at my home-stay. They were so kind ad caring, and I truly felt accepted as a new member of their family. During my time in Brasov, I struggled with the language barrier, as only half of the family members that I stayed with, spoke English fluently. English was spoken and used by many Romanians, but the staff at Projects Abroad helped me to learn some basic phrases and words.

Breaking into my routine of service and living in a different culture required a good bit of support and encouragement from the staff, as well as the companionship of my fellow volunteers. It was great having organized service opportunities and outings with the other volunteers and the Projects Abroad staff. The staff even assisted us with making arrangements to go on outings around town and trips around the country. We had a good level of independence, as well as structure provided by the staff.

Each day, I had a one hour commute to my service site, and would spend four hours in service. During my orientation process, I was shown by the staff how to use the public transportation, exchange my currency, purchase food, and the general routine of my service. I worked with children, alongside another volunteer and some resident workers. It was difficult with the language barrier, but Projects Abroad always ensures that some of the workers speak English, so I was able to communicate with one or two of the workers on most days.

Overall, I had a incredible time serving in Brasov, alongside my fellow volunteers, and immersing myself in the culture of Romania. I learned many things about myself and others, and made lifelong friends with the other volunteers. I was challenged and pushed to be open to new experiences, but I also had many exciting times and wonderful memories. I highly suggest looking into Projects Abroad if you are interested in serving abroad, and if you are looking for an affordable venue.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

To Romania and Back Again

The summer after my senior year of high school I had no plans besides sitting around and waiting to ship to Boston for school, across the country from my Texas home. I decided this was my year to do something meaningful – to go out and explore, a luxury I knew I wouldn’t have once I entered the ‘real’ world of college classes and working my way through school. I found Project's Abroad by exploring my options online, and chose Romania through a series of eliminations and reconsiderations. It was the best decision I ever made.
My first summer I went to Brasov for a month, from mid June of 2012 to mid July. 3 days into my trip I started my Care project in Budila, a tiny town that took me two bus transfers to get to every morning. I worked in a sibling foster home with 10 children who no longer had parents, but still had their brothers and sisters. The communication with these children, kids who were kept from me by a massive language barrier, became almost barbaric but we came together and formed a fun bond. Each day we would do an activity I brought, anything from floor puzzles to painting pots to making bracelets, and we would play outside on their massive lawn. I taught them how to play new games, they used me as a pawn in theirs, and we taught each other how to count to 10 – something I practice daily just to remember how sweet and eager they were. The second summer I went to Romania with Projects Abroad, I went for 2 weeks and decided to work in veterinary care. I traveled by bus to a vet clinic in the city and worked with animals in multiple aspects, from assisting with surgeries to playing with animals and helping with grooming.
While I was away, the Projects Abroad staff was generally extremely welcoming and helpful. Everyone was happy for you to be there, and was eager to not only always be available to you, but to do their best to insure your trip was the best it could be. One of the things I appreciated the most was that they really went above and beyond to ensure your safety and help with whatever you need. Both times I visited I utilized my weekends to travel internationally by train, and both times I received help in ticket purchasing, planning and kept in contact with the staff during my trip. I formed close relationships with my volunteer coordinators and remain in contact with them from the States. All in all, both of my trips were life changing experienced that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I made some great friends, saw some amazing places, and ultimately fell in love with a corner of the world I probably would have never visited normally.

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association