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Operation Wallacea- Romania
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Operation Wallacea- Romania

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Transylvania 2017

Life changing experience opening my eyes to the rest of the world. So many different experiences that i would have never had the opportunity to experience. There was a breath taking amount of wildlife seeing things in the wild I've not seen in the UK

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Transylvania 2017

I joined the Transylvania 2017 expedition as a research assistant volunteering for biodiversity surveys in the Tarnava Mare region of Transylvania, looking at the diversity of plants, birds, butterflies, Orthoptera and mammals.
This place is one of the few that still uses traditional agricultural techniques, and it just adds to how special and unique of a place it really is.
Each of these villages that we visited and conduct surveys at had their own individual charm, from the Fortified churches, the food and the incredible landscape.
The reason the work conducted here is so important is because this is one of the few pockets of culture that is yet to be destroyed by western agricultural techniques, and where the wild life is in abundance! In Western Europe we've managed to destroy out natural habitat beyond the point of repair.
Not only did I feel like I was taking part in something really important, I experienced some incredible things, and met some amazing people.
My experience with Operation Wallacea was fantastic, the continued support and guidance and availability made it not only an easy but also a enjoyable exposition to plan, I did not expect to be as relaxed as I was, and that was largely down to the services available, like the call in lines and emails regarding travel and accommodation arrangements and even kit lists. Throughout my two weeks in Transylvania I felt comfortable going to the expedition manager Toby with any queries that I had, whether it was regarding time tabling or if I or any of us were feeling a little under the weather.
At the end of my two weeks, my only regret was not having booked a longer expedition! The knowledge and experiences I gained are some that I will never forget and have inspired me to continue looking into conservation of biodiversity work.
I hope the work Operation Wallacea and Fundatia Adept are conducting really helps to preserve the gorgeous Transylvanian landscape and all it has to offer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Romania Opwall

So worth the money! Plenty of extra activities not just the surveys. Staff were very helpful and really immersed all the volunteers in the surveys. There was a real effort for cultural immersion too with extra Romanian language lesson put on for us at our request. I can't wait for another Opwall project - I'll definitely be returning!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Amazing experience

The expedition I joined to Transylvania provided an excellent opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills. The whole application process went very smoothly - the whole Opwall team went out of their way to make sure everything as easy as possible, from booking insurance to arranging transport. The information prior to departure and the support provided to fundraise proved invaluable. In country, the staff, locals and volunteers helped make the expedition the trip of a lifetime. The range of surveys to join and lectures to attend was great. Overall a fabulous experience, and one that I would encourage others to try!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Butterfly project in Transylvania

I was a research assistant on the Butterfly Project in Transylvania for 6 weeks collecting data for my dissertation. After paying a substantial amount of money I was nervous that the expedition wouldn't live up to my expectations but it was so much better than I could have hoped. At first I felt nervous because I thought people expected me to know everything about the subject already; James (Lepidopterist) Introduced me to the most common species, taught me why we are using butterflies as a habitat indicator and a little about the ecology. We had mini lectures on the history of the country and the management of the landscape which helped put what we were doing into context. I suffer from anxiety and I thought that being around a lot of people 24/7 would make me anxious however the staff were so friendly and the students are just as keen to learn as you are. I learnt so much so fast, by the fourth week I felt like I could lead the project myself which is amazing because when I arrived I had little to no confidence. Toby (site manager) was so supportive and helped me through personal issues as well as academic. Everyone was friendly and open to answer any questions you may have. Bruce (lead scientist) helped me pin point what it was I wanted to talk about in my dissertation. I was free to join other projects and the transators were always free to chat. I had a little Romanian lesson which was fun and I spent a lot of my time playing cards games! It was so fun, educational and must have experience for me. I am proud for completing the 6 weeks and now I feel more exited to complete this dissertation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

An amazing and worthwhile trip

I had an amazing time at Op Wall and they really took care of me, as I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I got to see amazing creatures and sights and I would recommend anyone going on this trip at least once in their life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Transylvania

It was incredible, I was apprehensive booking as I was a mature student. I learnt so much the team were fantastic. Two weeks was not long enough as you feel you've only just found your feet and want to learn and enjoy more. My advice is just to book and enjoy an amazing experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

A fantastic opportunity for those interested in conservation

Working in Transylvania as a volunteer for Operation Wallacea was one of the most fun experiences I have ever had. Not only did we have a chance to take part in field works and lectures given by researchers working in conservation, but we also had several cultural programmes and made new friends.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Transylvania 2017

I had an incredible time in Romania - the expedition was very well organised, and all the staff seemed very keen to educate us as well as collect data. The only gripe I would have is that the lectures we were given were a little basic and seemed underprepared. Otherwise, keep doing what you're doing!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    6

Expedition feedback

I think this experience was definitely invaluable and eye opening. It has made me look more closely at nature and made me more curious about and appreciative of nature in a way that sitting in a lab (which I was previously doing) working with lifeless specimens did not. I would recommend this experience to anyone even those indoor types because as one person put it, the expedition experience makes you see things with a different lens.