Romania

Applications for LE Romania are now open!

Program dates: June 17 - August 5

Orientation:

June 18thJune 22nd

Group of volunteers smiling on a bridge

Midpoint Break:

July 13th- July 15th

Closing:

August 3rd- August 4th


QUICK FACTS

  • Number of volunteers: 8 - 10
  • Language requirement: None
  • Living conditions: Mostly rural, modern housing; access to most amenities
  • Opening and closing ceremonies: Budapest
  • Visa: Not needed for US volunteers

THE IDEAL VOLUNTEER:

  • Patient- as a teacher, it is expected that there will be good days and bad days, and it is during these times that one's character truly shows. Volunteers must be able to demonstrate patience and understanding and have open communication with their students to manage their classroom.
  • Hardworking- expect to develop thorough lesson plans and spend a lot of time outside of class preparing/adjusting your curriculum.
  • Kind- having a big heart is essential to facilitate the learning of children!
  • Creative- it is the summer time and students are likely to not want to sit in their desks learning English for long periods of time. You need to be willing to get the students up and moving, and think of creative and interactive ways to instruct English and engage students.
  • Independent- you will likely be the only volunteer in your village, and you will be spending an extended period in a foreign country.
  • Flexible and resourceful- teaching and living abroad can create unexpected situations and challenges that one must handle with maturity.
  • Open minded, adaptive- people, cultures, customs, traditions, and living conditions greatly differ to those of the Western world. It is essential to have a genuine desire to integrate into the culture, meet new people, and experience a different culture.

  • PROGRAM STRUCTURE

    You will arrive a few days before teaching begins for orientation in Budapest. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the other volunteers, the program director, get acclimated to the new environment, and be introduced to Eastern European culture. During this time, we will discuss lesson planning and other teaching strategies that will help you to succeed in the classroom. There will also be time to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Chain Bridge, Danube River, Margitsziget, ruin bars, and castles and thermal baths galore are just some of the many sites one can experience in Budapest! On the Saturday following orientation, you will travel (by bus or train) to your assigned location. Host families will pick you up directly from the bus/ train station. They will go over information about their school schedules and the process of getting to school. Once with your host families, you will not have many expenses (other than buying souvenirs for loved ones back home!) since transportation, food and housing are all provided by the host family. 

    During the midpoint break you will take the opportunity to debrief and reflect on your first teaching experience, exchange teaching ideas/ lesson plans, and discuss ways to improve teaching strategies with your fellow volunteers. You can also partake in more cultural and scenic outings, indulge in some well-deserved down time, and ultimately reconnect with your fellow volunteers before traveling to your second placement. 

    The program will conclude with a 2-3 day closing session in Budapest. This is an opportunity to reconnect with the other volunteers for a final brief program reflection. You’ll experience a little bit more of the Budapest before heading home or continuing your travels. 

    ***Note that all volunteers are responsible for the costs of orientation, midpoint break, and closing session, which include organized hostel stays, dining, and all group excursions.


    HOST COMMUNITY

    Eastern European host families are extremely warm, welcoming, hospitable, accommodating, and will be eager to show you their local sites, scenery, and surroundings. Families typically have children, and at least one English-speaking member. You will likely spend much of your free time attending various family-oriented events and gatherings, and can also walk through the region’s iconic sunflower fields, go hiking with your host siblings, visit the strand (pool), play soccer, go out for ice cream, experience a village festival, and spend many long nights having laughter-filled conversation!

    You will likely be placed in a small village, although some volunteers are placed in larger urban settings. Everything will be within walking distance (including the schools), although some families may provide bicycles for added convenience. However, if placed in an urban setting, transportation to schools may take a bit longer (up to one hour maximum), and involve using the city’s transit system. While you may not be far from your fellow volunteers and transportation between all villages is easily accessible, you’ll probably be too preoccupied with the activities in your own village and host family to visit one another.  

    Houses contain moderate amenities, such as running water, plumbing, electricity, and accessible internet. Families also usually have televisions, cellphones, and cars, but likely will not have air-conditioning. Due to its continental climate, Romanian summers do get quite hot and humid, but most houses are built to accommodate this.

    Romanian Parade with large instruments

    TEACHING

  • Volunteers teach in schools or language centers
  • Students will know little to no English
  • Classes are typically separated by students' level of English, although it is entirely up to the teacher's discretion on how to divide the students up
  • Volunteers will teach a minimum of 2 hours per day, 5 days a week. But this can range to a maximum of 8 hours per day!
  • Student ages range from 5-18 years old
  • Volunteers will be provided at least a black or white board and chalk or markers, but other supplies may be limited. However, some classrooms may have projector screens and laptops, but it is recommended to come prepared with various teaching supplies, rewards, and more interactive methods of learning. Supplies such as a beach ball, stickers, and American candy have proved handy in the past!
  • Often, teachers themselves have difficulties teaching grammar so focusing more on conversational      English is beneficial, especially since it is a skill that cannot be learned in a textbook
  • Students are on summer break- have fun with your lesson plan and don't feel confined to the classroom!
  • Volunteer teaching Romanian students in a classroom

    MEET YOUR PROGRAM DIRECTOR, AMANDA!

    Amanda is a third year biology and dance studies double major from Santa Monica, CA. She is passionate about combining these two fields of interest, specifically with regards to how dance can be used as a form of movement therapy for physiological and neurological disorders. If she's not in a class or dance studio, you can find her eating froyo, trying out Berkeley's various coffee shops, and attempting to learn acro yoga.

    "My experience as a volunteer for LE Romania 2017 was a memorable one in which I learned a lot about myself and my abilities, became immersed in a culture that was very different from that of the Western US, and was embraced by an extreme amount of generosity from everyone I engaged with. Inspired by the global perspective that I gained through LE, I decided to broaden my course topics and curriculum at Cal. I am ecstatic to be returning to Eastern Europe this summer to help future volunteers
    have a memorable experience like mine."

    Interested applicants can reach Amanda at romania@learningenterprises.org.

    Check out our Addendum and Budget!