An American’s Experience in Iași, Romania
The feeling of leaving Iași is definitely bittersweet. Although I am excited to get back home and make the big comparison of all my experiences with my old ones, leaving this all behind is very difficult. For all I know, I may never return to Iași ever again. I would really like to but we don’t know where life will take us. I’m truly thankful for all of the people and experiences that entered my life while spending 5 months in Iași, Romania. The experience was invaluable, irreplaceable, and incomparable to any other I or anyone else has ever had. I learned so much about myself and others, more than I ever imagined possible. I have a clearer outlook on life and the planet we all live on. I now realize we are all connected one way or another, like one big family. Every person on this earth can relate to at least one other. There is a common thread running through each and every one of us, which is such a beautiful and secure feeling. Whenever I feel alone all I have to do is remember this, and know that I am not alone, nor will I ever be. I’ve met some of the best people I’ve ever known in Iași. I’ve built strong, lasting relationships with people from all over the world. We all carry something within us to remember this experience by and our big family will always be connected through these thoughts, memories, and experiences. There is no doubt that I will miss the beautiful city of Iași very dearly. It was my home and the first place and time I ever lived on my own. Gaudeamus was my first home away from my parents. It was such a beautiful establishment run by amazing and friendly people, from the gardeners to the cleaners, to the administrators. All of them were so helpful and were there for us whenever we needed. I really felt like I was part of something special living in Iași. I felt like I belonged. I didn’t feel like an outsider or a tourist but a member of the Romanian family, and a special part of the people’s lives I encountered. La revedere for now Iași. Hopefully we will meet again someday.
Tomorrow I will have been here for exactly five months. It is 07:35. I’m thankful to have mastered the 24-hour clock, the metric system, and Celsius temperature. A few of my word pronunciations have changed as well; most notably kilometer and kilogram. I’ve picked up a lot of British English because that is what all Europeans learn when they study English. I never realized how much of a difference there could be between two languages that are seemingly the exact same. I’m learning to like and appreciate the culture of the UK and I would really like to visit someday. My friends and family are very anxious to finally see me after being away for so long (5 months isn’t really that long in perspective). Seeing as I’ve never been away from home longer than a week, 5 months seems like an eternity to my mom and dad. I’m quite excited to be back in the States and see all that I’ve missed while being away. I’m most anxious for the delicious food and astounding craft beers. I’m also ready to get back into the culture I’ve grown to know and love so much. While I loved my time spent in Romania, there are many things I prefer about the United States.
I’m insanely excited to finally drive my car and have the freedom to go anywhere I want whenever I want without relying on some form of public transportation. While I think PT is awesome and definitely a cost-saver, there will always remain something exceedingly special about having the freedom to drive your own vehicle virtually anywhere in the world whenever you want to. This is a privilege I was raised with and probably spoiled by but it is something that I have grown to love.
I’m coming back to the United States with a whole new outlook on life. I will be arriving with an open-mind and looking at life through a globalized lens. I can no longer ignore the world outside of the US. My eyes have been opened and I can never look at the world the same way ever again. This new perspective is permanently etched into my brain. Every thought and action will be a product of this 5-month experience living abroad in the beautiful country of Romania.

Exchange Student, University of Michigan-Flint, USA

I´ve been studying for a year as well and i really liked it! it was the best year of my life, the fastest and the funniest! There were lots of nice people. To the question “Why Romania?” I did not know what to answer, but if i´m sure of something i am, it´s happy to have chosen Romania as the destination. If i can give you a couple of heads up, they will be: Try to learn Romanian (the people will love you if you just say something)! and go hitch-hiking all around Romania!! It works better than anywhere. Cheers Romanians and Erasmus!
Ah, and don´t forget the two most beautiful things for me in Iasi: -the botanical garden in Spring time (very close to the University, Alexandru Ioan Cuza)! and the “Teatru fix” the best coffee with live music ever seen.

Erasmus student 2013-2014, University of Valladolid, SPAIN

I’ve been an ERASMUS student in Iasi in 2013/14.
When I started studying and got to know about the ERASMUS program, I immediately knew that I would take part in it. Because it’s always great to spend time in another country, to change from your habits at home and discover new things in the world and in yourself.
Romanian was a part of my studies and I really wanted to discover an east european country; I got the impression that here in Germany, we know – or think to know – a lot more about west european countries – France, Spain, Italy – than about those in the east. At least for myself it definitely was like that.
During my year in Romania I didn’t just learn things about Romanian people, their visions and habits, but also about French, Spanish and Italians – cause there is quite a lot of them in Iasi too. I think the best way to enjoy your ERASMUS year is to learn to enjoy each of these two parts: the one of the ERASMUS community, among a lot of international students, as well as the Romanian part, where you get to know this unknown and underestimated country and its people. But I agree that the second part demands way more initiative from yourself than the first one that is happening just naturally. Be brave, be cool and choose ERASMUS!”

Erasmus student 2013-2014, University of Albert Ludwig, GERMANY

In first I want to classify my opinion about my Erasmus year in Iasi, in different sections:
First, About the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration:
The university had with me a great treatment. They helped me a lot when I needed, and I think that the treatment of the teachers with the students is better than in Spain, in most of the cases.
In addition, have a place to live as Gaudeamus Center close to the faculty help a lot to the students in adapt to the new environment.
The treatment with Romanian students was so good, so i have no more things to say.
About International Relations, I have to say that they were so helpful with us and they make so easy to Erasmus people, things like find a subject or resolve some problem.
About Personal development:
I think that this experience have improved myself , I think that the Knowledge acquired in Iasi have extend my capacity to be competitive, I think that some subject and the way to work on them, have given to me more specifically knowledge in areas like marketing, macroeconomic, microeconomics, etc.
Personally, I think that this experience have opened the door of work abroad my home country, giving to me better perspectives in the future.
The experience has given to me more independence, more flexibility to change, more capacity to adapt to a new environment, and have given more knowledge about Romania, and east of Europe.

Erasmus student 2013-2014, University of Murcia, SPAIN

Here are my impressions about my exchange mobility in Iasi… You can make it public or use it for UAIC website and facebook page.
I very much enjoyed my two-semester stay in Iasi. This study mobility allowed me to discover for the first time Romania (which I really appreciated for its interesting history and “culture-mix”, and for its warm people) and Middle Europe, to learn about cultures from all around the world, to be more open-minded, to better know myself, to make good progress with personal development (by being able to step back and see the bigger picture, to put things into perspective), and to improve my foreign languages.
Thanks to it, my feeling to be citizen of the world increased, and I foresee myself working abroad later (whereas before coming to Iasi, I did not think about the possibility of working abroad, and I didn’t have particular expectations. That was mostly about looking for new experience, going into the almost unknown, by curiosity. And having sometimes heard about bad opinions concerning Romania, mostly from people who never went, I was interested in making my own opinion).
Concerning my « career perspectives », firstly I want to be happy, and professionally speaking, I plan to work in the hotel trade industry, preferentially within an international group, to have the opportunity to move from one country to another.
In this sense, since last September, i am doing the master « hospitality management and marketing », of Savoie Mont Blanc University. This semester I am studying it in France, and next semester I will go to Turkey (Yeditepe University of Istanbul) via the Erasmus+ program.

Erasmus student, FRANCE

The experience was excellent from every possible viewpoint: student attendance and participation, hospitality, administrative support and collegial exchanges.

Exchange Teacher – Erasmus Programme, University of Bari Aldo Moro, ITALY

I visited Iasi in 2013 and found both my colleagues and the students extremely hospitable and friendly. They participated very actively in my presentations, which I really appreciated, as in other places the audience listened and did little else. I really enjoyed the contact with the professors and the students.

Exchange Teacher – Erasmus Programme, University of Oviedo, SPAIN

During the academic year 2013-2014, I came twice at the Faculty of Economics and Business administration (FEAA) of Iaşi: from October 28th to November 2nd, I taught the students (of the 3rd year of Bachelor degree) applied statistics (lectures and seminars). Activities co-ordinated by Prof. Danuţ Jemna and Prof. Carmen Pintilescu. All the practical things were perfectly managed by Ms Dorina Moisa; from May 18th to 30th, I participated in an Erasmus Intensive Programme “Toward the European Banking Union” coordinated by Ass. Prof. Dan Chirlesan. A very interesting and rich experience very well managed by teaching assistants Constantin-Marius Apostoaie and Stanislav Percic.
I have a long experience of teaching at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and of the co-operation with the UAIC since the beginning of the nineties (Tempus programmes, then with Prof. Elisabeta Jaba). Therefore I have many friends in Iaşi; that’s why my participation in teaching activities as well as in other fields of academic activities is always a great pleasure!
At the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration the teaching rooms are well equipped and my colleagues do their utmost to facilitate my life in their Faculty, e.g. a visitor’s office with a computer is available for me.
In both mobilities, I have got an accommodation at the Akademos university hotel, very comfortable with a copious breakfast (probably too much for me!). Akademos is not far from the Faculty of economics and from the City centre. I have the lunch either in Gaudeamus or in Titu Maiorescu university restaurant. Colleagues often invite me to dinner in downtown restaurants or even at their home. Everything is very convenient.
I know very well the city of Iaşi and its surroundings, so that I can attend shows or plays at the theatre or concerts or even films in the cinemas (films are generally with subtitles in English).
Acum inteleg şi vorbesc putin limba romana; ma descurc cat de cat!”

Honorary Professor University Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iaşi, Associate Professor University of Poitiers, FRANCE

I spent 5 days as on staff training at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi from 26.-30. May 2014. The visit was hosted by the Department of International Relations, and although the planning coordinator and the host contact person during my stay were two different people, this was coordinated in an excellent way. I was warmly received by Ioana Pastinaru, and had interesting discussions with most members of the international office of the university. The programme was varied and organized in a way that allowed for flexibility and changes during the visit. This came in handy as new connections were made and extra meetings were required. I had a wonderful visit to the Botanical Gardens in very warm weather, and also met several staff members belonging to relevant academic faculties for cooperation. I was also installed in a university housing, which was very reasonable as far as cost is concerned, and I found it interesting to experience what other guest professors and students get when they visit. My hosts took very good care of me, and I also want to thank both the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences for their hospitality and interest in collaborating with us. So far, the results from my visit to Iasi in May 2014 has been a revisit to Stavanger by dr. Veronica Popescu of the Faculty of Letters, and a network connection between Crina Leon and the Scandinavian studies department of the University of Stavanger. The only challenge during my visit was handling large amounts of cash which was dealt out through the cash till at the university. It would be easier to have the grant transferred to the University of Stavanger marked with EEA Grants – staff training or similar.

Exchange administrative staff – EEA grants, University of Stavanger, NORWAY

The topic that I was teaching-migration – was maybe only partly relevant for the group of students at your University, I found however both groups of students that I teached very active and interested, trying also to relate it to the migration situation in Romania. I do not know how used they are having lecturers from abroad, but they showed really great interest, more than I have experienced in other Universities that I have visited in Europe. I was also, as Ella, impressed by their interest and participation. I also found the host faculty very welcoming and they really put effort in doing the best out of everything. It was also nice to discuss possible research collaboration, many people showed up, and was interested, we have however so far not made any concrete plans for future collaboration. All together the stay at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi was a very nice experience, both academically and culturally. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.

Exchange teacher – EEA grants, University of Stavanger, NORWAY