My first two months in Romania – Christina Starke

7th of July early in the morning: After I said goodbye to all my friends and my family I checked in at the Airport in Berlin, curious what is that would expect me. One hour and 45 minutes later my plane arrived in Bucharest. I finally had the chance to sleep a little bit, the view I had from the plane was great and the weather in Romania was unexpectedly warm.  I spend the next 10 hours in the airport, sleeping, enjoying the sun and exploring each corner of the airport.  A small, but really nice plane took me from Bucharest to Baia Mare. I guess I was the only one in this plane who did not speak Romanian. After a very long day I decided to sleep, even though I had the chance to join the party my flat mate and some other volunteers started in the flat after I went to bed.

On my first day in the office I met about 15 people but at the end of the day I did not remember a single name. During the next few days I tried to not get lost in the city, even though I’m usually not bad in finding my way back. At the end of my first week in Romania I knew all the names of the people in the office, I didn’t get lost anymore and together with some of the other volunteers I explored the mountains around Baia Mare.


During the next two months I (and the other volunteers) started learning the Romanian language, we prepared and played a puppet theater for the children in the Roma-center and the orphanage and went to the on arrival training in Predeal. I learned that Romanian trains are very slow, but this way I had the chance to enjoy the beautiful hills on the way from Baia Mare to Predeal. I met more nice volunteers from all over Europe and visited Dracula’s castle and I really loved it! Moreover I had my first hitchhiking experience in Romania and I was surprised how easy it was to find a car and how nice the people are.

In the beginning of August we had another training for our project. In those 5 days I learned a lot and of course we had some fun too. We found the best spot in the lake nearby for swimming and “climbed” on a very steeply rising hill.

In the middle of August, I traveled together with three other volunteers through Romania, Serbia and Hungary. The fact that we hitchhiked and couchsurfed made sure that we did not spend too much money, we met more people and of course this trip was an adventure and not everything worked out the way we planned it. It is for example a little bit scary if you are after the sunset somewhere behind the Serbian border and there is almost no chance to catch a car to the next city…

In the end of my first two months abroad I am glad that I can say, that I met many people from all around the world and made new friends; I learned a lot and made some new experiences; I often had fun and sometimes I’ve been exhausted. Some things have been challenging, some things have been unexpected and many things are different. I am happy to say: I don’t regret a single day here in Baia Mare.