Are you an international student planning to attend the Erasmus program? Are you lost trying to decide which country you are going to choose? This listicle is made for you! If you want to have another Erasmus experience, Romania would be a great option for you. There are numerous universities that accept international students through Erasmus in Romania. And, in this list, we compiled the reasons to study in Romania to help you decide. Here are the top 10 reasons to go on Erasmus in Romania!
1. Romanian Hospitality and Food
Romanians are hospitable by nature. If you ever visit a Romanian family during your Erasmus, be ready to leave with good food in your belly and happiness in your soul. It is customary for Romanians to bring out their best food and beverages whenever they have a guest, especially one that visits them for the first time.
Traditional Romanian food and drinks are absolutely delicious, and they are all homemade, as Romanians take pride in what they make themselves. Vegans and vegetarians be warned though as the majority of Romanian traditional meals contain meat, so always ask the host what the ingredients are. But do not worry, tell the host about your diet beforehand and they will cook something just for you.
2. Bio Products and Local Markets
In Romania, there are still local producers who grow crops like their father and grandfather used to do before them. There are also still traditional shepherds who wander the grass fields with their goats, sheep or cattle, therefore obtaining superior quality animal products.
All of them usually come to sell their delicious wares in bigger city markets. We guarantee, once you tried those, you will not want to go back to the supermarket again.
3. Mother Nature and her Marvels
Beautiful mountains covered in dense forests, splendid hills, the Danube delta; Romania still has it all. It is a marvel for all nature enthusiasts. There is a track to hike for everyone, each as rewarding as the other. But be on the lookout. Romania currently has the biggest areas of virgin forests and the biggest bear and wolf population in all European countries.
If you are not into hiking but still want to enjoy the scenery, rent a car and ride on the Transfăgărășeanu road. While only open in summer due to the massive amount of snow that falls there during winter, it is still one of the most beloved and acclaimed roads in all of Romania.
Also, last but not least, don’t forget to sail the Danube Delta and marvel at the aviary diversity there. If you are lucky, you might also spot the rarest pelican species in existence, the Dalmatian Pelican.
4. Castles, Castles and more Castles
Romania is home to a lot of famous castles, in fact, even Dracula has one here. Bran Castle, located a few kilometers away from the city of Brasov, is said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Build on a rocky hill, the Bran castle has a medieval look which can be especially attractive during Halloween time.
A few kilometers away from the Bran castle, you can find Peleș Castle. Build as a summer palace and hunting retreat for King Carol I of Romania, it is a marvel of Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival architecture which is currently used as a museum. Fun fact for all video games enthusiasts out there, Peleș Castle was used as inspiration for Lady Dimitrescu’s castle in Resident Evil: Village.
And of course, you cannot miss Corvin Castle (also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle) which is one of the largest castles in Europe. Originally built in the 15th century and now restored after a disastrous fire, it currently serves as a museum and is open to visitors
5. Forts and Fortified Churches
During medieval times, Romania had a rough history of being plundered and attacked. Because of this, in the region of Transylvania, residents started building walls and defense towers around their towns, most of which had the church in the middle.
Remnants of those structures can still be found in a lot of cities like Sibiu, Oradea, and also smaller towns or villages, but by far the most notable one is Alba Iulia with their restored fort shaped like a star.
6. Architectural Diversity
Architecture in Romania is a bizarre mix of different eras, styles, and historic influences. In most of the big cities in Romania, you will notice the nicely decorated, sometimes even medieval-looking city center, but the more you go to the outskirts of the city, you will feel the influence of the still recent communist era.
Visit Oradea for a splendid Art Nouveau and Baroque journey and let yourself be enchanted by the rich colors and stylish decorations. Or journey back in time in Sighișoara which has an almost perfectly preserved medieval city center. Who knows what other architectural wonders you might find?
7. Festivals, We Have One for Everyone
Romania is home to a lot of very diverse festivals, a little bit for every taste. Besides the local smaller festivals, one can also enjoy bigger already world-renowned electronic music festivals like the Untold festival, Electric Castle Festival, or Neversea.
If you are a bit more laid back and want to enjoy something more cultural, you absolutely must see the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu or the Medieval festival in Sighișoara.
8. Friendliness and Sense of Humour
Romanians are friendly by nature and always know how to get a party started. They will automatically charm you with their optimistic attitude and unique sense of humor. A lot of Romanians are raised with a saying in mind: „a face haz de necaz”. This roughly translates to joke about your problem and keep an optimistic attitude.
Well, one region in Romania took that quite literally and creates the Merry Cemetery. Yes, you read that right. The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța became a tourist attraction for the brightly colored tombstones decorated with traditional motives and funny poems of the person laid to rest there. If you visit it, make sure to have a Romanian friend tag along to translate them for you.
9. Traditions, the Wholesome and the Spooky
If you are looking for enriching your knowledge of other cultures, Romania is a great place to start. Romanian traditions are formed through a fine blend of Christian and Pre-Christian customs. This is why besides the classic Christmas caroling you will sometimes see carollers carry around a puppet called “goat”. The carrier of the goat dances while the others sing.
On New Year’s Eve, in the region of Moldova, carolers dressed in bearskin sing and stomp the earth to bring forth another year of prosperity. In other regions, carollers use bells, whip sounds, and shout to wish people a bountiful new year.
Those are a few of the various traditions that are still kept alive throughout Romania. You must see at least one, as they are a sight to behold, especially in villages, where traditions are better preserved.
10. Cost of Living
Compared to other European countries the cost of living in Romania for a foreigner is pretty low, especially if you are using Euros. 1 Euro is around 5 Lei at the moment; therefore, it will be easy for an incoming student to buy all necessities, pay rent and still have enough money left for free time activities, which, trust us, you will not lack in Romania.
Do you know the best places to visit in Romania? Don’t forget the check authentic destinations in Romania before your journey. Also, are these reasons enough to make you convinced to go on Erasmus in Romania? Let us know what do you think about Romania and making your Erasmus in Romania in the comments below!