Romania has received a lot of bad press because of its history of social problems, but foreign visitors have always been delighted with its beautiful scenery, welcoming people, rich cultural traditions, intriguing history and creative artistry
During the course of a semester students will participate on several excursions to places of cultural and historic interest, and will have the option on free weekends to explore further on their own (preferably with a trusted Romanian friend, co-worker or host family member).
Group excursions will include:
- A trip to Bucharest, Romania’s capital city of 2.5 million people, visiting sites of importance from the Romanian Revolution of 1989, the Parliament Palace (the world’s second-largest building), museums of art and history, and glitzy shopping malls complete with McDonalds and Starbucks .
- A day or two in Sinaia, visiting Peles, the fairy-tale palace of the kings of Romania, taking the cable car up to the starting point for a hike in the Carpathian mountains.
- A trip to Sibiu, still the heart of the German Saxon culture of Transylvania, its town center beautifully restored as one of the European “Capitals of Culture” under dynamic Saxon mayor Klaus Johannis who went on to become Romania’s current president.
- A drive through the predominantly Hungarian region just to the north-east of Sighisoara, going down a salt mine, shopping for traditional handcrafts, watching charcoal burners at work and enjoying coffee and cake in one of the best pastry shops in Transylvania.
- Exploration of some of the Saxon villages around Sighisoara, largely abandoned by the German population after the fall of communism, but now experiencing a renewal through the preservation of their impressive fortress-churches, seven of which are UNESCO heritage sites, and through the revival of traditional crafts and farming methods, and rural tourism.
On their own students have visited:
- Targu Mures, our county seat, an hour away by bus, with malls, movie theaters, fast food and striking Art Nouveau monuments.
- Brasov, the largest of the German towns of Transylvania, starting point for visiting Bran Castle, widely promoted as “Dracula’s castle”, and Rasnov, an evocative medieval fortress with wonderful views of the surrounding Carpathians
- Cluj, a vibrant university town with strong Hungarian influence, a dynamic mix of lovely old churches, smart cafes and modern shopping.
- Constanta, a long train journey from Sighisoara, Romania’s second largest city and main port on the Black Sea, with Roman remains, an ancient mosque, and beaches.