Sunday, May 10, 2009

Transylvania International Film Festival TIFF

Each year, Cluj becomes the Cannes festivity awards for the most non-conformist film productions.
You can easily say that only by looking at these short funny sports for the festival:

Description of the TIFF:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

proudly presenting... gymnastics highlights

Today we're getting a liiiiittle bit emotional... :D
(ps: at the beginning the cute Nadia states that this is the most beautiful sport in the world).


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

There was a loud bang! and that's when ...

it all began!

The idea hit us: there are so many unsuccessful attempts to present our country to people that don't know much about it yet. Why so many trials and errors? Because we are a bit of a mystery to most of the world, a weird mixture of European and Balkan, Latin and Slavic, Communism and Capitalism, a country on a border in time and even geographically speaking.

This is our blog, our student campaign (by students for students), no sponsors, no official messages: just what we wanted to say, said
our way.

Romania, like any other country, should be talked about after you get to know her. (yes, we decided it's a
she!). We can all read newspapers and then use those ideas as our own, but in the end you are what you live, what you really came in contact with, for more than just a day or two.

Let's face it, trying to convince you to visit Romania as a tourist won't really make you know it any better.
Yes, you'll see the sights, yes, you'll sleep in a hotel/tent/hostel...but does that really mean you know the country?Its customs, its people, its flaws? (and no, we won't lie..we have plenty. But that, we think, is our charm).

So what other way can you get to know a country that has , since 2007 been part of the European Union, and yet a country whose history is unknown to so many fellow Europeans?

How will you get to know more than Dracula and communism, poverty and immigrants, more than the old stereotypes?

By making a more exotic and out-of-the-ordinary choice for your Erasmus destination: Romania.

Because Erasmus means fun, and we've got plenty.
because Erasmus means challenge and growing up, and we'll help you oh so much with that.

parties, Latin blood and Balkan music, good food, cheap everything, untamed nature, with fields all shabby and unprepared, serious studying for those interested, culturally open people, and many many paradoxes.

It makes for the real youth experience. Just dare to step outside the pattern...

Introducing...the INTERVIEWS

The interviews are an essential part of our project, because through them we will show you what other Erasmus students from all over the world think about Romania, and you'll get the most diverse answers to questions such as:

  • Why do you choose a country for Erasmus? What criteria do you use?
  • Would Romania be a good choice? If yes, why so?
  • What comes to mind when you say Romania?

and much much more.

Watch our friends speak their mind, and if you have answers to the same questions or wish to add something that escaped their replies, send them to us at

Why Romania?

Or..the interviews strike back!

Another series of answers to our inquiries.
Hear what our international friends had to say!
Once more, let us know what reasons there are for Romania being an Erasmus destination.

leave us your comments here our your vast replies at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bucharest in short...

Why study in Bucharest?

Because it is the greatest Romanian city with a lot of extra learning resources. It was nicknamed the little Paris a long time ago. It was a cosmopolite metropolis in the 1930s. Today, Bucharest is
experiencing renewed vigor. The city reflects an interesting heritage of mixed cultures influenced by: the old Romanian aristocracy educated in France, the royal family of the Hohenzollern, and the communist society.

Some of the Main Attractions:
The National Art Museum
The collection of European art bequeathed by King Carol I to the State is the nucleus around which the great collections of the National Art Museum are organized today. Van Eyck, El Greco, Rembrandt meet in its halls the Romanian impressionists and surrealists.

The National Museum of History
In more than sixty halls, the museum displays the history of the Romanian territory and that of the formation of the Romanian people and nation. It has a very rich collection, including ancient hoards, weapons, art and jewelry among which there are some of great value not only for the Romanians, but also for the universal heritage.

The Village Museum
The idea of an outdoor ethnographical museum was a consequence of the sociological research conducted in the 1930s by Professor Gusti and his enthusiastic team. The Museum evolved from small exhibitions with items brought from all over the country, which put on display peasants’ houses and their outbuildings: watermills, stables, pottery, workshops etc. Nowadays, the Museum consists of 298 genuine folk constructions, among which 42 houses, 163 outhouses, 15 workshops and 3 churches, all organized according to the regions they were brought from, in a very picturesque corner of Herăstrău Park.

The National Museum of Cotroceni
A former monastery and princely residence, the National Museum of Cotroceni lodges nowadays the Romanian Presidency. The museum presents the history of the building, some of the ancient halls of the monastery, as well as the various epochs of its history as a royal residence.
The Palace of Parliament
The huge building covers an area of 64,800 sq. m. Erected after 1984 and still not finished, the Palace has 440 offices, dozens of reception halls, and dozens of conference and meeting halls. This ranges it on the second place in the world in point of total area, after the US Pentagon.

Herăstrău Park
Shades of pink, yellow and red roses greet visitors to Herăstrău Park. In a small conservatory, freshly picked flowers are arranged daily in the Romanian style. Beyond the gardens is Herăstrău. Arched bridges lead to an island and the other side of the park where there is a bar, restaurant, sports complex and rowing boats for hire. There is also a ferry across the lake and, next to the Village Museum, a fun-park with rollercoasters and carousels.

Dimitrie Brandza Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is an important center of conservation of different plants, scientific research and education, as well as a center for environment studies.
Founded in 1860 near the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, by Dr. Carol Davila, it occupies the territory at the left and right side of the Cotroceni highway. The skilful botanist Ulrich Hoffman has completed the suitable equipment of the garden, so that the first garden in Bucharest reached in short time European standards.

The Triumphal Arch
The Triumphal Arch was erected in 1935 to commemorate the victories of the Romanian army during the WW I and the union of all Romanian provinces on December 1st 1918. The monument has a classical appearance, copying the pattern of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Lipscani area
This district developed around the princely court since the Middle Ages. It was the area of trade and manufacturing as the name of the streets still bear witness today. The great number of inns is token to the fact that Bucharest represented a real crossroad of important trade roads linking East and West. The area maintains its oriental aspect, but modern civilisation is clearly dominant as one arrives in the Banks’ Center.

The Stavropoleos Church
The Greek monk Ioanichie, who became afterwards Metropolite of Stavropoleos, built the church in 1724. It has a three-cusped plan and it is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Brancovan style. The yard of the church provides shelter for a lapidary. It consists of tombstones and ornaments from several churches and monasteries in Bucharest.

Manuc’s Inn
The Armenian Dragoman Manuc-Bei Mirzayan built in 1808 an inn on the very spot of the ruins of a former princely court. His inn became the most famous in town due to its founder’s special sense for business. The building is one of the very few civilian constructions that are left from that period. Nowadays it is part of the hotels’ network.

You can find more information about Bucharest and its tourist attractions on

Places to see

Romania offers a rich tapestry of tourist attractions and experiences unique in Central-Eastern Europe: medieval towns in Transylvania, traditional villages in Maramureş, the world-famous painted monasteries in Bucovina, the magnificent architecture of Bucharest, the romantic Danube Delta, fairy-tale castles, the Black Sea resorts, the majestic Carpathian Mountains, spas and much more.

Transylvania is probably the first travel destination for most international students enrolled to the University of Bucharest. In case you want to visit this region in search of the bloodthirsty Count Dracula, you are about to discover that Transylvania offers many sources of excitement and adventure. So pack your bags for an imaginary journey to the beauty of this legendary place.
Most Transylvanian cities (Alba-Iulia, Braşov, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Sighişoara) are very old settlements. Some of them date back to the Roman era, some were first built in the 12th century by Saxon colonists. Each has a captivating story to tell to the interested traveller. Braşov, Sibiu and
Sighişoara are some of Europe's best-preserved medieval towns. They are living symbols of Transylvania. Visitors can stumble upon unique architectural treasures, small ancient tiny houses that line narrow streets, cobblestoned passageways and covered stone steps as they wander. Tiny shops purvey a range of antiques and fine hand-made products of artisans and artists who have established little communities in the countryside.
Wander through their charming plazas, and unveil the secrets of centuries-old castles. Romania's numerous castles perhaps best illustrate the country's medieval heritage. While castles built from the 14th to the 18th centuries are strong and austere fortresses built mainly for defense against invaders, those erected beginning in the late 1800s are imposing and luxurious. Universal literature found valuable sources of inspiration in some of Romania's castles, with the most famous novels written about them being The Castle from the Carpathians by Jules Verne and Dracula by Bram Stoker. Some of the best-known castles and fortresses in this area are: Bran Castle, Peleş Castle, Hunedoara, Castle or Râşnov Fortress.

Maramureş is located in the mountains of northern Transylvania. Men are amazingly skillful wood carvers, and you shouldn't be surprised that all the old houses and churches are entirely made of wood. The most respected man in the village is the one who has the biggest and most elaborately carved front gate. The women, on the other hand, weave woolen clothes and blankets, in red-white-black patterns and the traditional outfit is still proudly worn every day. Both men and women have a wit and humor that traveled way beyond their land. They are famous for the merry inscriptions they write on their tombstones. Here is an example from the cemetery of Săpânţa:
Here lies my mother-in-law.
Had she lived another year,
I would have lied in her place.

From old monasteries to 21st century busy towns, Wallachia is an inspired mix of old and new.
The Western part of Wallachia, spread on the hills south of the Carpathians, is traditionally called Oltenia, because it lies on the river Olt. If you ever decide to visit this region, ask about the potters and people will guide you to their houses, which are also their workshops. Everything in this job is a family secret, from the choice of the clay to modeling, painting, cooking and finally glazing. The resulting plates, mugs, pitchers, and even toys and flutes, display specific colors (especially white, rich browns and grays, and sometimes green) and a specific design. Often symbolic drawings appear on these works. One of the most popular is the rooster, and another one is the fish. But most of the earthware is decorated in delicate, yet powerful geometric patterns, skillfully painted by the masters' wives using age-old tools such as cows horns and goose feathers.

This entire southern region is also famous for its spas. The modern resort at Herculane is beautifully placed in majestic scenery, and can be a great place to relax away from the busy towns. There are a number of comfortable hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops, and the city square proudly displays a large statue of Hercules. The legend has it that Hercules himself used to come here and enjoy the famous mineral water springs. Archaeological discoveries show that the rich mineral waters at Herculane were known well before the Romans conquered the region, in the first century AD. But since they were great engineers, the Romans developed the region, building public baths for everyone to enjoy. Today, little remains of the original constructions, but nevertheless the tradition is carried on.

Land of the brave kings, Moldavia reveals its softer side in the unique painted monasteries.
The fame of these Moldavian churches reaches well beyond the borders of Romania. Actually, most of them are protected by UNESCO as part of humankind’s world heritage. Probably the best known tourist attraction in the country, they are visited daily by hundreds of travelers from all over the world. What is so special about them?
They were all built in the 15th and 16th centuries, in a time of great political and cultural development of Moldavia. The period is related to the 50-year long rule of king Ştefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great). He used to build churches and establish monasteries in moments of great importance for the country, usually to thank God for an important military victory or to celebrate a prosperous period. What makes all these churches unique is the painting. Frescoes were typical to all Byzantine churches of that time. But here, the frescoes are on the outside! Painted more than 400 years ago, they still preserve their gorgeous colours, amazing the visitor with the mastery of the drawing and the wonderfully balanced tones. The most cherished of all monasteries is Voroneţ. It is widely known throughout Europe as the Sistine Chapel of the East, because of its interior and exterior wall paintings, which offer an abundance of blue-chromatic frescoes featuring a color that has come to be known as Voroneţ blue. The frescoes of this church and many other painted churches illustrate biblical scenes, prayers, episodes of sacred hymns and themes such as The Last Judgment and The Ladder of St. John.
Moldavia has also the advantage of well-preserved natural treasures or interesting natural phenomena. Among these, the Mud Volcanoes seem to be the most famous. This is a place where hot gases from the depth escape to the surface. When you combine this with underground water and minerals, you get geysers and boiling pools of mud. Local people have always associated this place with evil forces and feared the spot, calling it the gates of hell. But apart from that, the landscape is truly bizarre and deserves a visit.

Danube Delta is the last great wildlife refuge in Europe. It covers more than 2,000 sq. miles comprising channels and canals widening into tree-fringed lakes, reed islands, and pools covered with water lilies, oak forests intertwined with lianas and creepers, desert dunes and traditional fishermen villages. In this huge sea of reeds and water, animals outnumber humans 1000 to 1. Danube Delta is home to more than 300 migratory and permanent bird species; 160 kinds of fish that include caviar-bearing sturgeon and 800 plant families.
Wonderful as it is, this is a fragile paradise which needs good care and preservation efforts. That's why some of the Delta territory has been designated as restricted areas and natural reservations, and are on the list of UN natural monuments.

The Black Sea was cruised by the Greek sailors since the 8th century BC. Practically all of the Romanian Black Sea shore is a chain of resorts, among which: Mamaia, Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud, Costineşti, Neptun, Olimp, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. The beach is wide and public, with fine golden sand and calm waters.
This area is also famous for its Greek ruins dating from the 7th century BC.

The majestic ranges of the Carpathians are a perfect getaway for hikers and wildlife lovers.
It is very easy to find a great hiking trail. Romania has more than 400 parks and nature reservations protecting hundreds of species of flora and fauna. The variety of terrain, from mountainous to gentle, offers something for every hiker regardless of skill or level. Rock-climbing enthusiasts should head for the main rock-climbing gateways: Buşteni with its 400 meters wall of Valea Albă, Zărneşti giving access to the 2.500 meters peaks of the Făgăraş mountains and Bran, overlooked by the limestone range of Piatra Craiului.
A multitude of mountain resorts offer slopes from easy to challenging. Many of these resorts provide a multitude of other activities including cross-country skiing, snowboarding and tubing. The highest ski point in Romania has an altitude of 2.100 meters. The major ski resorts are Poiana Braşov, Sinaia, Predeal, Păltiniş and Runcu.

Brief History

Welcome to Romania
Why should you choose Romania for your studies?
The straight answer is because it is one of the most beautiful countries of Central-Eastern Europe. No journey to this region would be complete without visiting Romania as well.

Romanian History at a Glance
Stretching over the Carpathians Mountains and as far as the Black Sea, Romania has the only population of Latin origin in this area. Due to its geographical location, Romania was always the meeting point of political and territorial interests. The Romans, and later the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires tried in turn to take over this land. This makes Romanian history particularly interesting, as the local people always stood up against foreign occupation, managing to preserve its culture and traditions.

The ancient history is characterized by the Roman conquest of the Dacians. The Roman emperor Trajan celebrated this victory for 123 days and in its honor he also erected a column covered with marble reliefs to tell the story of the conquest. Trajan's column still stands in Rome. The Latin led to the birth of the Romanian people and language.
The period between the Roman retreat in 271 A.D. and the 10th century A.D. represented dark times for Eastern Europe, when countless warrior tribes roamed the land destroying everything on their way. The three historical regions that form Romania today – to the West of the mountains lies Transylvania, the Southern plains are called Wallachia, and the North-Eastern plateau is Moldavia – were first mentioned as states in the 14th century. They all had to fight the oppression of their neighbours. Yet, great commanders such as Mircea cel Bătrân, Vlad Ţepeş, Mihai Viteazul, and Ştefan cel Mare made it possible for the three provinces to resist all attempts of subjection.

Modern Romanian history is marked by the reformers’ struggle to redefine a nation. The revolution in 1848 called for the union of all the Romanian people in the three provinces, for the
cease of foreign domination and abuse (by the Ottoman, Russian and Austrian Empires), for equal justice under law and human rights in the tradition of the French Revolution.
In 1859 Moldavia and Wallachia, who were allowed by the European powers to elect their own princes, chose the same person: Alexandru Ioan Cuza, thus forming a new state called Romania. In 1866, Cuza abdicates and Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen ascends the throne. Under his reign, Romania became independent (1877), a new constitution was passed, and the country entered a period of great economic development.
On December the 1st, 1918, Transylvania united with the other two regions under the reign of King Ferdinand. This is Romania’s National Day.

After the WWII, the Soviet Army set up a communist regime in Romania, and forced the King to abdicate. During the 50's Romania was ruled with an iron fist by communist hardliners, a situation common throughout Eastern Europe. The wind of change that was sweeping through Eastern Europe during the 80s, reached Romania in December 1989, when a nationwide upheaval led to the overthrow of the Ceauşescu regime.
Today, Romania is a multi-party democracy and human rights have been restored. The economy is on its way to shift to a free market system.

Romania is member of the European Union since 2007.


"Erasmus per 5 mesi, a Bucarest - esperienza unica e irripetibile, è stata prolungata di altri 5 mesi"

Dario Inturri

Università degli Studi di Milano, Italia

Sono Dario, uno studente siciliano della provincia di Siracusa che studia Lettere Moderne all’Università degli Studi di Milano, la quale, in seguito ad una selezione, mi ha dato l’opportunità di studiare a Bucarest (Romania) assegnandomi una borsa di studio Erasmus per 5 mesi, che, in seguito ad una esperienza unica e irripetibile, è stata prolungata di altri 5 mesi! Bucarest...chi di voi ha mai pensato di andare a Bucarest per più di un week-end?
Molti considerano questa scelta una follia!!
Tutti pazzi per la Spagna, Grecia, Portogallo (perchè paesi caldi...); per l’ Inghilterra, Germania, Francia (perchè paesi se non altro sviluppati).
Ma a mio avviso, se si considerano altri parametri, questa soluzione non è poi così folle!!
I Paesi appena citati suscitano sicuramente grande interesse, nessuno può metterlo in dubbio,ma reputo altrettanto interessante il fatto di vivere per una anno in un Paese dove nessuno penserebbe mai di farlo, poichè totalmente diverso dai Paesi a mio avviso deve essere proprio questo lo stimolo che dovrebbe indurre uno studente di età compresa tra i 20 e i 25 anni a scegliere una città dell’Est (quale Bucarest) come meta del suo soggiorno Erasmus, proprio per poter scoprire un “mondo nuovo” e poter valutare se in effetti esso sia migliore o peggiore rispetto a quello di provenienza...

Bisogna prendere coscienza che non tutto ciò di cui ci nutrono i mass media sia vero, in specie per quanto riguarda la Romania e i suoi abitanti, disegnati come una popolazione violenta e priva di una normale vita sociale solo perchè i telegiornali ci presentano solo i fatti di cronaca nera che li riguarda; ma si può davvero pensare che il 100% dei Rumeni siano degli assassini e degli stupratori?

Sarebbe come dire che il 100% dei Siciliani siano mafiosi! O che il 100% dei Napoletani siano dei ladri e dei truffatori!

La Romania, un Paese la cui cultura è totalmente differente dalla nostra: stile di vita, mentalità...un Paese che, contro ogni aspettativa, si basa sulla proattività...che ha voglia di migliorarsi e sa che ha le possibilità per raggiungere lo scopo prefissato...lo dimostra il fatto che la maggior parte della popolazione rumena sotto i 30 anni parla, o quantomeno capisce, almeno 2 lingue (italiano, spagnolo e inglese combinate in maniera differente) oltre a quella d’origine, segno tangibile che la popolazione rumena non si sente inferiore a nessun’altra, che è inserita in un contesto europeo allo stesso modo di un Paese quale l’Italia o la Spagna, e che addirittura, al contrario dei due paesi appena citati che si trovano in una condizione sociale, politica ed economica stagnante, quella rumena è in via di sviluppo!

"Un erasmus en Rumania, hora mismo!!! "

Gerri Prat,

former student at Univ. of Girona,

Yo no he estado en Rumania de erasmus estuve en Budapest, pero en Rumania he estado viajando y por trabajo.
Intentare contestarte las preguntas:
1-. La experiencia erasmus casi debería ser obligatoria como una forma de crecimiento humano o personal, debido a todas las experiencias que pasas, tu ya lo sabes…jajaja.
1.1 la cosa más importante de un erasmus es: saber aprovechar el máximo todas las experiencias y gente qe puedas conocer.
2.-Para mi ir a los países del Este era para conocer un mundo nuevo, y creo que muy diferente con los países del norte (no oeste) donde ya había estado de Erasmus, en Holanda. Creo que fui el primer estudiante de la facultad de Derecho qe fui a Hungría.....supongo pq aquí a la gente le cuesta salir y si deciden hacerlo quieren ir a un sitio que conocen o de habla parecida como Italia.
3.- Yo creo que la experiencia del este, es de vivir en países no tan desarrollados como España, y tener la oportunidad de conocerlos y tratar con su gente y entender el pq de muchas cosas.
4.- en cuanto a conocimientos y formas de aprender yo creo que no hay mucha direferencia, pero si que la gente relaciona país pobre =mala educación, aunque yo no lo creo al menos con la experiencia que tengo, y de la gente que he conocido de erasmus de los países del Este, suelen ser gente muy culta y que además hablan varios idiomas.
5.- Un erasmus en Rumania, hora mismo!!! (si pudiera iria... pero creo que a mi esto del erasmus ya ha pasado….jajaja) seguro que va a ser una muy buena experiencia, después de dos erasmus considero que no importa el sitio sino tus vivencias!!
Aunque puedo entender que para una persona qe no haya estado nunca en Rumania tenga respeto en ir, porque des de aquí se tiene una visión que es un país pobre, y en algunos sitios peligroso ( yo he estado 4 veces y nunca he tenido ningún problema)
6.- De Rumania, antes no conocía nada y ahora lo que se, ha sido de viaja y conocer un poco el país...pero me faltan todavía muchas cosas para conocer y saber.
7.- creo que esta pregunta ya esta respondida con lo que he explicado...pensaba que sería mucho más peligroso para una persona de los países del Oeste por lo que me habían contado…..y su pobreza pero yo no tuve ningún problema, aunque esto no significa qe no haya peligro o puedas encontrarlo.
8.- de la Oferta de ir a Rumania, yo me apunto...jajajaj!!!no problem...
9.- Pobreza, Etnia gitana y pui (pollo, no?? Es lo que me ha venida a la cabeza, jajaja)
10.- Personas, atracción cultural, idioma de las clases, transporte( de mi pais a Rumania) el del pais me da igual…, money.