Romanian Studies Program
The Romanian Studies Program (RSP) is a semester abroad program for American college and university students, which has been operating in Sighisoara since 1995. From the beginning the focus of the RSP has been cross-cultural service. Students initially responded to needs they saw in the community by beginning programs for children and isolated elderly, helped by Romanian translators. Over time those student initiatives turned into the social programs of Veritas, now run by professional Romanian staff. Today students still come to Sighisoara to experience life in a new culture and to serve the disenfranchised. They work alongside Romanian Christians and get to apply their experience and skills within the context of Veritas, many completing the requirements of an internship related to their major.
Students participate in the RSP for a semester, for a ten-week summer term, or for a three-week January or May term experience. They live with a Romanian family, take classes in Romanian language and culture, and spend between 15 and 35 hours per week in service activities. They work as part of an ecumenical multi-cultural team. At Veritas students may choose to work with children or adolescents, with the elderly, or with persons with special needs. They help plan and lead group activities as well as develop supportive relationships with individuals. They use their talents in music or sports or computers or crafts or creative arts or communications or finance to contribute to ongoing ministries. They may volunteer in local church, helping with Sunday school, youth outreach or music. They walk a lot around town, get to go hiking through lovely valleys and woodlands, and are challenged and stretched through adapting to the new culture. They reflect on how to put their faith into practice in a new context and what it means to be a global Christian.
For more information on the Romanian Studies Program, visit the RSP website.
Program coordinator Casey Bloom and student Bekah are featured in the video below. The video was produced by short-term RSP student, Joseph Walls, from Huntington University, Indiana, USA.