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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description
Please note: this program has been cancelled for Summer 2020.





To outsiders, Romania may conjure images of spooky castles and the austerity of Communism. But it is a country of endless surprises! Sure, it's the home of Dracula, but it is also a land of fascinating contrasts where you’ll find medieval fortresses, scenic mountain villages, and platters of cabbages rolls along with colorful seaside resorts, lightning-fast internet, and contemporary architecture, including the world’s heaviest building—the marble and crystal-filled Palace of the Parliament. You will find Romania budget-friendly, inviting and provocative.

We will explore two of Romania’s largest urban centers. In Bucharest, the capital city, the remnants of the Ottoman Empire are veiled with the memories of the Holocaust and Communism. In Cluj, the multicultural urban heart of Transylvania, these reminders are interlaced with the rich history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As such, these cities provide us an exploration of different urban manifestations of memory.
The program’s two courses will be tailored to meet your interests and majors. One of the most exciting features is the service component: you will have the opportunity to volunteer at one of the most important international film festivals in Eastern Europe, providing hands-on experience in leadership, event planning and organizing, teamwork, and intercultural communication.

Quick Facts

  • Three cities: Bucharest, Cluj, and Sighet

  • Courses tailored to meet the needs of your majors and your own interests

  • You will learn how to write nonfiction while traveling to captivating places

  • Focus on the collective memory of Communism and Holocaust

  • Visits to the Parliament Palace, Bran Castle, Turda Saline Mine, The Merry Cemetery, the Elie Wiesel Memorial House, the Museum to the Victims of Communism, and many more.

  • Dates: May 23 - June 16, 2020

  • Build your resume by volunteering for Transilvania International Film Festival!

  • Earn 6 credits

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information.





Location Details

BUCHAREST (BUCURESTI) [Boo koo resht] (listen)
Legend says that Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, was founded on the banks of the Dâmbovita River by a shepherd named Bucur (which literally means “joy”). The historical records, however, document Vlad the Impaler as the builder of the fortress of Bucharest, meant to hold back the Ottoman Empire’s conquering thirst. In the 1900s, the Art Nouveau architecture, the lifestyle, and the vibe earned the city its nickname “Little Paris.” Under communism, bulldozers erased much of the vibrant metropolis to make room for Soviet-style buildings and streets.  Today, after recovering from decades of communist tyranny, the capital city of Romania is alive with cafes, museums, concerts, parks, and restaurants featuring its renowned cuisine. The remains of Vlad the Impaler’s fortress and the medieval town, the French-style Arch of Triumph, the Parliament Palace, Revolution Square, and the Royal Palace are just some of the notable landmarks we will explore during our stay in Bucharest.

CLUJ-NAPOCA [Kloozh Nah poh kah]  (listen)
The unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca is the second-largest city in Romania after Bucharest. Cluj has a convoluted history--in the 2nd century AD, it was a Dacian community and then a Roman municipium. By the 9th century, it was known as Kolozsvár by its Hungarian settlers, and four centuries later, as Klausenburg by German colonists. In the 17th century, Klausenburg became part of the Hapsburg Monarchy, and only after WWI was it integrated, along with the rest of Transylvania, in the Kingdom of Romania.  In 1940, Cluj was returned to Hungary, but the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty restored it to Romania. Under Communism, the city’s multi-layered past was infused with socialist apartment buildings and factories. Now Cluj is known for its thriving economy, effervescent art scene, and vibrant student life. The city has also emerged as a tech hub referred to as the “Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe.” Architectural sites we will visit include the Gothic St. Michael's Church, The National Theatre, and the Baroque-style Bánffy Palace. We will also explore the spectacular Turda Salt Mine and the former communist prison of Gherla.

SIGHET [Sea get]  (listen)
Located in the northwest part of Romania, a few minutes away from the border with Ukraine, Sighet is one of the main towns in the Maramures region, an area celebrated for its rich, centuries-old traditions. Here, as in Cluj, the architectural remains of the Austro-Hungarian empire have been pervaded by communist works.  We will tour the Elie Wiesel Memorial House and the Museum to the Victims of Communism. Our trip to Sighet also includes a visit to the Sapânta village to visit the Merry Cemetery, unique for its blue, wooden crosses adorned with bright, cheery paintings accompanied by darkly humorous inscriptions.

Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

  • 2.0 GPA

  • *Students will need to complete ENG 310, 388, or 411 with a C or better. 
    *Ask Faculty Director about override eligibility.


All participants must enroll in two upper-level Honors courses:

  • COM 494: Cultures of Remembering (3 credits) 

  • ENG 412: Creative Nonfiction (3 credits) 




Faculty Directors

Marie-Louise Paulesc
Communication Lecturer
Languages and Cultures
College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Office: Arizona Center, 455 N.3rd St., Suite 360
Office Phone: (602) 496-2441
Mailcode: 0520

Stephanie Downie
Lecturer of English
Languages and Cultures
College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Office: Arizona Center, 455 N. 3rd St., Suite 360
Office Phone: (602)529-4311
Mailcode: 0520


Stephanie Downie



Program Housing

Our accommodations include shared hostels or/and hotels, with breakfast and several group dinners included. The city spaces will be our classrooms, and in-country travel will include public transportation and casual walking for a first-hand encounter with the materiality and culture of the country. This experience will allow us to live in the midst of the people of Romania—to share with them the sidewalks, the buses, the food, and some of their everyday practices.

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus. Whilst on the program, students will participate in various volunteering activities. Please note that some of these activities include physical labor (i.e. moving furniture, setting up chairs, etc.). 

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. In Romania, while large cultural institutions and supermarkets are generally properly equipped for persons with mobility issues, accessibility on sidewalks, hotels, and public transportation remains problematic. 

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. In Romania, discrimination towards LGBTQIA individuals can and does occur and students may find local police to lack meaningful response to incidents. Public displays of affection between same-sex individuals can evoke stereotyping and comments from passersby. 

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity.

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services. 

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Summer 2020 is $7,240.

Program Fee includes: One airport pick-up and drop-off based on common departure time for all students, shared accommodation, cultural excursions, in-country transportation, ASU faculty support, tuition for six upper-division honors credit, and international health insurance. Not included: Airfare, passport & visa fees, most meals, personal expenses, and miscellaneous items.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program Cost Sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.


Dates & Deadlines

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.