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High School students in Romania

 
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mver987



Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: High School students in Romania Reply with quote

So,

I will be leaving for Romania in late September and will be there for three months as a volunteer English teacher in a high school in Brasov. I have TEFL certification, but have no experience.

I would like to know what Romanian students and high schools are like. If someone with experience in Romania could give me some information, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Mike_2007



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I haven't taught at a high school, but I've given private classes to small groups of high school students. Too small a number to draw any general conclusions and I suppose most of them were from slightly better-off families, but for what it's worth I found them mostly to be quite nice, although I would imagine that getting more attention due to being taught either individually or in groups of two made a difference to their behaviour.

From those lessons I have gleaned other information about high schools in Romania. I think you'll find copying is endemic here. Most homework and project work is completed by copy-pasting stuff. It isn't even regarded as 'wrong' from what I could gather. That's just how they seem to believe a task should be completed. The objective is to get the right answer on the page and there seems to be little sense of 'it's how you do it that's important'.

Lots of class skipping goes on too, especially for the classes that are deemed unimportant. I think in seven years of secondary school I skipped two classes (excluding genuine reasons such as being ill). The students I've taught seem to frequently skip up to ten lessons per week. On a positive side, this probably means the less interested and more disruptive students probably won't be in class, which will make your job easier!

Of course, then they'll be the ubiquitous smart phones to deal with...
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mver987



Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mike! I see from perusing the other threads in the Romania section that you seem to be quite knowledgeable per teaching in Romania. Are you familiar with Brasov or the immediate region? Is there much in the way of pick-pocketing there? I was told in the info pack I received that that could be a problem there.
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Mike_2007



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I haven't spent much time in Brasov, to be honest. I've stopped there with guests a couple of times but don't know the city awfully well. I can't see why pickpocketing should be particularly prevalent in Brasov, except maybe for thieves targeting the centre for tourists. The old town looks quite nice and there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants there. Being a university town it should be quite lively. Going south from Brasov you have the mountains where you can hike, climb, and ski in winter, and going north you can the Saxon Transylvanian region with mediaeval cities like Sighisoara and old Saxon villages. I'd say it's a good spot to be based compared to Bucharest.

As for pickpocketing, I've never heard of it being any worse in Brasov than other cities in the country. I've been here almost ten years now, and in the first couple of years I was pickpocketed a couple of times but you soon develop the instants you need to avoid it, like keeping your wallet in your front pocket and being aware of who is standing next to you. I wouldn't say it's any worse than other major European cities, probably better in fact as a lot of the professional pickpockets have travelled to richer western cities. Petty thieving can be a problem in Romania though, people do tend to like taking stuff that isn't theirs, even from friends and relatives.
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mver987



Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll keep your advice about pickpockets in mind.

What you say about Bucharest matches what I've heard elsewhere on this board. I was told in my info packet that prices there can be 500% higher than in Brasov or the rest of the country.

Once again, thanks for the advice and your perspective on life there.
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Mike_2007



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

500% higher? I doubt that. Most chain stores have similar prices all round the country. Rent will obviously be a bit cheaper in Brasov, but maybe only 10-20% cheaper comparing like for like. Same goes for stuff like fresh fruit and veg from markets - maybe a little bit cheaper in Brasov, but not 5 times cheaper! If that were true, Bucharest would be a ghost town! Smile
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mver987



Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 7
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not surprised at what you say about the fruit and vegetables. I was told that they would be hard to find and/or expensive, at least when fresh. They are something that I like, but don't need to have!

Luckily, I won't be renting. I'll be placed with a host family. (keeps fingers crossed) I really hope that is a good experience!
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Mike_2007



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crickey, don't know who's giving you information, but fresh fruit and veg is one of the things I like about living here. It's true to say that you might not get the same stuff as you get back home, but if you shop around the markets, you get plenty of cheap seasonal stuff. The supermarkets have stuff all year round, but obviously it's more expensive when out of season (cos it's imported) but when in season, most fruit and veg are around 2-3 RON/kg (I think that works out at about $0.50/lb, up to about 10 RON/kg ($3/lb) when out of season.

Again, can't be specific about Brasov, but here in Bucharest season fruit and veg are literally on every corner (peasants coming into town set up little 'stalls' on the corner and sell what they've grown) and several large markets, as well as the usual super- and hypermarkets. The street/hall markets generally have a better selection than the supermarkets, and better prices. You don't need to worry about getting plenty of fresh fruit and veg, if that's what you like. As I say, it's all quite seasonal, so you're not going to easily find pumpkin in spring.

However, Romanian cuisine can sometimes be a little heavy and oily, so if you're staying with a host family, they'll probably want to 'feed you up', so expect to be force fed plenty of heart soups, schnitzels, grilled pork, meatballs, and so on.
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Bebsi



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 958

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go along with Mike, and say that if there's one thing that's cheap and plentiful in Romania, it's fresh farm produce. We go to the market once a week, and for 75 RON we buy loads of fruit & veg, not to mention meat and coffee beans. Yes, even the imported stuff like bananas, pineapples and coffee are much cheaper in the markets than in the supermarket.

Brasov is a bit cheaper than Bucharest, but certainly not 1/5 of the price. Were Bucharest that expensive, we'd be charging a lot more than we do for our services, and commuting everyday from a (much cheaper) mansion out in the countryside! Smile Realistically, I'd say that Bucharest is maybe 15-20% more expensive for rent (not an issue for you), hotel prices and maybe restaurants. Otherwise, it's about the same.

Overall, the following are much cheaper in Romania than in Western Europe:

- Eating out (including local booze)
- Fresh farm produce
- Taxis & public transport
- Dentists & doctors (avoid state hospitals & clinics if you can)
- Construction and other services
- Electricity
- Rental accommodation (residential)
- Internet & sat TV

Supermarkets are about the same as in the west, as are most clothes/footwear and fuel. Slightly more expensive are electronic & electrical goods, and designer clothes.
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