Romania is a country in South-East Europe. Romania sits between the Balkans and Eastern Europe, so it borders Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary and the Black Sea. By European standards, Romania is a big country. This means that there is much to explore, see and do.
Many international students find themselves in the capital Bucharest. But, unlike in many other countries, students can also find themselves elsewhere. Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca and Iași are all cities with large numbers of students – and the nightlife and study experiences to match. In fact, Timișoara will even be a European Capital of Culture in 2023.
Romania – Quick facts & figures
Population 19.3 million
Area Size 238,391 km²
International Students 27,000
Academic Year September – June
Currency : Romanian Lei (RON)
Calling Code +40
Time Zone GMT+2
Education in Romania
First Cycle – This is the undergraduate level. A Bachelor’s degree normally takes three or four years to complete. The extra year normally comes about if you take a year abroad, undertake an internship or study a subject like engineering.
Second Cycle – This is the postgraduate level. A Master’s degree takes one or two years to complete. The extra year comes about if you undertake an internship or study part-time. Some courses also take two years as standard.
As it’s part of the EU, Romania also participates in Erasmus. Erasmus allows you to take a semester, a year or even a whole qualification or internship abroad. Your nationality doesn’t matter, you just need to be studying at a school that participates in Erasmus. Most Romanian schools do. Some have set exchanges, others allow you to choose where to go as you see fit.
Student Visas & Permits
Here’s what you’ll need to get a study visa for Romania:
Your passport and two passport-sized photos
An acceptance letter from your school, signed by the Ministry of Education
Proof of finances – this must be at least €2000 (US$2400)
Proof of a place to live – your school can issue you with a letter stating that you have a place to live in dorms
Health insurance – if you’re under twenty-six, your school covers this. If you’re over twenty-six, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee of at least 49RON (US$12)
Housing & Living Costs
Romania has one of the lower costs of living in the EU, even in Bucharest. This means that you can enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle on a relatively small budget. That being said, you’ll still need to budget.
As the cost of living is at its highest in Bucharest, these costs will reflect the cost of living in the capital. Some average costs of living in Romania (in ROM and USD) are:
Monthly rent (1 bedroom apartment): 1900ROM ($470) *
Utilities (monthly average): 475ROM ($115)
Monthly public transport pass: 70ROM ($17)
Meal (inexpensive restaurant): 35ROM ($8.60)
Coffee: 10ROM ($2.50)
Milk (1 liter): 5ROM ($1.25)
Vegetables (1kg): 4ROM ($0.95)
Eggs (dozen): 10ROM ($2.50)
Water (1.5 liter): 2ROM ($0.50) **
Chicken (1kg): 21ROM ($5.15)
Wine (bottle): 25ROM ($6.15)
Bread (loaf): 3ROM ($0.75)
* Most students rent accommodation from their school. This is known as dorms in the US or corridors or halls in Europe. The cost of renting this type of accommodation is much lower. It varies from school to school and depending on the type of room you want.
** You can’t drink the tap water in Romania. You’ll need to factor bottled water into your budget. That being said, the Romanian government is working hard to improve the quality of the tap water.
Tuition Fees & Scholarships
Tuition fees in Romania depend on what you’re studying and where you’re from. If you’re from Romania, the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, then it’ll be less than if you’re from outside. That being said, there’s no big difference.
It’ll cost between 10,000ROM (US$2400) and 24,600ROM (US$6040). Programs like medicine and engineering generally come in at the higher end of this range.
Before arriving in Romania, most schools will ask you to pay a deposit of at least one semester’s worth of fees. This can vary from school to school.
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