Study Abroad in Galati, Romania

Join Word Made Flesh Romania for a new kind of study abroad experience! Be transformed as you are a part of transforming the lives of others. Building new friendships, investing yourself in the lives of the vulnerable, and seeking God in the context of poverty will forever transform your life.

Settle into life in Galati, an industrial city on the Danube River in the east of Romania. Learn about post-communist Romania, its current social and cultural situation, and Christian responses. Engage a people formed by the traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy and the culture of secularism. Visit communist remnants like Ceausescu’s House of the People, cultural sites like northern Romania’s medieval Orthodox monasteries, and the beautiful landscapes of the Carpathian mountains and Danube River. Journey to one or more of the following countries to compare post-Communist contexts: Serbia, Republic of Moldova or Russia.

Serve Jesus among the poorest of the poor. Interact with experienced Christian workers, with vulnerable friends who confront marginalization, and with those suffering the effects of transition from communism to capitalism. Live with a Romanian host family. Experience Romanian culture and learn the Romanian language (which will come quickly to those who already have some familiarity with other Latin languages like Spanish and French).

Serve in Community Centers and be involved in impoverished neighborhoods. Explore different approaches to cross-cultural mission, spiritual formation, community development and ministry among the poor and experience transformation. Put your knowledge into practice. Your practicum will run for the whole duration of the semester.

Students will immerse themselves in post-communist Romania by living with a host family and settling into life in Galati (an industrial city on the Danube River in the east of Romania). Students will participate in the Word Made Flesh community, serving Jesus among the poorest of the poor. Alongside experienced Christian workers, students will participate in service among vulnerable and marginalized children and families through Community Centers and involvement in impoverished neighborhoods. Part of the educational experience will involve visiting communist remnants like Ceausescu’s House of the People, cultural sites like northern Romania’s medieval Orthodox monasteries, and the beauty landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains and Danube River. Students will also journey to two or more of the following countries to compare post-communist contexts: Serbia, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, or Bulgaria.

This is a sample of class activities and timeline:

Week Topic Required Reading or Activity Assignments Due
Week 1 The Beginnings and the Birth of Medieval Romanian States Visit Bucharest; read A Concise History of Romanians pgs. 1-86 Study journal
Week 2 Romanians under “Turkocracy” and Extended Middle Ages in Romanian Countries Read CHR pgs. 87-192 Study journal
Week 3 Modernization and Contemporary Romania Read Modern Romania pgs 193-279 Study journal
Week 4 Democracy Constrained by Backwardness and the Imposition and Consequences of Communist Rule Read MR 1-69; view The King of Communism Study journal
Week 5 Politicians Discard the Ideology but Conserve the Power Read MR 70-109 Study journal
Week 6 After Liberation, Then What? Read After Liberation, Study journal
Week 7 Roma history and culture Read Roma Life Stories Study journal
Week 8 Comparing the contexts of Hungary and Bulgaria Visit Hungary and Bulgaria; Read Balkan Ghosts part 3 Study journal
Week 9 Eastern Orthodoxy: history and practices Read History of the Romanian Orthodox Church Study journal
Week 10 Eastern Orthodoxy: theology Read History of the Romanian Orthodox Church Study journal; may submit first draft of essay
Week 11 Child Protection in Post-Communist Romania View Children Underground; read Exploring the Failure to Protect the Rights of the Roma Child in Romania Study journal
Week 12 Comparing the context of Moldova Visit Moldova; read Balkan Ghosts part 2 Study journal
Week 13 Social Challenges Discuss student selected readings Study journal
Week 14 Formulating a Response Visit Brasov, discuss student selected readings Study journal; Essay

Semester Cost: $14,500

Cost includes:

  • Tuition
  • Host fees, food, program travel and accommodations
  • Excursions part of the program

Does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Books
  • Personal expenses
  • Interns serve in a supportive role alongside local staff and are under their direct supervision.
  • Internship placement will be made based on area of need in the field, with consideration given to applicants’ skills and backgrounds.
    • Students have served in roles such Administrative Intern, Ministry Intern, and Business Intern.
  • Because students will be working with children and vulnerable adults, a background check is required.

Students will receive an accredited transcript from the International Leadership University (ILU-Burundi) is a private Christian and non-denominational training institution fully recognized by the government of Burundi. 

  • Students will live with a Romanian host family, experiencing Romanian culture and learning the Romanian language (which will come quickly to those who already have some familiarity with other Latin languages like Spanish and French). All host families are vetted for safety and security under the direct supervision of Word Made Flesh staff.

Is it safe?

The health and safety of study abroad students is a top priority.

Students can prepare for their time abroad by informing themselves about basic health and safety issues before leaving the U.S. Upon arrival, local Word Made Flesh staff will brief you on the safety and security issues specific to that country. Word Made Flesh staff follows U.S. State Department advice and local staff knowledge and recommendations.

Students are encouraged to exercise caution, to follow the advice of Word Made Flesh’s local knowledge, to stay abreast of local conditions, to seek additional information regarding their study abroad country, to monitor their own health, and to stay in touch with Word Made Flesh staff and students should an issue arise.

Each student will be provided with a phone and/or phone card so that staff can be contacted with any questions at all times.

Do I need to be a Christian in order to participate in this study abroad program?

No. The program is open to students of any faith background as long as they are respectful of, engaged with, and willing to abide by the values and religious practices of Word Made Flesh during their time of study abroad. WMF is based in the Christian tradition, and thus, curriculum is taught from a Christian worldview.

The student will study the following courses:

  • Romanian Language Learning
  • Society and Challenges in a Post-Communist Context
  • The Church and Christian Approaches to Poverty
  • Spiritual Formation in Missional Community
  • Cross-Cultural Practicum – organized based on the student’s interest and focus of study, which include: Christian ministry and mission, social work, education, NGO management, international studies, health care, community development, job creation, urban farming, and Eastern European studies.

Apply for Study Abroad

Application Instructions:

  • Fill out the Study Abroad Application
  • Send an updated resume and photo of yourself to opportunities@wordmadeflesh.com (your resume should include education, work experience, skills and references)
  • You must also send out three electronic reference forms to the following: a professional (job) reference, a pastor or spiritual mentor, and a personal friend.
  • Once we receive this application, your resume, application fee, and reference forms we will contact you as soon as possible.

For George Fox University Students:

Are you a Study Abroad Director at a university and interested in partnering with Word Made Flesh Romania about this opportunity? Please contact David Chronic (david.chronic@wordmadeflesh.com) to start this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. You may download a passport application or pick one up from any U.S. post office. Some post offices also receive completed applications, but not all locations do so. When you take the completed passport application in to be filed, you must bring the application fee as well as every other piece of information requested on the application. You will not be given a passport if you don’t have all the required documents in hand. The passport process may take a couple months, so be sure to allow enough time to receive your passport, especially if you are visiting a country that requires that you get a visa. You need your passport before you can apply for a visa. 

Your program coordinator will list the immunizations that have been recommended for your respective travel location. You can also check the Center for Disease Control‘s recommendations for your destination. You should contact your health care professional for his/her recommendations about vaccines to get before traveling. Keep in mind that some of the immunizations require multiple vaccines over several weeks, so you’ll want to start this process early.

Yes. U.S. citizens receive a visa at the airport upon arrival in Romania, and your program coordinator will ensure you have all the necessary visas to enter other countries in the region to which you will travel. Note that you will need a valid U.S. passport to apply for visas, so you will want to start the process early if you don’t have your passport yet as it can take up to 2 months to receive it. You can visit Visa Central to get an idea about your host country’s visa requirements, but keep in mind that visa requirements and applications processes are subject to change at a moment’s notice (at governments’ discretion) and the information shown may not be accurate. Your program coordinator will have the most updated information.

 

 

Study Abroad in Kigali, Rwanda & Bujumbura, Burundi

Join Word Made Flesh Rwanda and Word Made Flesh Burundi for a new kind of study abroad experience! Be immersed in the rich culture of the African Great Lakes Region as you become exposed to long-term missional engagement and advocacy work. Be transformed as you are a part of transforming the lives of others. Building new friendships, investing yourself in the lives of the vulnerable, and seeking God in the context of poverty will forever transform your life.

Word Made Flesh Rwanda and Word Made Flesh Burundi are committed to participating in the movement of the Kingdom of God already at work in Kigali and Bujumbura. We join our Rwandan and Burundian friends and neighbors in a vision of hope for the future of the African Great Lakes Region.

 

WMF Rwanda is based primarily in Kangondo, a very poor community in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda and focuses on women’s economic empowerment. Women in Kangondo struggle to find stable sources of income. This is especially an issue for single mothers and wives of alcoholics, both of whom become the primary breadwinners for their families. The struggle to find work is due to a number of reasons: low-level of education, lack of marketable skills, and simply a lack of jobs in Kigali. The constant stress of not having enough money to get by can create deeper issues of depression and hopelessness, and WMF Rwanda seeks to restore hope while also equipping women with the tools and resources they need to thrive. We do this through:

  • Economic empowerment groups: savings and credit associations where women come together weekly for savings, prayer, and bible study. 
  • Entrepreneurship trainings for women interested in starting a small business.
  • Weekly home and business visits to develop relationships with each woman in our programs.
  • Jewelry workshop, where women are trained and employed in making leather earrings. 
  • Trainings on health, nutrition, gender based violence, etc.
  • Scholarships to help the women in our programs send their children to school
  • WMF Rwanda also runs a social business, Kundwa Collective, that employs women artisans in jewelry and craft-making, offering stable and dignified employment to vulnerable women.

WMF Burundi, based in Bujumbura, seeks to promote peace by providing resources for trauma healing and reconciliation. The effects of poverty and the aftermath of wars and conflicts leave people with little resources to heal and with many obstacles to overcome. While providing resources and spaces for healing, WMF Burundi also advocates for the local and international community’s response to trauma We use a holistic approach to bring people from all walks of life to psychosocial healing and resolution of differences. This new path to peace is based on the understanding that the seeds of tomorrow’s wars grow in the soil of today’s unhealed traumas. WMF Burundi’s activities and objective include:

  • Centers where groups, families and individuals who need psychosocial assistance are helped to become psychologically, spiritually and economically resilient.
  • Facilitate and coordinate workshops on trauma healing
  • To build capacity to fight against trauma through workshops and promote effective methods for a healing process, using music, community therapeutic theaters, cultural values, literature, dances, games and sport.
  • Promote a reconciliation and conflict transformation processes through the Alternative to Violence Program.
  • Sensitize and educate the community and its leaders about the problems related to the wellbeing of the children and the role to be played by the community.
  • Sensitize and train the population on the methods of caring for the environment by an appropriate agriculture.

Semester Overview

Dates: August 24 – December 11, 2020

Semester Cost: $14,500

Cost includes:

  • Tuition
  • Room and Board
  • Excursions part of the program

Does not include:

  • Flight
  • Immunizations
  • Rwanda and Burundi Visas
  • Build relationships with those that have been marginalized and with the Word Made Flesh community, serving with them at the WMF Rwanda ministry center throughout the entire semester.
  • Practicums are organized based on the student’s interest and focus of study, which include: Christian ministry and mission, social work, NGO management, social entrepreneurship and job creation, community health, community development, peace studies, English as a second language, urban farming, and East African studies.
  • Students will contribute to the development of WMF Rwanda activities by submitting an evaluation and project proposal based on their field practicum.

International Leadership University (ILU-Burundi) is a private Christian and non-denominational training institution fully recognized by the government of Burundi. 

ILU-Burundi exists to educate men and women to provide leadership in Africa by spearheading spiritual, social and cultural transformation in Africa and beyond. Training programs are available at Bachelor and Master levels, and they include the School of Leadership, the School of Business, the School of Governance, the School of Theology and Missiology. ILU-Burundi also plans to start the School of Law and the School of Education.

  • Students will stay with a host family with in the Word Made Flesh communities in Rwanda and
    Burundi.
  • All host families are vetted for safety and security under the direct supervision of Field Directors.
  • Homestays during the duration of the program are integral to building community and forming relationships, as we seek to be live with and work alongside people.

 

Is it safe?

The health and safety of study abroad students is a top priority.

The best way for students to prepare for their time abroad is to inform themselves about basic health and safety issues before leaving the U.S. Upon arrival, local Word Made Flesh staff will brief you on the safety and security issues specific to that country.

Students are encouraged to exercise due caution, to follow the advice of Word Made Flesh’s local knowledge, to stay abreast of local conditions, to seek additional information regarding their study abroad country, to monitor their own health, and to stay in touch with Word Made Flesh staff and students should an issue arise.

Rwanda consistently ranks as one of the safest countries in the world. While Burundi has experienced some political and safety concerns in the past, Program Directors will follow U.S. State Department advice and local staff knowledge and recommendations.

Do I need to be a Christian in order to participate in this study abroad program?

No. The program is open to students of any faith background as long as they are respectful of, engaged with, and willing to abide by the values and religious practices of Word Made Flesh during their time of study abroad. WMF is based in the Christian tradition, and thus, curriculum is taught from a Christian worldview.

The student will simultaneously study the following courses:

  • Kinyarwanda Language, 3 credits, Local language instructor
  • Community Development/Approaches to Poverty, 3 credits, David Chronic, PhD. Candidate Intercultural Studies 
  • Peace and Conflict Studies in East Africa, 3 credits, David Niyonzima, PhD. 
  • East African Art, Culture, & Religion, 3 credits, staff TBD
  • Spiritual Formation in Missional Community, non-credit bearing (academic 3 credit option by request), Shelbye Renfro, M.A. Global Development and Justice
  • Cross-Cultural Field Practicum, 3 credits, Coordinator: Shelbye Renfro, M.A. Global Development and Justice

Apply for Study Abroad

Application Instructions:

  • Fill out the Study Abroad Application
  • Send an updated resume and photo of yourself to opportunities@wordmadeflesh.com (your resume should include education, work experience, skills and references)
  • You must also send out three electronic reference forms to the following: a professional (job) reference, a pastor or spiritual mentor, and a personal friend.
  • Once we receive this application, your resume, application fee, and reference forms we will contact you as soon as possible.

Are you a Study Abroad Director at a university and interested in partnering with Word Made Flesh about this opportunity? Please contact David Chronic (david.chronic@wordmadeflesh.com) to start this process.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. You may download a passport application or pick one up from any U.S. post office. Some post offices also receive completed applications, but not all locations do so. When you take the completed passport application in to be filed, you must bring the application fee as well as every other piece of information requested on the application. You will not be given a passport if you don’t have all the required documents in hand. The passport process may take a couple months, so be sure to allow enough time to receive your passport, especially if you are visiting a country that requires that you get a visa. You need your passport before you can apply for a visa. 

Your program coordinator will list the immunizations that have been recommended to us respective to your travel location. You can also check the Center for Disease Control‘s recommendations for your destination. You should contact your health care professional for his/her recommendations about vaccines to get before traveling. Keep in mind that some of the immunizations require multiple vaccines over several weeks, so you’ll want to start this process early.

Yes. Your program coordinator will give you relevant instructions to apply for a visa with the host country. Note that you will need a valid U.S. passport to apply for visas, so you will want to start the process early if you don’t have your passport yet as it can take up to 2 months to receive it. You can visit Visa Central to get an idea about your host country’s visa requirements, but keep in mind that visa requirements and applications processes are subject to change at a moment’s notice (at governments’ discretion) and the information shown may not be accurate. Your program coordinator will have the most updated information.