Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Romania's Revolution: Community Care for Vulnerable Groups in Romania

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2024
May 15, 2024
Jun 13, 2024
Mar 01, 2024
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Good Academic Standing
Program Type
Service Learning


Program Advisor

The Program

Explore community-based care models, and how they are addressing vulnerable populations in Romania amid a climate of social and political change.

Graduate students can earn 3-credits of field hours through service learning placements with local social welfare agency, where you will engage in meaningful work with professionals caring for the city’s most vulnerable populations. Undergraduate students will earn 6-credits.

Rutgers Summer Program Romania

Program Locations

Rutgers Summer Program Romania



Cluj-Napoca, commonly known as Cluj, is Romania’s fourth largest and is considered the capital of the region of Transylvania.  It is home to Babes-Bolyai University, which boasts an enrollment of nearly 50,000 students, making Cluj a lively university town with a thriving visual arts scenes and a busy nightlife.  Architectural highlights include the Gothic St Michael’s Church and the Baroque Bánffy Palace, home to the National Museum of Art.


To view a sample syllabus for this program, please click here. Please note, as a sample syllabus all contents are subject to change.

This global service learning experience provides students the opportunity to study and learn first-hand about the profession of social work and social services within the Romanian and European contexts. Students will complete a guided internship with a community-based social service agency, working with a range of vulnerable groups including children, adults with disabilities, at-risk adolescents, children who have been abused and/or neglected, adults with mental illness, children with autism, and the elderly.  Some of the field placement will be done, side by side, with a Romanian social work student and/or a visiting European social work student.

As part of their coursework, students will engage in reflective seminars with Romanian social workers, students, and professors.  Students will learn about the evolution and status of social work in Romania (educational requirements, legislation, standards of practice, and regulation). And parallel to learning about social work, students will learn about the evolution of the public and private (non-profit) social services system in Romania, from the post-Revolution years beginning in 1990 to the present. Of special interest is the establishment and growth of the non-profit sector and its role in the delivery of social services and the growth of democracy through advocacy and empowerment. European and global comparisons about social work and social services will be highlighted. Students will expand their conceptual frameworks and vocabulary to incorporate global standards and practices.  

Students will be hosted for their service learning (practicum learning) by  one-two organizations partnered with Rutgers and Babes-Bolyai University.  Potential service placements include (but are not limited to):


For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.


The program itinerary includes one planned group excursion, designed to enhance student learning about the history, culture, and contemporary society of Romania.  Past excursions have included visits to Dracula’s Castle, a Bear Sanctuary, and surrounding towns and villages.

Academic Calendar



Housing and Meals

Students will stay in university housing at Babes-Bolyai University.  Accommodation will be double occupancy rooms. Students are responsible for their own meals.  A small set of kitchen appliances, such as a mini-fridge and hotplate, are available, and the in-country orientation includes a trip to a grocery store where students can purchase dishes and utensils.  Most students opt to take the majority of their meals at local cafes and restaurants.

Financial Information

Program Costs

This is the billed amount that will appear on your Rutgers term bill during the term you study abroad.
NJ Resident non-NJ Resident
Undergraduate (6 credits) $2,610 $3,280
Graduate (3 credits) $2,580 $2,900
Program Cost includes:

•    Tuition 
•    Housing
•    Excursions
•    Administrative Fees
•    Emergency Medical Access Abroad

Out-of-Pocket Costs

These are estimated expenses that are not part of your term bill. Students will need to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
Airfare $1,200
Meals $300
Books and Classroom Materials $50
Personal Expenses $200
Total $1,750.00
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:

The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad. 
Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket and visa costs, while some of these expenses, such as meals and local transportation, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.


Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.


Rebecca Davis

Dr. Davis is a professor in the School of Social Work, and also directs the School’s Office of Global Programs.  Her focus on international social work began with a Fulbright to teach social work practices in Romania, where she resided for a decade engaged in child welfare reform before serving as a consultant and project manager for various NGOs and social welfare organizations.  In addition to her specialization in Central and Eastern Europe, her research in international and comparative social work and development takes her to countries in Africa and East Asia.

Summer 2017

"I was lucky enough to study in a country where the USD is very strong; one American dollar is equivalent to four Romanian lei. The cost of everything was very affordable - a large pizza was less than $4! Since I was able to save so much money on day to day living, I was able to use my money for adventures. A few of my classmates and I would spend weekends going to new countries. I was able to go to Paris, Barcelona, and Budapest within one month! I also explored all over Transylvania and visited Dracula’s castle. I felt that choosing a country that was affordable allowed me to do more exploring than if I spent the entire month in a Euro-based country."

Brooke Beck

"One memory that really sticks out to me is when we collaborated with the Autism Transilvania NGO to create some sensory boards for the children at the Hope Center. We recorded a video presentation to show the staff and family members the benefits of using the sensory boards with the children. One of the staff members there is going to dub over my voice to translate the video for the community. The lead Psychologist at the center was so grateful to have us there. We left the program feeling uplifted and motivated to come back to Rutgers and bring our new skills back with us."