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Romania and Bulgaria

The Romania-Bulgaria trip seeks to introduce students to a region that is typically overlooked. Since 1999, Nobles has supported at-risk, abandoned, and handicapped children through the Alfred Rusescu Pediatric Hospital & Romanian Children’s Relief (RCR). We partner with RCR, a Boston-based charity that works with young people in many capacities across Romania. Two years ago, we introduced a new component to this trip: a two-day excursion south of Romania to Bulgaria, another European Union member state that is navigating through the problems wrought by a communist past. 

Our service component will be centered in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. Through our work with RCR, we will also assist teachers in the classroom and play games with students in a local elementary and middle school. In addition we wil learn about RCR's new program, "Glina," which helps to educate and encourage social interaction among young Roma people, a highly marginalized group that suffers severe discrimination, in and around Bucharest. Our time with RCR will give our students greater insight into the history and culture of Romania, particularly the long-lasting impact that the Ceausescu regime has had on the country.

Next, we will travel south to Ruse, Bulgaria, where we will partner with Right to Childhood Foundation, an organization that seeks to better understand how the youth are impacted by the Bulgarian criminal justice system. We will spend two days with a group of Bulgarian high school students, alongside whom we will learn about civil society, discrimination, and other issues pertinent both to life in Bulgaria and the United States.

In addition to wrestling with issues pertaining to service work in both Romania and Bulgaria, students will be asked to consider the following questions on this 10-day trip: How did the transition from communism to democracy impact life in Eastern Europe? What problems persist in post-communist countries? Is democratization enough? What else is needed in order to build civil society? This trip will be intellectually stimulating, challenging students to analyze their surroundings and report back on what they have learned.

The experience also provides students with a chance to appreciate the rich culture, complex history and stunning landscapes of Romania and Bulgaria. In our free time, we will go on sightseeing tours of medieval fortresses, Ottoman strongholds, and picturesque 19th-century architecture. Students will be encouraged to grapple with how history, spanning from the Middle Ages to 20th century communism, has influenced contemporary easter European society. 

For more detailed information on this trip, including dates, cost, trip leaders, and trip and financial aid applications, click here. 

 

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Romania and Bulgaria