‘You need a place where you feel like home’

| Jennifer Cutinha

The Romanian Student Association celebrated the Romanian National day at the Bastille on Saturday. This was the first event of the new world association called RSA, since its founding a few months ago.

People dancing to Romanian music, last Saturday.

The event provided an opportunity for visitors to get a glimpse of Romanian culture. Not only through displays of pictures and brochures representing its history and culture, but also through food which included traditional handmade jams, spreads and wine. About sixty students were eating, drinking and dancing away to Romanian music.

Need for buddies

‘Now there are around 200 Romanians on campus and the number has been growing quite significantly over the years,’ says Eduard Modreanu, Chairman of RSA. ‘Therefore, there was a need to provide coaching and mentorship to new coming Romanian students.’ Modreanu also expressed his concerns about the growing number of Romanian students quitting their study due to feelings of depression arising from cultural differences. ‘We have now implemented a buddy program for new students wherein they are guided by a Romanian ‘buddy’ from a similar study program.’

Collective culture

‘Mainly we want to represent Romanian students at the UT,’ says Modreanu. ‘Especially since the influx of Romanian students is increasing with the UT, approximating about 70 students that come in every year. The Romanian culture is a collective one, as opposed to a more individualistic culture that is observed here. So, you need a place where you can feel like home.’

Open to other international students

RSA is also in the process of being Student Union-recognized. ‘We have had several unofficial events in the past and they have been received quite well,’ says Modreanu. ‘We also want our association to be open to other international students. So, once we become officially recognized, we can start signing up members who are not only Romanian students.’