After spending six months in Rome, Italy last year, I thought I had lived my ultimate experience and nothing could ever replace it. IAESTE was the organisation which proved me wrong. My seven weeks in Bucharest, Romania was truly a self-building experience.
I didn’t know what to expect. Primarily, I encountered different opinions regarding issues of safety in Romania. Secondly, working in an architectural office was a challenge I had never experienced before. Thirdly, leaving everything behind to start a new adventure by my own was definitely a leap of faith. However, the thing that drove me forward was that I always knew that I had a time limit, were my aim was to learn and establish new skills. I was determined to make the best out of it.
Throughout the whole experience I felt grateful for the help and support given by IAESTE. When I arrived in Bucharest, a Romanian member called Moga Oana accompanied me from the airport all the way to the dorm. The next day we spent a whole afternoon roaming around the city and she also walked all the way with me to the office on my first day of work.
I was working in an architectural firm which expanded their practice in urban design, residential, interior design and road infrastructure. This gave me the opportunity to experiment with different fields and learn things not only related to my line of thought. Fortunately, I can say that I was lucky enough to be involved in the design of various projects, even though I was staying for such a short period of time. I improved my general thinking process, 2D drawing and 3D modelling skills. At the office I also met a family. Sometimes I felt the office revolved around me. Everyone was very excited to teach me everything from scratch and to introduce me to all the projects. On my last day at the office, my colleagues circled around me and gave me a warm goodbye along with some books and sweets.
This internship with IAESTE was definitely more than just working in an office. The best thing about it, is that I lived on a student’s campus. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know students from around the world. I met people who in a very short time we considered each other as a family. We are now constantly planning to meet again and go on trips together. Apart from that, we made sure that every weekend we always travel to different places outside Bucharest. In seven weeks we visited eight cities such as Sigishuara, Bran, Brasov, Transfagarasan, Constanta and Sibiu. They were all amazing locations that prove that Romania is such an underrated country and should be known more for its beauty and rich history.
It was truly a memorable experience that thought me a bunch of new things, however, most importantly it thought me more who I am. It is an experience that disconnects you from everything you know and puts you in a vulnerable situation where you use your utmost to grab on to new opportunities and to be the person you really are. Having created so many memories to treasure for a lifetime, leaves me only to recommend to everyone to take hold of such amazing opportunity and open oneself to the bigger picture.