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TTF Talks: A German student’s impressions on Romania

Eike H is a young German student who, like many others, came to study medicine in Timisoara, Romania. He’s been in the country for almost 5 years now (excluding summer holidays and some pandemic moments) and has been kind enough to share with TTF readers his thoughts on Romania, the people, and his Romania trips.

Dear Eike, how long have you been in Romania? What are you doing here?

I have been in Romania since 2017. Since then, I have studied General Medicine in Timisoara at the Victor Babes University and will finish in 2023.

Eike, a German student talking about Romania and Timisoara

What did you know about Romania before coming?

To be honest, I did not know much about Romania. In German High Schools, Eastern Europe is not covered well in the curriculum and in the media, you do not learn much about Romania either. The main information I had, came from a friend who already studied there and from my own research on the internet. Therefore, overall, I did not have any specific expectation. I heard that Timisoara is a young city with lots of students and culture and I was looking forward to that.

What do you like and dislike about Romania?

I like about Romania the nature, the climate, the openness, and spirit of the young generation. Especially here in Timisoara, I met many young people who are willing to make a change. The amount of untouched nature in the full country is amazing and always worth a visit.

What I dislike is, that sometimes things need a long time to get done here and need a lot of effort. However, at the end it usually works out.

The Danube between Caras and Mehedinti area and Decebal sculpture; photo:@dani.ciuca.ro

Where have you travelled in Romania? What were your favourite places?

In Romania, I visited already some places. I have been on a hiking trip in Hateg and Brebu. Deep forests and stunning views in the mountains! With my girlfriend (who is Romanian) and a friend of us we did a roadtrip were we saw a lot of locations like Sibiu, Brasov, Targu Mures, Transfaragasan and a lot more.

I especially liked the old architecture, the old castles and walking in the historic parts of the cities. In addition, I have been a lot in the Danube area around Caras-Severin. Here I liked the mixture of hills and water and I really enjoy sitting in summer at the Danube and watch the life around it.

In the next years, I would like to go to the Danube Delta and Iasi. My favourite places are of two types. I really like the nature around the area of Danube, especially in the summer. You can take a boat on the Danube, hike in the hills, have a barbeque outside and eat fish directly from the river. My other favourite place are the big cities. I like to discover new spots, new bars, culture hangouts and meet new people.

Winter in Sibiu

Is it true what they say that Romanians are very hospitable and friendly?

I experienced a huge culture of hospitability especially in the countryside. I visited relatives of my girlfriend who live close to Brasov and I was always welcomed like a family member they have not seen for years. Including barbeque and țuica every time of the day.

Please tell us three things you like very much about Romania.

The nature, the culture and the mici.

Is Romania a good country to visit or to live in?

From my point of view, it is really nice to live here. Timisoara has a nice size as a city, and especially as a student there are good places to hang out, to meet new people and to party. As a visitor it is also very recommendable, every time I had friends or family visiting me in Romania, they were positively surprised by the city and the country.

Timisoara downtown

Would you recommend the country to your friends?

I would totally recommend it and already did multiple times.

What could Romania do to be more visitable?

In my experience, Romania could promote itself more. The country has really beautiful places to visit, but for example in Germany, you never hear about it in the media, advertisements, or elsewhere. I think with more investments in tourism and advertisement, Romania could give itself a boost as a well-known tourist destination.

Romanian impressions; Village of Magura; photo: @dani.ciuca.ro

Can you summarise your experience in Timisoara and give some recommendations/tips?

My experience in Timisoara is completely positive. I met many nice people here, discovered nice places and just had a good time. If you visit Timisoara in summer, take a bike tour along Bega and stop in one of the many beer gardens. Visit the many bars where you can easily meet new people and party. Enjoy the culture scene with theatre, opera and music. Pass by Scârț for some theatre and a beer, Unirii Square for a nice coffee in the sun and several other enjoyable locations.

Thank you so much Eike for your feedback and good luck with your studies!

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