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Special Needs Support Volunteer Project in Romania - Miercurea Ciuc

Special Needs Support Volunteer Project in Romania - Miercurea Ciuc

Purpose
Provide care & connection for those with disabilities
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Duration
Choose from 2-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+
Accommodation
Dormitory-style volunteer apartments
Program fees
From AU$1368 for 2 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who have at least a year of relevant experience caring for people with disabilities or who have appropriate training. If you don’t have previous experience, you’ll need to volunteer on the project for at least 4 weeks. This is to ensure you have enough time to understand your role and make a positive difference as a volunteer.

Project details

Want to be a Special Needs Care volunteer in Romania? International Volunteer HQ’s Special Needs Care project is a great way for volunteers to assist at centres for people with disabilities. Volunteers gain experience working with people with a wide range of disabilities who often fall through the cracks because of social stigma and a lack of government support. These people benefit from the extra care, attention and connection volunteers provide, helping them thrive, learn and enriching their lives.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

In Romania, numerous families struggle to provide adequate care for their loved ones with disabilities due to pervasive social stigma and inadequate government support. Volunteers play a transformative role in closing this care gap by igniting inspiration and bringing joy to the lives of children and adults facing personal challenges at a special needs facility.

As a Special Needs volunteer, you’ll be involved in organizing and facilitating games and educational sessions tailored to individuals with various mental and physical disabilities. This specialized role welcomes volunteers with expertise in disability care, offering opportunities for qualified individuals to contribute to therapy and rehabilitation efforts.

Volunteering with disabled individuals requires patience and compassion. Strong organisational skills and adaptability are essential, as resources may be limited. Despite the challenges, the enthusiasm of the children and adults you’ll work with will reward you with heartfelt smiles and appreciation for your time and effort.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Special Needs Support volunteering in Miercurea Ciuc with IVHQ?

When you volunteer to care for people with disabilities in Romania you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving care and educational opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining experience working with people with disabilities
  • Immersing yourself in Romanian culture
  • Exploring Romania’s historic cities

Volunteer requirements

  • To join the Special Needs Care project in Romania you will need to be qualified or training in Special Education or Physical Therapy or a closely related discipline, or have relevant experience.
  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

AD
Alexis Devereux
22 Mar 2024

As someone who has had a lifelong struggle with anxiety and a lack of confidence, I felt the time had come (late in life at age 61) to challenge myself to get truly out of my comfort zone. It was so heartwarming to have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the work of the local team, learn about a different culture and the different challenges facing the local community, as well as push myself to achieve things I didn’t realise I was capable of. Even though I only worked with the project for two weeks, I have come away with some amazing friendships, a clearer sense of what really matters in life, greater confidence and a real sense of pride in all that we achieved together. My heart is happy!

...
KS
Kate Sureck
28 Nov 2023

The local team was exceptional in every way. My only regret is that I wish I had stayed longer!

...
IK
Irina Kravchenko
13 Oct 2023

Become a volunteer if you want to help and learn. Even if something doesn't work out, the local team will be there to help you. Communicate with as many people as possible during your volunteer experience, travel in your free time and don't be afraid to try something new.

...
TM
Tony Mangia
14 Jul 2022

I had done 11 volunteer programs around the world (9 with IVHQ) and Romania was one of the last places I was interested in. But I'm glad I went. It's a beautiful country and IVHQ offers a wide variety of programs suitable to almost anyone's interests or talents.

...
NK
Noritaka Kobayakawa
06 Jun 2022

My experience in Miercurea Ciuc was very memorable. The local team was fantastic as they were very attentive and welcoming. The orientation week was very helpful as it informed me a lot about Transylvania history and the Hungarian language. The English camps were a lot of fun and the kids in Romania were great to work with.

...
QB
Quinn Butler
07 Oct 2021

I had the most wonderful experience during my month volunteering in the Sustainable Agriculture program in Romania. IVHQ & the local team provided more than enough support for my trip. The program coordinator and the local team were exceedingly caring in making sure everybody has a rewarding and positive experience on their trip. I was able to connect and build meaningful, long lasting relationships with the other volunteers from all over the world! The city is additionally extremely charming, with plenty of delicious food options and activities for all types of people. I cannot recommend this program enough!!!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Romania with IVHQ

Location

IVHQ’s Romanian projects are based in and around Miercurea Ciuc - a town in the Harghita county of Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an Hungarian-speaking region in eastern Transylvania. It has an interesting history, pretty European architecture spanning centuries, an annual music festival, a Catholic pilgrimage, and winter temperatures that reach -30°C or −22 °F, which makes it the perfect place for cold season sports like ice hockey and speed skating.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Miercurea Ciuc the day before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flight to arrive at Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP).

Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 10:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$150.

We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night prior to your start date. If you are travelling in Romania prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a pre-arranged location in Miercurea Ciuc the day before your program orientation. There are two options for orientation in Romania, a One-Day Orientation and an Orientation Week.

One-Day Orientation: This is a standard full-day induction on your selected start date that covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Romania. You’ll be provided with an introduction to Romania, meet the program staff and get an overview of procedures. You’ll learn about the history of Romania and Hungary, religion, festivals, customs and traditions, dress/clothing, safety issues, food, transportation and travel opportunities and go through details about your volunteer project and accommodation​.​ The afternoon includes an introduction to the Hungarian language and a city tour of Miercurea Ciuc​ which is​ provided by local volunteers.​ ​The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Introduction Week: This takes place during the first week of your program. This introduction week has an extra cost of US$540 (approximately AU$852) and is very popular among IVHQ volunteers. It includes everything on the One-Day Orientation as well as Hungarian lessons, trips to a castle, a Franciscan monastery, local villages, salt mines, a giant statue of Jesus Christ, museums, mountains and mineral springs. You’ll have the weekend free to do as you please before your specific placement orientation the following Monday. We recommend all volunteers take advantage of this week as it’s a great way to help settle the culture shock you can face when arriving in Romania.

The Introduction Week begins on your selected start date and your volunteer work will start the following week. If you wish to participate in the One-week Introduction, you’ll need to tell your IVHQ Program Manager in advance. You need to book a place and pay for this week before your volunteer program starts.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

Start times and daily workload depends on the project that you are volunteering on, with some beginning in the morning and some in the afternoon. A typical schedule is as follows:

8:00 AM Volunteers prepare their ​own ​breakfast at the accommodation.
9:00 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
1:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch. Volunteers either eat lunch at a local restaurant or, in some cases, at their placement.
3:00 - 5:00 PM Afternoon placements usually end. Volunteers are free to return to the volunteer accommodation, plan for the following day’s activities or use their free time as they wish.
7:00 PM Volunteers prepare their dinner at the volunteer accommodation and have the remainder of the evening free.

Weekends

Volunteers have the weekends free and there is no shortage of things to do in Harghita or further afield in Romania. Volunteers can fill their free time with local markets, adventure activities or simply exploring parts of Harghita. Romania is a popular tourist destination, offering beautiful nature and scenery, with great trekking, climbing, biking, rafting and kayaking opportunities. Volunteers who wish to take a long weekend to travel can enjoy beautiful limestone mountains and explore Old World Europe.

Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Romania and neighboring countries such as Hungary and Bulgaria. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Miercurea Ciuc, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are housed primarily in one of two adjacent volunteer apartments or in a cozy volunteer house, adding a sense of camaraderie and community to your stay. The smaller apartment comfortably hosts up to 8 volunteers of the same gender in one room, while the larger apartment, boasting three bedrooms, can accommodate up to 19 volunteers.

During the vibrant summer months, anticipate sharing your living space with 7 to 17 fellow volunteers in the female apartment and 4 to 8 in the male apartment. Throughout the rest of the year, the numbers usually range from 3-6 occupants per apartment.

The volunteer house is made up of four rooms, with each individual sharing a room with a same-gender roommate.

Conveniently situated within a 10 to 15-minute stroll from the local team’s office, your accommodation is set in a lively neighborhood filled with charming cafes and delicious restaurants. This prime location allows you to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy all the community has to offer. Bedding is thoughtfully provided, and towels are readily available upon request. For your convenience, a washing machine is at your disposal to keep your clothing and bedding fresh throughout your stay.

Stay connected with WiFi access available at both the volunteer apartments and house, as well as at numerous cafes and restaurants nearby. For seamless connectivity, consider purchasing a local SIM card with data for your unlocked mobile phone. Should you have any specific accommodation preferences, feel free to communicate them to your IVHQ Program Manager, and our dedicated local team will strive to accommodate your needs.

Join us in Romania and create unforgettable memories in a welcoming and supportive volunteer community!

Meals

Volunteers are provided with one cooked meal per day. This meal is provided either at a local restaurant or ​at your placement. Breakfast, dinner and weekend meals are self-​prepared using supplies in the volunteer accommodation. Food is purchased on a regular basis by the accommodation manager, and volunteers can place specific food requests with him if they wish.

If you choose to eat away from the accommodation, you can typically expect the main meal of the day to be lunch with two courses. The first course is always a traditional soup which is followed by the second course of potato or rice dishes, chicken, pork, goulash or stews and pasta dishes. Bread is commonly served with all meals and as it’s often made with potatoes it can be quite heavy. Vegetarians can expect to be offered either cheese or mushroom dishes as a general norm at restaurants.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately AU$519) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks $867 Equivalent to $62/day
3 weeks $1,134 Equivalent to $54/day
4 weeks $1,401 Equivalent to $50/day
5 weeks $1,664 Equivalent to $48/day
6 weeks $1,927 Equivalent to $46/day
8 weeks $2,453 Equivalent to $44/day
10 weeks $2,979 Equivalent to $43/day
12 weeks $3,491 Equivalent to $42/day
16 weeks $4,515 Equivalent to $40/day
20 weeks $5,521 Equivalent to $39/day
24 weeks $6,521 Equivalent to $39/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$519) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Romania generally find US$70 to be sufficient for weekly expenses including, transportation, water and miscellaneous spending.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Miercurea Ciuc

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Miercurea Ciuc! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Miercurea Ciuc program.

Hungarian and Romanian Language Lessons (One Hour Class)
Hungarian and Romanian Language Lessons (One Hour Class)

Eager to enhance your Hungarian or Romanian language skills while volunteering in Romania? Now is the perfect, cost-effective opportunity to boost your proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing these languages with confidence!

From AU$23
Hungarian and Romanian Language Lessons (Three Hour Class)
Hungarian and Romanian Language Lessons (Three Hour Class)

Eager to enhance your Hungarian or Romanian language skills while volunteering in Romania? Now is the perfect, cost-effective opportunity to boost your proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing these languages with confidence!

From AU$47

Hungarian and Romanian language lessons

We recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable Hungarian and Romanian lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by local language teachers. These language courses are organised during your program orientation and are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Hungarian or Romanian. We believe that taking these lessons can help you immensely with your day to day volunteer work and communicating with local people.

  • Three hour intensive private class = US$30 (recommended for short term volunteers)
  • One hour private class = US$15

These language lessons can be booked directly through IVHQ once you have registered for the Romania program.

Check what's required to visit Romania

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Bucharest
Population 20 Million
Languages Romanian
Currency Romanian Leu (RON)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

Romania has a temperate-continental climate with distinct seasons, cold winters and hot summers. Daytime temperatures in winter range from 0°C to 5°C and in the summers months 25°C to 30°C. The IVHQ Romania program is based in Transylvania where the average temperatures are a little more extreme than the average.

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