After-School Support Volunteer Project in Romania - Miercurea Ciuc
Inspired to be an After-School Support volunteer in Romania? International Volunteer HQ’s After-School Support project is a great way for volunteers to assist with programs that help disadvantaged children. Volunteers gain childcare experience while giving students time and attention after their school day ends, helping with homework and enhancing their self-esteem, confidence and motivation to better their lives.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$468 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Support and mentor students from disadvantaged backgrounds
Discovering Romania’s fascinating culture and history
Stay with other volunteers in the pretty city of Miercurea Ciuc
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Many Romanian children from disadvantaged backgrounds require extra support once their school day finishes. These children typically lack adequate care and attention and are underperforming at school. Volunteers help provide these children with a safe environment to continue learning and playing fun educational games.
As an After-school Support volunteer, you’ll be based with programs for students when their school day finishes. By spending time with the children who attend you’ll not only be helping them with their academic studies but also enhancing their self-esteem, confidence and motivation to better their lives. Volunteer duties can vary but usually include:
- Helping with homework
- Informal English lessons
- Games and activities
- Encouraging teamwork and collaboration
This is an open project with little structure, and volunteers are encouraged to bring new games and activity ideas for when the children have completed their homework. If you are creative, patient and proactive, this project is for you. The After School Support Project is not available during the summer holidays.
Those looking to volunteer during summer holiday dates can expect to be placed on the Summer Camp project. During other holidays, project work will be during the day, instead of after school. In both instances, the nature of volunteer work will remain the same.
Why do After School Support volunteering in Miercurea Ciuc with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with children in Romania you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged children
- Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining childcare experience
- Immersing yourself in Romanian culture
- Exploring Romania’s historic cities
- 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.
Romania photo gallery
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”I can only think of two words to describe my volunteering experience in Romania. Amazing and great. The people I met there were incredible. From the local team members, to my other fellow volunteers, and even the waiter at the local bar. We became very close in no time and made numerous memories that will last a lifetime. Furthermore, in my placement the kid...s helped me develop patience and spontaneity. I was there to help them with their homework and assignments and teach them English, but in the end, I think it was them who helped me develop these abilities and taught me some Hungarian. Overall I can say that my experience in Romania taught me to be grateful for what I have at home, to not take it for granted anymore, as it also opened my eyes to the fact that there are countries struggling even in the richest of continents, and it brought me together with people who think and act in a very similar way to how I do. If you are thinking of volunteering, don't hesitate and apply now. You will never ever regret it.” read more
Read reviews from After School Support volunteers in Miercurea CiucSee more reviews
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. Alternatively, you can arrive into Cluj Napoca Airport (CLJ) which will incur an additional pick up fee of 400 lei, US$100 (approximately CA$130). 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 traveling 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 socializing.
Introduction Week: This takes place during the first week of your program. This orientation week has an extra cost of US$300 (approximately CA$390) 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 Orientation 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 Orientation, 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
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.|
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 accommodated predominantly in one of two neighboring volunteer apartments. The smaller apartment accommodates up to eight volunteers per room. The larger apartment with three bedrooms accommodates up to 19 volunteers. Rooms are always separated by gender.
The accommodation is based centrally and is a 10-minute walk to the local team’s office, close to many cafes and restaurants. Bedding is provided and towels are available on request.
An accommodation manager lives in a self-contained apartment onsite, and is responsible for purchasing the food for the accommodation. A cleaner is provided twice a week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms and the common areas tidy. A washing machine is available for volunteers to keep their clothing and bedding fresh.
WiFi is available at the volunteer apartments, as well as at many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, you can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Volunteers can request a single room with access to communal bathrooms and kitchen, which is subject to availability. The cost for this accommodation upgrade is US$50 (approximately CA$65) per week and can be arranged with our local team once you have registered for the program.
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.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||CA$468 Equivalent to CA$67/day|
|2 weeks||CA$741 Equivalent to CA$53/day|
|3 weeks||CA$1002 Equivalent to CA$48/day|
|4 weeks||CA$1249 Equivalent to CA$45/day|
|5 weeks||CA$1483 Equivalent to CA$43/day|
|6 weeks||CA$1718 Equivalent to CA$41/day|
|8 weeks||CA$2186 Equivalent to CA$40/day|
|10 weeks||CA$2655 Equivalent to CA$38/day|
|12 weeks||CA$3124 Equivalent to CA$38/day|
|16 weeks||CA$4009 Equivalent to CA$36/day|
|20 weeks||CA$4894 Equivalent to CA$35/day|
|24 weeks||CA$5779 Equivalent to CA$35/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$389 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Romania generally find US$60 to be sufficient for weekly expenses including, transportation, water and miscellaneous spending.
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 organized 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 class - one person = US$25 (recommended for short term volunteers)
- One hour - one person = US$12.50
- One hour - five person group = US$4.50 per person
- Three hour intensive class - five person group = US$7 per person
Check what's required to visit Romania
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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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||Romanian Leu (RON)|
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.