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Animal Care Volunteer Project in Romania - Miercurea Ciuc

Animal Care Volunteer Project in Romania - Miercurea Ciuc

Purpose
Care for & rehome abandoned animals
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Duration
Choose from 1-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 8 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 16+, or 12+ accompanied
Accommodation
Dormitory-style volunteer apartments
Program fees
From CA$727 for 1 week
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 enjoy working with dogs, are interested in animal welfare and want to work outdoors.

Project details

Love pooches and hounds of all shapes and sizes and want to look after them as an Animal Care volunteer in Romania? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a great opportunity for volunteers to assist at local shelters for mistreated or abandoned dogs. Volunteers gain experience caring for animals while providing important support at the shelter which can house hundreds of dogs in need of loving care, attention and positive social experiences so they have the best chance of finding their forever homes.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Local dog shelters in Romania play a crucial role in rescuing stray dogs who have often been mistreated or abandoned, offering them essential care, and helping them find loving homes. Volunteers are vital in supporting the dedicated staff, ensuring that every dog receives the attention and care they deserve. Your involvement can make a real difference in the lives of these deserving animals, giving them a chance at a better future.

As an Animal Care volunteer, you’ll be an essential part of ensuring the well-being of the animals, offering them companionship, basic medical attention, and plenty of playtime. Your responsibilities will include:

  • Grooming and brushing the dogs
  • Conducting basic obedience training
  • Cleaning and maintaining the cleanliness of cages
  • Assisting with feeding routines and engaging the dogs in playtime
  • Ensuring the upkeep of shelter grounds
  • Occasionally taking dogs for walks
  • Creating positive social experiences for the dogs to enhance their adoptability.

Depending on the duration of your program, you may also have the opportunity to contribute to small construction projects at the shelter, engage in photography, assist with administrative tasks, and participate in community vaccination campaigns.

All dogs are fully vaccinated, ensuring a safe environment for both volunteers and animals. However, it is important to keep in mind that while the shelter in Miercurea Ciuc is in relatively better condition compared to some other shelters in Romania, it differs from Western European standards, so it’s important to be aware of this beforehand.

Please note: With hundreds of dogs residing there, the shelter often becomes muddy, so it’s advisable to dress appropriately for these conditions. Volunteers participating from October until February also need to be prepared for very cold conditions, as most project work is based outdoors. You can expect ​a lot of snow and​ for​ the terrain to be muddy.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Animal Care volunteering in Miercurea Ciuc with IVHQ?

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

  • Supporting local initiatives to care for neglected animals
  • Giving abandoned and stray dogs a chance to get rehomed
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining animal care experience
  • Immersing yourself in Romanian culture
  • Exploring Romania’s historic cities

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the local team.
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
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

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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!

...
RB
Rimma Brafman
25 Oct 2022

Don’t let the opportunity to experience a life changing adventure slip by. You are about to make unforgettable memories.

...
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 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 introduction week has an extra cost of US$540 (approximately CA$779) 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 CA$474) 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
1 week $504 Equivalent to $72/day
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 CA$474) 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
  • Personalized 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 CA$21
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 CA$43

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 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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