Living in the roller coaster ride of a city that is Istanbul was pretty intense and something I look back on everyday with fondness. But, onwards and upwards as they say to the next destination…. Drum-roll……Romania! I managed to get a summer camp job with a rather prestigious (in the EFL world) language school based in Bucharest. This involved a brief stint in Bucharest (centrally located hotel paid for by the school) and four weeks of hard work and toil in the most beautiful of and underrated of places, Transylvania.
ESL summer camps are never easy, usually involving working from morning until night teaching and entertaining students ensuring that the rich families decide to send their children back to the same camp again next year. The camp in Romania was certainly not as laborious as others I have been (un)fortunate enough to work at, but it was still bloody tiring. But then,waking up to this view made it entirely worth it.
Then there’s the fact that I got a unique insight into a country that would not otherwise be possible through spending a week or two as a tourist. Everyday we ate (delicious) Romanian cuisine (an eclectic compilation of various influences, Ottoman, Hungarian, Serb, German and of course traditional Romanian), worked alongside native Romanian teachers and had the pleasure of teaching the most respectful, eager to learn students I have ever come across.
Staying in a village a fifteen minute drive away from the infamous Bran (made so through it’s castle marketed as Dracula’s own) and a forty five minute drive from the wonderful Brasov, stolen evenings and the much needed free time awarded on Sundays were utilised exploring these wonderful places.
Post-camp I had enough time to revisit Bucharest and to spend some down-time in picturesque Sibiu, labelled by Matador as one of the last storybook towns in Europe and by Forbes as Europe’s “eighth most idyllic place to live”, before jetting off for a last minute position at a summer camp in exciting Portsmouth..
More to come on the time spent in one of the most intriguingly charming countries I have ever visited….