Romanian foreign exchange student enjoys the progressive culture and the opportunities that are available in the United States


Credit: Aidan Wilson

Sergiu looks through a video game store with his host Aidan Wilson. He enjoyed exploring a highly developed city like New York, as well as the myriad of cultural experiences he found there.

Going to a new school in a foreign country speaking your second language can be a daunting yet rewarding task. Sergiu-Mihai Ciavoi traveled the 4622 miles from his home country of Transylvania, Romania where he spent the last six weeks. He spent this time immersing himself in both American and the Hackley culture.

“I wanted an exchange program in the US and after looking through the various programs,  Hackley was the one for me because of the similarities between Hackley and my school and how long Hackley has been around,” Sergiu said.

Hackley has provided a great opportunity for Sergiu to continue what he loved back in Romania, specifically his interest in studying science. “I mostly study sciences because of the way our school system works and I love that I’ve been able to continue that here especially with Physics and Advanced Forest Ecology. The facilities here are really good.”

Sergiu also has immersed himself in the Hackley community by attending the Winter Coffeehouse, Snowball, and AGSA meeting.

“I’m very appreciative of the events Hackley has organized while I’ve been here like the Snowball dance and especially the AGSA meeting which was very interesting and is something we don’t have in Romania,” Sergiu said.

Sergiu has spent time not only immersing himself in Hackley culture but also with the culture in New York. He has found that he loves being in New York and appreciates the atmosphere that the city and its people bring.

“I like how open New York is in terms of both socially and activities to do, I wish Romania was more like that. We have a welcoming culture in Romania but I love how in New York you can become an American or New Yorker simply by moving here,” he said.

New York represents a lot of what Sergiu hopes for the future in Romania.

“The biggest difference between New York and Romania is the amount of development. Romania has only been really developing for the past 30 years whereas New York has been developing for hundreds. It is fascinating to see what Romania can become if they keep developing like New York has,” Sergiu said.

Sergiu’s visit was not only an amazing experience for him but for his host family as well.

“It was a great experience having Sergiu, I learned quite a bit about Romanian culture. It was fun to show off what we have in New York and watching him enjoy the experience was one of the best parts of having him,” Aidan Wilson said.