And I came in October 2002. I was the only one to ask for a transfer and those in London looked through the papers to know what to do. The same thing happened in Romania. Foreigners come here with scholarships for only six months. The officials in London advised me to think twice as there was a small faculty and we knew each other?s names and they sent me to an adviser to whom I explained why I wanted to leave. When I came for the first time I asked the Dean what department I should go to. He told me that, having a transfer, I had to go to the same department Russian-Romanian or Romanian- Russian. I chose Russian-Romanian and he told me that if I changed departments I had to sit a lot of exams. Before Christmas I learned that I had 17 exams to sit because they hadn?t validated anything. They merely told me that they would validate my exams if I gave them the previous register sheet. I had put it in the file but those in the secretariat hadn?t even looked in the file. They told me that I was the one to go to look for the professors. It seemed terrible to me because if they had told that to me in September it would have been something else, but to tell me one month before the exams and to give me a sheet of paper: here you are, there are 17 exams you have to sit besides the 9-10 exams you normally have to sit? It?s very badly organized!
They have finally validated all my exams with Russian but no exam with Romanian because I had studied Romanian as a foreign language and the students here had studied it as a native language. They had studied a lot of things I had never heard of in my life. I still have to pass an exam from the first year at school-psychology which they told me I had to sit.
We got married in December 2002 and we rented a one-roomed flat in Frumoasa.
If you want to know how education in Romania seemed to me in comparison with the one in London I should say that there are too many classes. I have 26 classes a week here and I had 13 classes a week in London, much too many useless classes, things which don?t help us speak the language. I think that if I study a language I study it to speak it not to learn its history, although a little of general culture is harmless. It seemed to me that I could speak Russian better after the first year in London than I speak now after the second year. I had been for a month in Russia, I was making mistakes, but I could make myself understood. They organized a month in Russia at the end of the first year and half a year during the third academic year. Here I can leave during the semester with a scholarship and when coming back all the exams in Russian are validated but not the ones in Romanian. Nobody has classes there in the third year, so you don?t miss anything and you don?t have to recover anything but here you have to recover a lot of things.
I could boast that I succeed in adapting myself to almost anything. I don?t miss the luxury at home? I have found a very good hostess who allowed us to do all the changes we wanted, so we made a hole in the wall for the washing machine and for the water heater because there is no hot water in that district. My father supported me both there and here and I haven?t started working yet.
The strangest things over here seemed to be the homeless dogs because there are very many in the street and they would follow you. You can hardly see a homeless dog in Brussels, perhaps if you go somewhere in a district, but here they are everywhere, it doesn?t depend on district, it depends on the dog and where he feels like walking. I am also annoyed by the organization of the faculty, of its secretariat; in fact it seems to me a lack of organization. In England I was told that in December I had to sit this and that exam because, if you change the profile you sit the same exams. They should have told me: look, you will have the school psychology exam in the first year. Here they didn?t tell me anything until I asked. I didn?t know that I had to pay for the extra exams until a fellow student didn?t tell me that she had received a notification letter to pay, or otherwise she would be expelled! You have to ask because you won?t learn anything if you don?t and this seems difficult for me.