Deep in the Carpathian Mountains lies the beautiful country of Romania.
A five hour journey by train from Bucharest through the Transylvanian Alps will bring you to Sighisoara one of the
most unspoiled and enchanting towns in Romania. Since 1997, undergraduate students
from Olivet Nazarene University have had the opportunity to do an international social work field placement with Veritas.
Veritas is a foundation that seeks to make a positive difference in the lives
of the people of Sighisoara through service to the community and families. Veritas
seeks to empower people to gain greater control over their lives in a post- communistic country.
Under the leadership of the Director of Veritas, an MSW, students have the opportunity to apply generalist
practice social work skills. Among the field placement sites for Olivet’s BSW students are Kid’s Club, a day program
for young children and outreach program to families, the Spital (hospital for sick children) where students work with abandoned
babies and toddlers, the Elderly Club, a drop in center for the aged and a support program to help families with a disabled
child deal with the bureaucracy. Each of these programs gives the students the opportunity to engage in needs assessment,
advocacy, social justice issues, policy interpretation and application, and intercultural communications.
During the four- month internship each social work student lives with a Romanian family. Each host family
must have one family member who speaks English. Social work students quickly gain an inside view of the culture and have the
opportunity to use the Romanian langrage on a daily basis.
Olivet Nazarene University social work students who have completed their field placement in Romania agree
that the experience was life changing and the best choice they could have made. Students also agree that even though they
chose a nontraditional field experience they were prepared to enter graduate school or to take a position in an agency.
Students spending a semester in Romania may never travel abroad again, but that is unlikely. For they have
experienced first hand the social work professions unique body of beginning practice knowledge, values, and skills that can
positively impact the world.