Blog - Studenti romani in strainatate

  • Edinburgh University Romanian Society launches a career mentoring scheme

    Edinburgh University Romanian Society (EuRoSoc) is a well-established student society with an excellent portfolio of activities. In 2013, the society plans to expand its services by providing a career mentoring scheme, to cater for a community of over 200 students.

    EuRoSoc was founded in 2007 by a small, tight nit group of 11 Romanian students. Their vision for the society was that of a portal for promoting Romanian culture to their new friends and colleagues in Scotland, to introduce them to the Romania they knew and loved.

    From 2008, the University of Edinburgh was very successful in recruiting large numbers of Eastern European students who were eager to take advantage of free higher education in a world-class, research-intensive university.

    University of Edinburgh intake of Romanian students 2007-2012

    Year of entry

    No of students

    2007/08

    11

    2008/09

    31

    2009/10

    45

    2010/11

    48

    2011/12

    53

    2012/13

    38

    TOTAL

    226


    Within 3 years, thanks to a constant inflow of Romanian students, EuRoSoc grew from a handful to a healthy 90 registered members. It quickly spread its wings both within and beyond the University by attracting international students as well as members from outside the University community, local Romanian expats in particular.

    Early on, EuRoSoc focused mainly on charity work. One of the society’s longest running and most enjoyable fundraising initiatives is the Christmas Shoebox Appeal, which involves sending aid to disadvantaged families in Eastern Europe. It is a joint initiative with Link to Hope, http://linktohope.co.uk/, an organisation initially set up to send aid to Romania but which is now providing relief across Eastern Europe. Many other student societies at the University have joined the effort, the Bulgarian Society in particular.

    “We were all pleasantly surprised by how receptive and supportive the locals and other students were. In fact, our first charity event, the Christmas Shoebox Appeal, turned into an international venture; we had student volunteers from all over the University!” Laurentiu Prodan, Informatics graduate, founding member of EuRoSoc

    Promoting Romanian culture lies at the centre of all of the society’s activities. In its early days, when it was too small and did not have sufficient resources to invest in significant activities of its own, the society focused on contributing to and enhancing existing initiatives, such as the Scottish Romanian Language Link (ScRoLL), which gives students from the UK the opportunity to spend up to a month in Romania where they teach conversational English to school children.

    By 2012 the EuRoSoc felt big enough to take on a major event, the 5th Conference of Romanian Students, Professors and Scientists (CSPCR) in the UK, http://cspcr.org. It was the first time CSPCR had been held outside London and, with 140 Romanian students studying a broad range of disciplines, Edinburgh was the obvious choice. The conference was a great success, attracting almost 200 delegates from all over the UK. The main topic of discussion was research excellence and its impact on the economy and culture of both the UK and Romania. Speakers included: Mr Bogdan Olteanu, Deputy Governor of The National Bank of Romania; Professor Dumitru Miron, Dean of International Relations at the Academy of Economic Sciences in Bucharest; Mrs Anne-Marie Martin, Director General, Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe; Dr Colin Adams, Director of Commercialisation, School of Informatics.

    “I was very happy when the Romanian Embassy agreed to hold the conference in Edinburgh and over the moon when the University offered to host us in the most glamorous venue in town, Playfair Library! The atmosphere was great and the organisation flawless. I was very impressed with the team of students. It must have been hard for them to put on a major event during semester time but they did it and, as a result, the Romanian Society at the University of Edinburgh has grown in stature.”Diana Sisu, Edinburgh graduate, MA Hons Linguistics (2007)

    The conference demonstrated that there is strength in numbers so in 2013 EuRoSoc will focus on recruiting new members, international students in particular. Growth will be achieved through closer engagement with other student societies at the University of Edinburgh, the wider Romanian community in Scotland, as well as relevant Romanian NGOs such as the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, http://www.icr-london.co.uk/.

    Informatics, Engineering and Arts are the most popular subjects among Romanian students at the University of Edinburgh


    Business School

    4

    Edinburgh College of Art

    11

    Divinity

    3

    Economics

    1

    Law

    2

    Literatures, Languages and Cultures

    3

    Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

    6

    Social and Political Sciences

    1

    Medicine

    2

    Biological Sciences

    10

    Chemistry

    2

    Engineering

    22

    Geosciences

    9

    Informatics

    49

    Mathematics

    7

    Physics and Astronomy

    7


    Given that internationalisation of the curriculum and student experience is a priority for the University of Edinburgh, EuRoSoc is currently investigating the possibility of developing an undergraduate level course in Romanian language, to add to the number of foreign language courses offered by the Division of European Languages and Cultures.

    Another major priority for the society is to keep in touch with alumni. Over 80 Romanian students have graduated from the University just in the last 5 years. Powered by the Edinburgh entrepreneurial spirit, many of them have developed successful research and business careers.

    Of course, it is not all hard work and no fun. EuRoSoc is also a social network, much appreciated by freshers. All of its activities have the element of fun. One of the first activities in its annual calendar of events is the Bake Sale, which involves preparing and selling traditional Romanian cakes and pastries to raise funds for the Christmas Shoebox Appeal. They go on trips and join in all the local celebrations such as the Bonfire Night.

    Radu Oprescu, newly elected president of EuRoSoc said:
    “I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as the President of EuRoSoc. In 2012, I enjoyed very much being part of the organising committee for the very successful 5th edition of the Conference of Romanian Students, Professors and Scientists in the UK, hosted by the University of Edinburgh. In 2013, my colleagues and I are looking for new and exciting initiatives for Society to engage in. We will mainly focus on developing a career mentoring programme, where current students and recent graduates will share their experience and expertise and support each other in developing career ideas. Prospective students will also be encouraged to approach for advice on studying in Scotland. We will, of course, continue with our existing activities. We’ve had a thrilling start, having organized several fundraising events in cooperation with six other student societies.”

    About Radu: currently studying MInf (Master of Informatics) at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh; Erasmus Ambassador – British Council (2013); Campus Ambassador – Bank of America; Bank of America Technology Intern (2013); Erasmus Scholarship in Barcelona (2012-2013); Class representative – School of Informatics (2010-2013).

    For further information about EuRoSoc and its engaging programme of activities, please visit https://sites.google.com/site/edinburghrosoc.

    EuRoSoc founding members – where are they now?

    • Laurentiu Prodan, Informatics Masters, 2012 - now working as an Investment Banker at CITI, London, UK
    • Elena Sotropa, MA Hons Business Studies and Economics, 2010 -  went on to study for an MSc in Management & Strategy at the London School of Economics, now working as a Management Consultant at Société Générale, London, UK
    • Raluca Voinica, MA Hons Business Studies and Economics, 2011 - now working as a Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bucharest, Romania
    • Eduard Andrei Ciocanescu, studied International Business and Economics in Edinburgh as a visiting student in 2008 – went on to PhD studies at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Sciences, now works as Senior Associate at JP Morgan Chase & Company, lives in London, UK
    • Vlad Dorunga, Business Studies & Economics, 2010 – self-employed, lives in Bucharest, Romania

    If you would like to publish any of the information contained in this article, please contact Radu Oprescu, r.c.oprescu@gmail.com.

    Material realizat de 

    Radu Constantin Oprescu, President Edinburgh University Romanian Society
    Diana Sisu, Vice-President Scottish Romanian Society, Edinburgh