Are houses cheap in Romania?
Living in Romania: The cost of living, eating and living in Cluj
This article was published on June 5, 2019 by Orange - the young portal of the Handelsblatt.
As soon as I did my bachelor's degree in European Studies in Magdeburg, it was clear to me that my heart actually beats for medicine. I had already spent a semester abroad in Cluj and therefore knew that I wanted to study medicine here - you can attend the course in English here!
Prices in Romania: The cost of living, eating and living in Cluj
Unfortunately, I don't have time to work alongside my studies. I use the long summer vacation for this. In principle, however, it is possible to work on the side: as a tutor for German, for example, as a babysitter or waitress. The job as a waitress is a great opportunity for me to learn Romanian. The minimum wage here is only 2.68 euros, but life is also cheaper than in Germany.
You can live very nicely here! I pay 290 euros warm for my room. My friends pay an average of 250 euros for a room in a shared apartment, but you can get a place in the dormitory for 40 euros per month.
If you want an apartment, you can find some on Facebook pages such as Erasmus in Cluj, petite annonces or those of your respective degree program. However, unfortunately there is still no way around a broker. This receives a monthly rent commission, which is shared by the tenant and the landlord. You have one month's notice, but you can usually move in within a day.
When we talk about the housing market, I also have to say that Cluj is not representative of the whole of Romania. The city is relatively wealthy. The construction sector is booming and there are a lot of foreign, especially German companies that offer the residents well-paid jobs.
Accordingly, the rents here are higher than in the capital Bucharest, for example. Because the universities are among the best in the country, numerous female students from Germany and France are of course also driving up rents.
Prices in Romania: That costs train, bus and taxi
Public transport is cheap. A trip by bus or train costs around 50 cents. A monthly pass for two bus routes is available for the equivalent of six euros a month, and students can even use the regional train for free.
But mostly I run or take my bike, because there is always so much traffic here that you can just walk faster. What is really quite practical here: You can also afford a taxi here from time to time. You only pay around two euros for a 3 km journey. This is not only cheap, but also very convenient and safe, especially at night when you want to go home from partying.
Prices in Romania: The cost of cinema, clubs and concerts
In Romania, life is mostly outside. The countless bars, cafes and restaurants are also well frequented during the week. Depending on where you're going, you can eat pretty cheap - or spend as much as in Germany.
You can get a good pizza in my favorite restaurant for five euros, beer starts at 1.70 euros. I would rather recommend lemonades or freshly squeezed juices, because: Romania is lemonade world champion! I totally miss that in Germany. Half a liter of homemade lemonade costs € 2.20.
The cultural offerings in Cluj are diverse, large and affordable for female students. With a student ID you can go to the cinema for two euros. Practical here: The foreign films are always shown here in the original language with Romanian subtitles. Even in the theater there are subtitles in English, in Sibiu even a German.
If you like, you can also visit a Romanian and a Hungarian opera in Cluj: You can get the cheapest ticket here for the equivalent of 6.30 euros. Spring time in Cluj means: festival time! Be it a film festival, Jazz in the Park, the Festival of Books, the multiple street food festivals - almost everyone can celebrate to their liking.
Admission is actually always free, only the film screenings sometimes take admission. This can also be done more cheaply: for example in the Flying circus club, which shows films and series in the evenings free of charge all year round. There are concerts every Thursday in the Atelier Café. Techno and electronic fans will also be happy in Cluj. The Gazete is a pioneer here, entry costs just under three euros.
Prices in Romania: Here groceries are cheapest
Groceries are the cheapest on the market and also the tastiest, there's nothing like Romanian tomatoes in summer! But there is also Kaufland, Lidl or the Belgian Mega Image. I spend around 30 euros a week on groceries. Clothes and electronics cost just as much as they do at home. However, there are tons of outlets in Cluj.
Personally, I love the Oser flea market here! You can find everything here, every weekend: from wild garlic to bicycles and clothes! It's always a bit chaotic, but every time I find small and large treasures there - and of course there is also a lot to discover from a culinary point of view. Here I also meet the locals who are always ready for a chat.
Living in Romania: Most speak several languages fluently
What I like about Cluj is that it is so international. When I take to the streets, I hear people speak Romanian, Hungarian, German, French, English, Italian and Arabic. Overall, it is a very colorful cityscape, which is also due to the large number of students.
My English medicine course is available in French as well as Romanian. If you want, you can even study in German here. I never really had any problems with the language here. Most Romanians speak several languages fluently, some even speak German. The final farewell may of course only be in the national language: Pe curând!
* The author studies medicine in Cluj. Before that she did a Bachelor in European Studies in Magdeburg. Since her name does not want to appear on the Internet, we have changed the name.
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