Before I arrived in Cluj-Napoca, I, together with my colleague and professors from both universities had online meetings to discuss and establish the objectives of our project. Thai honeys were brought to Cluj-Napoca to perform the analysis, and me and my Thai colleague attended the classes of “Art of tasting and sensory analysis” together with students from the master program Gastronomy, Nutrition and Dietetics during our two months mobility. All of them were Romanian so I was extremely happy to share the Thai honeys with them in the sensory analysis practical seminar! I also tasted Romanian honeys and I was surprised about the sensory test and about the types of honeys as well. I experienced a lot of new things in this class, including taste, aroma, flavors, food pairing, spices, food Neophobia, Thai and Romanian honey tasting. During my mobility, my professor, Laura Stan, also invited us to look around the pilot units: dairy, meat, bakery, and alcoholic stations. It was a precious experience to know how the foods were produced and to discover that were delivered and sold to university’s shop and canteen.
For our Thai honey project, I experienced a lot with honeys to improve my sensory skill, and I was guided by my professors, and two honey tasting experts, how to taste, smell and how to get the right flavor. This was my first time to work with honeys. I had a chance to visit the laboratories for chemical analysis of honey (sugars – HPLC) and pollen analysis and we also worked on the honey publication synthesis and discussion for a manuscript. I have read more than 20 publications during my stay in Romania!
I paid 800 Lei per month that covered everything. I stayed in Agronomia dormitory, located nearby a bus stop, a shopping mall, supermarkets, the park etc. Each room is for two persons, randomly assigned, so you can surprisingly get a new roommate. There is a refrigerator with freezer and bathroom in each room. Each floor has a shared kitchen, where you can meet new friends and can talk and spend time together. Of course, you have to keep the kitchen room always clean! This dormitory has laundry room that included 3 washing machines, except dryer machine. Nevertheless, this dorm has elevator!
The Human Experience
My classmates were very nice, active and friendly. One of my friends invited me to join the strange museum where she does her part-time job. Not only my classmates, but the Romanian people are also very helpful. There are many museums, where you can see a lot of things, and attend the events in this city with your friends. Moreover, I went to the opera house with my friend and professor for my first time ballet and opera. I really appreciated it!
This city has all you need! You can travel by bus for free on Friday, the program is called “Green Friday”. If you need to take a bus, you have to pay a ticket by cash/card before taking the bus, but if you have a transport card/ debit card/ credit card, you can pay by touching the device for ticketing on the bus too. The city buses cover most of the area in Cluj-Napoca. You can charge the card at any bus stop.
During my stay, my professor always took me out to the restaurants, especially traditional food restaurants, so one more thing I would like to share with you is FOOD! Romanian traditional food is so good, and I loved going to “Valahia restaurant”, one restaurant close to my dormitory. As I am an Asian girl, I searched some Asian shops in the city, and I found “Taste of Asia”, where you can buy Asian ingredients and stuffs!
Cluj-Napoca are waiting for you to explore it!
In my opinion, Erasmus+ grant covers everything quite well. Erasmus staff is prompt and active. I had an unforgettable experience with Erasmus, so I would love to recommend this to everyone!