Curator: Dr. Allan B. Cruse, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of San Francisco

                    Minicourse resources development project

Getting Acquainted with Contemporary Romania

"There exists a high interest in Romania right now. This is a country
that is still undiscovered, but in which the foreigners are very much interested."

Gabriela Szabo, Romanian Olympic track and field champion, in Agerpress on 20 August 2013.


"Romania is currently at the very core of the European family..."
Rt. Honorable John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, UK Parliament, 28 May 2013

Evolving list of course topics:
"Bucharest is the most interesting city in Europe... "
Writer Paul Wood, owner of Apple Search UK, from ROMANIA-INSIDER, 19 March 2013

Recommended Readings:
"I feel quite lucky that I decided to stick around myself, as the more I stay
in Bucharest, the more I discover a city that deserves to be noticed by more people."

World traveller Derek Earl Baron (aka "Wandering Earl"), professional tourguide and internet blogger,
from his online essay at, 21 May 2012


"I believe that Romania is one of the world's best-kept secrets."
Kara Nonnemacher, a college junior from Iowa during a semester in Romania, from her essay
"Romania: So much more than a fly-over country" in Lake County News-Chronicle, 15 Nov 2013

"Romania is emerging as a star in the region."
Greg Konieczny, manager of Fondul Proprietatea, quoted in The Diplomat, 19 Nov 2013

"[M]y country is now the fastest-growing economy in the EU"
Dr. Ion Jinga, Ambassador of Romania in the UK, Huffington Post UK, 2 Jan 2014

"One of Romania's biggest strengths is its wealth of technical talent."
Journalist Allison Coleman, "Europe's Hidden Entrepreneurial Tech Hotbed; Romania Powers Up,"
in FORBES Magazine, 27 March 2014

"20 per cent of our experts in cyber security are from Romania."
Rob Wainwright, head of Europol -- the 28-nation European Union's law enforcement agency,
speaking to a press conference in Bucharest on 23 April 2015

"I think Romania will become Europe's tiger..."
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, quoted in ActMedia, Romanian News Agency, 27 November 2013

"Romania has the potential to become a top tourist destination."
H.E. Hans Klemm, U.S. Ambassador to Romania, quoted in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 29 October 2015

"Events of the past 12 months suggest global investors are finally
waking up to Romania's charms."

Emerging markets journalist Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker, in EUROMONEY MAGAZINE, 4 January 2014

"Romania's economy has on average performed better than the rest
of the EU and prospects in the Balkan country look brighter than elsewhere."

Correspondent James Fontanella-Khan, in FINANCIAL TIMES, 12 January 2014

"[I]mport of organic corn into US from Romania has risen from $545,000
in 2013 to more than $11.6 million in 2014, just in a gap of one year."

Devinder Sharma, Food and trade policy analyst, APB News India, 8 May 2015

"Romania is no longer an emerging market, it is a consolidated one."
CEO Inaki Berroeta, Vodafone Romania, quoted in NINE O'CLOCK newspaper, 27 January 2014

"Romania's economic growth outpaced most of Europe last year, and
we believe the Romanian economy can continue to grow at a similar or even higher
pace than the 2.8% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) seen in 2014."

Mark Mobius PhD, Emerging Markets Fund Manager, Franklin-Templeton Investments, quoted from
his online commentary at, 30 April 2015

"I sincerely believe that the opportunities are now in Romania, not
somewhere else."

Romanian physician and business leader Dragos Anastasiu, President of Eurolines, quotation
from the ROMANIA-INSIDER English-language newspaper, 1 September 2015

"Romania has gained a reputation for unspoiled natural beauty and
well-preserved historic architecture, without the commercialism of more established
tourist industries."
Anne-Marie O'Connor, book author and travel writer for the LOS ANGELES TIMES, 15 August 2015

"My favorite jeans, which I wear all the time, were bought from
a thrift store in Romania."

British actor-writer-designer Nicky Haslam, quoted in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, 25 April 2013

"The Romanian culture is extremely rich and takes one straight
to the essence of things where the soul breathes."

Yvette Larsson, guest writer for ROMANIA-INSIDER newspaper, 28 February 2014

"There are things here that are unique and you just take the time to
do them. Even just walking down the street, looking at doors, the architecture of
the houses, little things you take pictures of, things that America doesn't have."

Randy Tharp, American architect living in Bucharest, ROMANIA-INSIDER, 04 April 2014

"One of my oldest friends recommended that I go to Romania. I had
brought a map of the world and been throwing darts at it trying to figure out where
to go, and Romania kept coming up, so I went there and I fell in love with it, it was
everything I wanted and more."

Photographer Laura Pannack, quoted in "Photographing the folkloric mythologies of rural Romania",
British Journal of Photograpy, 21 October 2016

"Romania fosters a less materialistic environment and values simplicity.
...These are people who have less but do more with it."

American author and comparative philosophy professor Michael S. Jones, a second-time Fulbright
Scholar and a seventh-time visitor to Romania, quoted in, 12 May 2014

"Visit Romania today and you'll find a vibrant, modern country. The
cities are thriving, full of young entrepreneurs and innovative businesses trying
to make their mark."

Jane Bradley, freelance journalist in Scotland at THE SCOTSMAN newspaper, 24 May 2014

"I just came from a meeting with Irish diplomat David Costello, who
told me that the standard of living of Ilfov, the county that surrounds Bucharest,
is an astonishing 105% of the European Union average."

P. V. E. Wood, internet blogger and alumnus of Cambridge University, online in "A Political
Refugee from the Global Village", 4 July 2014

"When I first came here I loved Romania because it was really an
emerging market...but then things started to change at great speed. Every time
I came back you had new businesses set up [and] all of a sudden, you had an
Ikea there. You have pedestrian areas, you have cafes, you have young people
hanging out, you have these white collar guys hanging on their mobiles. It's like
any other European place."

Henning Esskuchen, Head of CEE Equity Research, Erste Group, in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 27 May 2014

"I just really like it here, there is a different vibe in this country."
Christine Lippe, an expat from Denmark living in Bucharest, quoted in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 31 July 2014

"A few months ago I had the chance to go to Romania and I have to
say I just fell in love with that country, especially with their music and movies."

Andre Yurcu, contributor to the MOVIEPILOT.COM community internet blog, 28 July 2015

"Yes, I have been invited to be on the feature film jury in Romania.
I've been on all the major festival juries in the world, so when I got invited to
Romania and a chance to see the newest line-up of films from that country,
I said yes."

Michael Kutza, Chicago International Film Festival founder, interviewed in ChicagoNow, 27 May 2014

"[T]he idea that Romania is a poor country is not really correct.'s actually a really nice country and well worth going there on holiday."

Jonathan Sheldrake, Senior Director Business Development Europe, Swindon UK, quoted in
the SWINDON ADVERTISER online, 24 December 2014

"Romania is a dynamic country, a rising star, authentic, and moreover,
it has not turned into a museum... we believe in Romania's future as regards tourism
and innovation."

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the U.N. World Tourism Organization, quoted in GlobalPost, 11 Sept 2014

"Romanians are generally well educated and many are very well traveled.
There's a sense of love for the country, pride, the will to improve things, and a generally
positive outlook on life."

Jim Bagnola, an American international speaker, executive coach and consultant, quoted in NINE O'CLOCK
English-language newspaper, 10 June 2015

"Romania is an extremely important partner to us within EU [and] NATO."
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, quoted in THE ROMANAN JOURNAL, 7 January 2016

"People who discover Romanian wines are astounded at their quality."
Swiss Ambassador to Romania Jean-Hubert Lebet, quoted in news agency Agerpress, 4 June 2014

"Romania is a country we're keeping in our sights, since we see a
growth trend there."

Josip Kardun, CEO of Atrium Real Estate Ltd., quoted in Haaretz Israeli News, 30 Aug 2015

"Romania is going to be the country where we will grow the most."
Moshe Greidinger, CEO, Cinema City International, quoted in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 25 April 2014

"There's a new level of excitement in Romania around the tech start-up
scene. We are growing quickly and ready to take on the world. ... People are used
to starting with nothing in Romania and growing something from that."

Florin Cornianu, CEO and co-founder of Romanian start-up 123ContactForm, quoted in Press Release
Rocket, 11 December 2014

"I went to high school in Timisoara and that's where I first started studying
Physics. I won a local Physics contest and I was encouraged to pursue my studies.
The education I received in Romania helped me a lot and made my life easier when I
moved to Germany."

Dr. Stefan Hell, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, quoted in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 9 October 2014

"Romania is rich in talent and resources: its best days are ahead."
Romania-born American poet Andrei Codrescu, Louisiana State University Professor Emeritus,
quoted in NEW EASTERN EUROPE quarterly journal, 31 January 2014

"I'm thankful for my trip to Romania. It was life changing ... "
Wyoming honor student Kendall Wren, who just returned from a volunteer trip to Romania,
quoted in Thanksgiving Week issue of The Casper Journal, 23 November 2014

"I've traveled from one side of Romania to the other over the past
15 years and was warmly welcomed and received by absolutely everyone
from villagers to urban sophisticates in Bucharest and I have nothing but love
in my heart for that beautiful country and the good people of Romania."

American writer Sam cel Roman who moved to Romania in 2000, from his internet blog, 27 July 2014

"Romania was a very welcoming and warm place and it's a very
interesting place because you'll be somewhere in the city where there's every
modern convenience you can possibly imagine and then you travel 20 minutes
out of the city and there are horse-drawn carriages..."

Canadian actor Victor Webster, on what it was like to film "Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power" on
location in Romania, as quoted in the online newspaper, 13 January 2015

"I met some of the nicest people in my life in Romania (and some
of the best food!)."

American graphic designer Claibourn Robert Hamilton, from his interview in ILGA-EUROPE,
18 September 2016

"Romania is an inclusive and open society and as a Scotsman I have
only ever been welcomed..."

Scottish writer and cartoonist Peter J. Herron, who moved to Bucharest in 2014, quoted in the online
newspaper THE COURIER, 28 June 2016

"Romania? I had no idea what Romania was. We went there... It was the
best vacation I ever had."

Andreas Bjerke, Norweigan travel company manager, quotation from the short YouTube documentary
"Meanwhile in Bucharest," posted 14 July 2014

"Romania has remained among one of the few undiscovered destinations
in Europe, which is surprising, given its cultural and architectural richness, its sophisti-
cated and welcoming society, and its vibrant culture and world-class nightlife."

Ryan Bennett, Product Manager, Bentours, TravelTalk Magazine, 1 August 2017

"Nowhere is perfect, but Transylvania is close!"
British author Mike Ormsby, quoted by Romanian writer Matt Sampalean in his internet blog
entitled "Expat in Romania", posted on 11 May 2015

"I tell you very honestly: we probably have the most spectacular
landscapes in Europe. It's worth discovering them!"

Klaus Iohannis, formerly the Mayor of Sibiu and currently the President of Romania, quoted
in ROMANIA JOURNAL, 19 September 2016

"It is about time we started showing to the world our beautiful places
and traditions, ... and, maybe the most important, the incredibly beautiful spirit of
the people here."

Alin Petrache, Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee President, from Dunsar Media, 13 Dec 2014

"Even though I dislike a lot of things about Romania, I wouldn't want to leave."
Romanian film director-writer-producer Paul Negoescu, age 30, interviewed at Cannes Film Festival in France
and quoted in East European Film Bulletin, 24 May 2012

"There must have been something that drew me back and caused me to
eventually stay in Romania. My children whenever they come to Romania even now
still find it a fascinating country full of life and vigour."

British-born attorney Nicholas Hammond, who first came to Bucharest from London in early 1990, from
his essay "Romania 26 Years Ago" published in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 21 January 2016

"Five years ago, I used to walk on the deserted streets of the old town of
Bucharest, dreaming at the days of the last Century when this area it was full of life.
Now, the same Old Town is the center of Bucharest's nightlife. Everything has
completely changed in just five years."

Romanian blogger Ovidiu Muresan, from his essay "The Wild Heart of the City," posted June 2015

"[T]ourists in Bucharest will be impressed with the smile of everyone
there, a real and very sweet smile, which you don't get to see in other parts of the

Architect and Urban Planner Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism
Organization (UNWTO), from THE ROMANIA JOURNAL, 24 June 2016

"I can hardly wait to return to Romania. You have the most beautiful festival
in the world."

Zubin Mehta, Music Director for Life of the Israel Philiharmonic Orchestra, and newly appointed chairman
of the George Enescu International Music Festival, quoted by the Associated Press, 2 September 2015

"Forever 21 firmly believes that Romania has a high potential. We are
glad that we can announce the opening of our first store in Bucharest..."

Alexandros Doukas, CEO of the Forever 21 international franchise based in Los Angeles, quoted in
ROMANIA-INSIDER, 26 January 2016

"It's your attitude and approach and how you operate in the country that
determines what happens, and to me the fact that everyone regards Romania as
difficult creates an opportunity for me. I don't have every man and his dog crawling
all over the place as competitors. We have this first mover status. We can get into
the sweet shop first."

Roy Pitchford, a native of Zimbabwe now living in Bucharest, is CEO of Vast Resources PLC, a mining
and materials company based in the United Kingdom, quoted in, 4 Dec 2015

"Romania serves as a huge resource for outsourcing, because of the
young talent we have ... well-trained in IT and foreign languages ... and we have
a saying in MGW, that Romania is more pro-American than America itself."

Nadia Crisan, senior vice president with McGuireWoods MGW Consulting, quoted in THE DIPLOMAT
online journal, 22 March 2016

"Romania is a country renowned for its fast internet connection speed
and its vibrant startup scene."

Business writer Stephen McGrath, quoted from his article "Uber has Found a Perfect Fit in Romania,
But Why?" published in Forbes magazine, 9 May 2016

"We invest here because it's a good place to find highly trained employees.
Romanians are well educated and most of all they are problem solvers. They try resolve
things when others just stop."

Safra Catz, CEO at Oracle Crporation, quoted in ROMANIA-INSIDER, 20 May 2014

"And it is important to listen to Romania. It has successfully emerged from
its authoritarian past, and it has led the way in establishing a business climate that has
attracted more foreign investors than almost anywhere else in Eastern Europe."

Steven L. Hall, a retired member of the CIA Senior Intelligence Service and writer for STRATFOR Global
Intelligence reports, published on 20 February 2016

"Romania has become a very attractive place, with a growing culture of
entrepreneurship and an unsaturated ecosystem of startups."

Canadian entrepreneur Alec Saunders, Senior Director at Microsoft Ventures, quoted in the online
ROMANIA-INSIDER English-language newsper, 22 June 2016

"A small country with many luminaries!"
American computer science professor George Ledin Jr., Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park,
California, in email on 14 September 2016

"Since joining the EU in 2007, Romania has undergone substantial
changes, holding itself to a European standard of goods and services offered, a
dedication to environmentalism and sustainability, and making attractive destinations
for tourists accessible and affordable."

Laura Kelly, Writer and Editor for the Jerusalem Post, 7 June 2016

"[T]he small medieval city of Cluj, Romania, has become an unlikely
breeding ground for the next generation of art stars."

Culture writer Zeke Turner in "Art Matters," NEW YORK TIMES, 22 November 2013

"It's interesting to me that, perhaps because Romania was held back
from the modern world for so long, its young people now burst forth with such vigor
and creativity. And in another sense, the fact that they were held back now makes
them especially fresh and interesting to Americans."

American novelist Stephen B. Coleman, Jr., author of "The Navigator", quoted with permission from
a private email communication, 8 May 2016

"[I]t turns out that not only do we know hardly anything about Romania but
what we do know isn't even true."

British novelist and travel writer Carole Cadwalladr, author of "Romania: hellhole or country of romance
and mystery?", published by The Guardian, 20 March 2016

Website launched on 26 MAR 2013; last updated on 01 AUG 2017
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