Work in Romania | Everything you need to know
Romanian Leu (lei)
Romania – country of Dracula, but also breathtaking mountains, castles and rich history, which experience widespread urbanization and industrialization. Expats move to Romania, driven out of curiosity, and end up surprising themself with their people and their humour. When looking for a job, they are often heading to its capital, Bucharest. Even though the majority of inhabitants are nationals, the international environment is pretty lively.
Read the article below to find out more about living and working in Romania.
Basic Facts (curiosities)
This southeastern European country with a capital city in Bucharest has an area of 238,397 km2. It is inhabited by over 19.1 million people and their national language is Lithuanian. Its Currency is Romanian leu (RON) and 1RON = 0.20EUR. Romania has a temperate-continental climate, which is characteristic of Central Europe. That means there are four reasons, with high-temperature thunderstorms in summer and cold winters. .
5 Curiosities about Romania
- In 2013 they made the world’s largest flag! It was over 5 tones of thread that measured 349 metres by 227 metres
- You can meet Europe’s largest mammal there. Bison can weigh around 630kg. They also have the largest population of brown bears.
- Bucharest’s vast Palace of the Parliament is the heaviest building in the world. This impressive building has an area of 365 000 m2. Inside you can find over 700 000 tons of steel and bronze used for doors and windows. Impressive!
- Romania also has the world’s record for the biggest bowl of goulash. It was 7 200 liters and it was listed in the Guinness World Records book in 2007.
- Bucharest is often called little Paris, they even have their own Arcul de Triumf!
Culture in Romania
Culture of Romania has been shaped by difficult history. Due to the occupation which happened, Romania is divided into three districts – east, west and south, and each of them has an unique cultural history. Nowadays over half of the population lives in urban areas. Even though modern life influenced the country a lot, there are regions still taking special care about folklore and you can even feel light-hearted competition between them. Language does not have any special dialect, however, it might vary because of the accent.
Generations may have different attitudes. Of course, it’s not a rule, but older members of the society, raised in times of communism, tend to be sentimental about past times and sceptical about the current. Meanwhile, younger generations are heading towards Western European countries, focusing on lifestyle from there. Even though at the beginning Romanians may seem guarded in relation to foreigners, after some time they become warm and hospitable.
Personal relationships are important in Romanian society. Often that’s how they get things done there. Similarly, with hierarchy, society became more status-conscious after the end of communism. Moving to Romania might be a little culture shock, but diversity is what makes our world so absorbing, isn’t it?
Cuisine in Romania
Romanian cuisine is a mixture of cultures, between the Turkish, Hungarians and western and central Europe, its food is characterized for being heavy and pork centred with all kinds of sour soup. It’s very savoury for their varied influences that leave with that satisfying feeling at the end. The Romanian national dish is the Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls) which are cabbage rolls stuffed with pork meat, some people say it has Turkish origins but this final dish and its quirky flavour has Romanian landmarks.
Besides Sarmale there are many famous dishes in Romania like
- Mici (Grilled Minced Meat Rolls): These meat fingers can be smelled from miles away, it’s very common to see them in cottage parties, barbecues, street food and birthday celebrations.
- Ciorbă de burtă (Beef Tripe Soup): One of the most famous soups in Romania, with its bold flavour it’s the perfect hangover remedy, it’s made of a mixture between tripe, garlic, chilli peppers and soured with vinegar.
- Pomana Porcului (Honoring The Pig): This Christmas tradition is fresh meat cut from a recently slaughtered pig and then fried in its own fat. It’s traditionally served with mămăligă a type of cornmeal porridge.
Work in Romania
Working in Romania may seem a bit difficult because of the competitive market, but with its growing economy there are always open offers, especially for skilled expats to enter the job market, but also those who manage high sought languages also have plenty of opportunities. The main industries offering job positions are the energy, resources and tourism industry. The work culture in Romania is based on respect and they manage a business in a hierarchical form where new associates don’t intervenes in the decision making, even so, they are open to different points of view if you express honesty with direct eye contact, this means respect for them so you will be taken seriously.
The minimum wage in Romania is about €500, it’s low but this is offset with a low cost of living, the working hours are normal 40 hours a week, 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. The annual leave is between 15 and 30 working days and it’s usually taken in August.
Work in Bucharest
This urban city brings that energetic feeling and their people are very friendly and open to expats. You may see families spending time together after working hours looking at the attractions in the city. Most of the people speak English fluently and once they realize you’re not from there they will change the language immediately.
Taxes in Romania
Once you decide to live in Romania, it’s important to visit the fiscal office (ANAF) in order to obtain your NIF, which is a number where you’ll be identified by the fiscal authorities in Romania, you can check ICI which documents you need. After this, you’re ready to start making contributions and your salary is registered to pay at the end of the fiscal year at a flat rate of 10%.
Finding accommodation in Romania
The choice of accommodation on the Romanian market is quite big. Despite it’s the most expensive aspect among costs of living, foreigners can still afford a babysitter or cleaner on a daily basis. Options range from apartments in Soviet-era buildings to newly renovated flats. Costs for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is €350 – €610, outside the city centre – €210 – €370
You should start your search before you actually go to Romania. Then you have enough time to take a look at as many offers as you need, you have time to compare and think about them. Most expats starting their journey with working and living abroad in Romania choose Bucharest, the capital city. E.g. Here you can take a look at the accommodations offered there. Except for Internet websites, follow some Facebook groups for people looking for a place to stay in the city you are heading to. Prices are often better on social media groups since no agency is intermediate between you and the landlord.
You will most likely have to pay utilities separately from rent, so take it into consideration while planning your budget.
Living cost in Romania
Despite the salaries being one of the lowest compared to other European countries, costs of living are proportional. In bigger cities like Bucharest or Timișoara, everyday expenses are higher than in suburbs or countryside, however, groceries, public transport and articles used on a daily basis are relatively cheap. The most expensive thing to take care of while in Romania is accommodation.
Check examples of expenses below, so you will have an overview of how you have to organize your budget.
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Accomodation*||200 – 300|
|Public transport (daily metro ticket)||1.62|
|Mobile rate (per one minute)||0.04|
|Ticket de cinéma||4.20|
|Fitness club pass||30|
|Une pinte de bière||1.17|
*Les prix peuvent varier en fonction du quartier, du nombre de personnes vivant dans l'appartement et des équipements.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Romania
Romanian people seem to be harsh at first sight, but once you meet them you will realize they are actually very warm and welcoming towards expats, tha the vast majority of Romanians speak English fluently and are willing to help lost foreigners. The principal barrier for expats trying to live in Romania would be with language at work since it’s necessary to manage at least a basic level of Romanian, but there are many courses available to learn the language. With great connections towards the country and the rest of Europe, Romania is a perfect place for those travellers looking to make savings and travel around Europe thanks to its low living cost. If you want to start your journey in this beautiful country of warm and humoristic people, don’t hesitate to check our offers in Bucharest
Where to Learn Romanian
National language is Romanian, and this is the language dwellers use the most, second is Hungarian. Most of the society speaks English and uses it gladly, but for a professional environment, at least basic knowledge of Romanian is required.
You can take a course both on-site or online. In the first case, after arrival, you can sign up for a free Romanian course, where you will learn not only language but also the basics of culture. Find offers like this: rolang.ro on the internet and sign up. Another available option is language courses online, you can easily find both free and paid ones, e.g. loecsen ou learnro and start even before departure!
And last but not least, when you arrive, don’t be afraid to speak Romanian on a daily basis, in a grocery shop or at work. Nationals will be so happy to hear you trying, it will help you to make friends easier!
With their warm, humoristic people and their low living cost, Romania it’s a great choice to start your work abroad journey. Also, you will be able to travel to other European countries from here. Their business culture will mould you in a good and respectful way where you can learn about proper business etiquette. With its work-life balance you will be amused with all the places and historical landscapes this country has to offer from vibrant cities, art, culture and delicious food. This is probably the most underrated country in Europe. If you want to work abroad in Romania, just contact us and we will help you with the entire process.