• The scholarship I received from REF was important financial assistance at a time when I had many college admissions expenses. It was also an important encouragement for me and a sign I should continue to aim high. The success of my REF application and the feedback I received strengthened my self-confidence and my belief in my chances of being able to study at a good university abroad.
    Rares Pamfil
  • I heard about REF in 1999, when I was still a student and was contemplating the possibility of further studies abroad. I had already taken the TOEFL, with encouraging results, but my financial situation back then didn’t allow me to dream too much. Encouraged by my family and my professors, I sought help from REF for the GRE. Fortunately, despite their limited budget, REF was able to help. I took the GRE and then applied to several universities willing to accept my application for free. I chose UNC (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) because their Computer Science department is well-ranked at a national level and because people here are warm and welcoming. Over the course of my studies, I contributed when I could to REF, because I want other students to have the chance I had. Now that I’ve begun my career, I intend to continue contributing, and I hope other students helped in the past and other Romanians in the U.S. will follow the example of the 70 people that have donoted so far.
    Adrian Ilie
  • I am convinced that without REF’s support in 2006 all my educational plans would have come to an irreparable halt. In 2006 I wanted to enroll in a doctoral program of the University of Helsinki, and one of the conditions for eligibility was to take (and pass) the TOEFL. But the TOEFL costs, and I couldn’t find the means to pay what, although in absolute terms was not a huge sum, was impossible for me to pay. Then REF generously stepped in, in short time paying my examination fee, and I was able to take (and pass) the TOEFL. In following year, 2007, the University of Helsinki admitted me to the doctoral program I was interested in, and since 2008 I have been studying in Helsinki. I’m now in the fourth year of my PhD program, in the final stage of writing my thesis. I am convinced that without this initial help from REF, none of what I mentioned would have ever happened. So, I join the long line of students that owes you a debt of gratitude and hope REF will continue to exist. I believe in REF’s philosophy and hope that I too will be able, at least from time to time, to participate through REF in supporting other students who will at some point find themselves in the same situation I found myself in 2006. Thank you and good luck!
    Elena Dragomir
  • In the spring of 1995 I applied for financial assistance from REF to cover the cost of taking the ETS’s English language test (TOEFL) and GRE. The organization was unknown to me, so I didn’t get my hopes too high. Great was my surprise when, in a relatively short amount of time, I received a positive response. Needless to say that the help I got from REF, a kind-hearted group of Romanians from California, was an essential moral and financial support, without which it is hard to imagine how (and if) I would have achieved my goal of continuing my university studies in North America. I, therefore, appeal to all those helped by REF over the course of time to contribute to its funds to an extent at least equal to the funds received in the form of assistance. REF is a reliable organization with a dedicated staff, and it abundantly deserves our help.
    Cristian Cocos
  • I am deeply grateful to REF because, when I was in a critical period in my life, trying to apply for studies in the U.S., REF gave me the support that for me would have been very difficult to obtain otherwise. I owe at least in part to REF the fact that I was able to obtain my PhD in the U.S. and my subsequent career. You do something noble and I greatly admire your perseverence in maintaining the foundation for 18 years.
    Oleg Alexandrov
  • REF helped me pay the cost of the TOEFL exam at a moment in my career when I needed it. With the help of this foundation, I was accepted to a doctoral program in the U.S. (Ohio University). I want to thank them again for their support.
    Marius Dan
  • Between the emotions of the final decision – YES I am going to go study “outside” and waking up to the reality of Romanian bureaucracy while trying to get your papers in order, the help from the Romanian Foundation Educatioan was a breath of fresh air. Diplomas translated, certified, notarized, stamps, insured transport fees for the documents to European Univerities, special envelopes, etc., all meant a pretty hefty sum of money for a Romanian college senior all at once. When I realized that I also had to pay for the Toefl so that all other expenses would be valid, I felt a bit of panic. I sent the scanned documents to those at REF (how nice not have to spend more money :D ) and received their response rather promptly: they would pay my Toefl examination fee. I felt great relief and suddenly everything went smoothly. I began to study hard, I took the exam, my acceptance came from the University I was interested in – in a word I was “outside” – an international student. Many people don’t realize that launching into a grueling and very costly process of admission to a foreign university involves trepidation, fear and frustration and absolutely any help no matter how small from a financial point of view provides a shred of hope – everything will be fine now. It means a lot, and I hope I can put a smile on a Romanian student’s face a few years from now the same way the people at REF did for me. I wish you luck!
    Oana Maries
  • When I was a student in the Faculty of Mathematics in Iasi, in 2001, I heard by word of mouth about the opportunity offered by REF (Romanian Education Foundation). The foundation offered to give financial support to those who intended (and deserved) to take the tests that were required in order to be able to study in the U.S. I applied, and the foundation promptly sponsored my TOEFL exam. Although relatively small in absolute terms, the foundation’s support meant a lot to me at the time, and it contributed to my being able to take the first step in an academic career in the West, where I had the opportunity to achieve my aspirations at the level I wanted. I hope the folks at REF keep it up.
    Arghir Zarnescu
  • The help I received from REF was first of all a signal about the Romanian community around Stanford – a community that offered me help when I arrived in a new place, with new people, and without too much money in my pocket. When I first came to Stanford, I was participating in a conference of the American society of geophysics in San Francisco, for which I had paid my own travel expenses. At the same time I was also applying for doctoral programs. These two activities put a strain on the budget of a student with limited means. First, REF facilitated my contact with the Romanian community in the Bay Area (Casa Romana), where I stayed over the course of the conference. The financial assistance from REF – covering the cost of the TOEFL and GRE standardized exams – really came at the right time and in the right form.
    Adrian Albert
  • The help I received from REF during my student years to take the GMAT exam was at that point among the few bits of help I had received in my life. It gave me energy to go my own way and reach my dream: to prepare myself as well as possible to work in a multinational company, a dream shared by many students at the time. I was impressed that there were people who selflessly helped others, and I was one of those who benefited from it. I hope you can continue this activity and help as many students as possible come closer to their dreams!
    Stefan Stavrositu
  • You do great work and I am proud of you. With just a drop of this, in an ocean of need, studious young Romanians (the ones that will return home, of course) will be able, if they also they have the will, to raise up our beautiful country. I’m glad you exist. If you ask someone what a Romanian student what it means for a Romanian student with modest financial possibility (and for their parents in Romania) to receive a donation however small during their student years, you don’t need to ask anyne else, ask me!
    Horia Maries
  • I am one of the students assisted by this organization, back in the early 2000′s. My opinion on REF is based on the email communication I had with them during the application process, on what I read about REF on their website and in their annual reports, and on a direct interaction I had with one of their volunteers, whom I happen to meet, many years after REF paid my exam fee. I like what this organization stands for, the fact that all is very transparent (full annual report with all donations and expenses published online at www.roed.org, and that all this organization achieved was with a small core of dedicated volunteers. I strongly recommend REF as a non-profit created and run on the highest values, with the best students’ interest at heart.
    Valentin Neacsu
  • I am currently finishing my PhD in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. During my PhD I published multiple papers in both journals and selective conferences. I have interned several times at companies like Microsoft in the US and Telefonica in Spain. To summarize, I have enjoyed a successful career for which I have to thank, in part, to the help provided by the Romanian Education Foundation.
    Ionut Trestian
  • I would to express my gratitude to REF because thanks to their sponsorship, I managed to take the TOEFL exam in 2002. Back then, I was a student at the University of Bucharest and I wanted to continue my studies in the United States, and for this I needed to take the TOEFL exam. Without the help of this foundation, the admission tax for this exam would have been an extra financial effort for my parents, who paid my studies at that time. Although I didn’t get a scholarship in the United States, two years later I was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship at a research institute in Italy, where even though TOEFL was not compulsory, it gave my application an advantage. Because I considered that this was the fair approach, I wanted to support a student myself by making a donation to REF. I would like to thank REF and Professor Paul Georgescu – who told me about this foundation – for their support at the beginning of my career, when any help was a big step forwards.
    Raluca Neagu
  • The decision to apply for PhD programs was akin to an “all in” bet in a poker game for me: I put all my resources in it. I quit my job so that I could study for the GRE and do research on universities and programs full time. And I put all my savings into supporting myself through that period of time. Between that and the application fees, my savings were gone pretty quickly. The financial help I got from REF came at the perfect time, and I was (and still am) very grateful.
    Otilia Obodaru