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ISCI 101: Physics, Chemistry, and Human Experience - From Nano To Astro in Romania


Bucharest, Romania

Program Description

Want to earn Cluster 3 Gen-Ed credit while having an adventure abroad in the home of Dracula? Study abroad this summer in Bucharest, Romania in a new hybrid course with two-weeks abroad and two weeks of online coursework. Students on this program take Physics, Chemistry & the Human Experience (ISCI 101) in a dynamic learning environment. Students are made aware of the fact that we live in a huge universe described by a relatively small number of rules, which we can have figured out through scientific inquiry. 

This course is a hybrid in-class/online and is taught in two parts:
1. The first two weeks of class in early of May are spent on Romanian American University’s (RAU) campus. During the time in Romania, students take classes at RAU alongside Romanian students, live in on-campus residencies, and explore Bucharest and the larger country with several excursions and activities. The coursework will focus on understanding how matter works at nanometer scale and we will use as an example a microcontroller. In this part, students will learn how a microcontroller is built, how we can program it, and how we can operate it. There will be a lab component in which students will program an Arduino to create interesting projects including blinking an led, monitoring air pollution, digital clocks, and programming a 4-way traffic light. At the end of this section students will be exposed to topics which include: nanotechnology fabrications of transistors, microcontroller designs, analog/digital electronics, and computer programming.

2. The second half of the program will be taught 100% online and it will focus on deciphering the mysteries of the Universe. The hope is that students will find the answers to some questions and will keep them curious and interested in the ongoing human adventure of astronomy. Projected topics to cover include: the scale and history of the Universe, patterns in the night sky (i.e. constellations), the reason for seasons, the phases of the moon, and the ancient roots of science.

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate on this innovative new study abroad program. Visit “Dracula’s Castle” in Transylvania, explore an emerging country in the EU, and study in a flexible hybrid curriculum in a cross-cultural setting with Romanian students.

Location Description

The in-class part of the course will take place at the Romanian-American University from Bucharest, Romania. Throughout the history, Romania - a latin-speaking country surrounded by slavic-speaking countries - has had a tumultuous past that involved feudal, capitalist, communist, and democratic political systems.

Bucharest is the largest city and the capital of Romania and it is well known for the tree-lined boulevards, the Arch of Triumph which was initially built out of wood in 1878 to honor the Romanian soldiers who won the Independence War, the royal palace that was erected between 1927-1937 and it was home of the King Carol II and to his son, King Mihai I.

In the years between the two World Wars, Bucharest was built with an exquisite architectural style, reason for which it used to be called the Little Paris. Actually, while walking in Bucharest, one can see buildings which sit next to each other and belonged to different political times.

Do not miss this opportunity to visit such wonderful part of the world!


Costel Constantin | | Physics and Astronomy


Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished apartments with internet access and laundry facilities. Students might share rooms with separate beds. The housing is conveniently located in the same block with the university.

All meals will be provided as part of the program.

Additional Items to Consider

Open to ALL majors.

Students will be required to have valid passports. Romania is part of European Union and visas are not required for American citizens.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors

Undergraduates - Rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ISCI 101: Topics in Physics, Chemistry, and Human Experience (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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