Community Practice

Besides the involvement in research and teaching activities, C-SPH is involved in public health implementation and intervention projects, meaning it has partners in the community with whom it constantly works. We would like to offer health sciences students the opportunity to apply knowledge and theory learned in the classroom to a professional work setting and to develop the skills needed for successful transition to the public health workforce, by shadowing and doing voluntary work as part of different social work environments: women shelter/elders centers/ support centers/NGOs & community work centers.

Educational objectives. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Better understand vulnerable populations in a post-communist low-middle income country
  • Gain experience in working with vulnerable populations
  • Perform community-based practice and volunteering
  • Better understand the implications on cultural background in assessing needs and developing community-based programs
  • Better understand the importance of resources in assessing needs and developing community-based programs

The program is structured on four weeks of field-work activities and feedback sessions with one representative of the social work environment and one coordinator for the C-SPH. The program will be tailored to best-fit the interest of the participants and the needs of the social work environment. Applicants are encouraged to state in their cover letter their field of interest and the period they prefer.

Partner NGOs

  • United Way of Romania
  • Thesaurus Training-Translation

Equality and Human Rights Action Centre (ACTEDO)

Field of work: Access to justice, human rights and gender equality Description of the organization: Equality and Human Rights Action Centre (ACTEDO) is a human rights non-governmental and non-profit organisation, with no political or religious affiliation. ACTEDO was established in 2013 and is based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. ACTEDO’s mission is to promote fundamental human rights and gender equality and to act against human rights violations. We consider that abuses against vulnerable groups and gender inequality are rooted in the lack of human rights education on a national level, in stereotypical beliefs and practices regarding men and women, as well as in the failure of institutions to implement laws and apply adequate sanctions in cases of abuse and discrimination. In order to reach our objectives, we pursue three strategic directions (programmes):
  • Access to Justice. ACTEDO runs The Pro Bono Network for Human Rights, the largest clearinghouse in Romania that specialises in human rights, which matches lawyers and law firms with individuals belonging to vulnerable groups whose rights have been violated or with human rights NGOs working with vulnerable groups.
  • Gender Equality. ACTEDO does advocacy work in order to improve the specialised services and the protection of victims of gender-based violence in Romania and coordinated the national network Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence in 2015 and 2016.
  • Human Rights Education. ACTEDO organizes legal training sessions for lawyers on various human rights topics, as well as workshops for high school students on human rights literacy.
Ideal candidate: We are looking for a human rights activist who is seeking to enhance their social conscience and crosscultural communication skills by working directly with issues affecting vulnerable groups in Romania, in particular women, Roma and people with disabilities. The ideal candidate should possess excellent written and communication skills, a propensity for scientific research, including legal documentation, and a genuine desire to have a positive impact in society.

United Way of Romania

Field of work: help people in need to reach their full potential Description of the organization: United Way of Romania is a Romanian foundation affiliated to United Way Worldwide. In Romania, the organization joins the efforts of over 950 volunteers, 55 companies, and some 3.000 donors. Its purpose is to improve the quality of living for members of our community who are most at risk. In fulfilling that purpose, it relies on both individual and corporate donations, as well as on volunteering, so that everyone can have equal education, health, and employment opportunities. In 2014, United Way reached 10 of existence in Romania. In those 10 years, the resources it gathered helped over 38.000 people at risk. Ideal candidate: We are looking for someone who could help us deliver our wide range of services: helping Roma kids get a proper education, helping homeless people get jobs and skills, helping the poor get access to free healthcare, who wants to be our ambassador in the multicultural environments (help United Way representatives get their message through in a more effective way, when asking for funding at the multinational companies that are active in Cluj-Napoca), or just help us make the community more aware of its problems and its responsibilities to those that need them the most. Target group: groups that are most at risk in our community (kids living in orphanages, elders with extremely low income, the homeless, Roma families living in extreme poverty conditions).

Thesaurus Training-Translation

Field of work: teaching English and soft skills to disadvantaged kids in our community Description of the organization: We exist to help develop and teach foreign languages to all youth in need, in the spirit of equal opportunities. We are the first language center created as a non-profit organization, in Cluj-Napoca, and, possibly, in Romania. Our purpose is to help youth at risk to develop by bettering their language skills and other practical skills along the way (communication, IT, public speaking, even dancing!). We want them to have equal employment opportunities, to become happy, healthy, and valuable community members, once they leave the child protection system, and we want to do our share by teaching them foreign languages and filling in the gaps in their non-formal education. The most sought-after foreign language is currently English. This is why we initiated the long-term project ”English for all”, meant for all youths at risk to get free English lessons from the Thesaurus members and volunteers. Target group: Roma kids of ages 2 to 6 living near the city’s garbage dump, kids of mixed ethnicities living in orphanages full time, or in youth-at-risk day centers part time, Roma youths (16-28 years old) in difficult financial situations, who are looking for a job.

Eligibility & Requirements

To be considered for the Global Health Program, students must meet the following requirements:​

  • students with a background in health sciences and/or public health
  • students who have experience working with vulnerable populations
  • students who had at least one course work in any of the following fields: social work, gender equality, global health.
  • after arrival, depending on the social work environment they choose, will go to a training and ethical clearance component.

Professional Skills:

  • good analytical and evaluative skills
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • good organizational skills, efficiency and flexibility
  • computer skills, including familiarity with Microsoft products (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint), email software, internet searching engines, and other programs


Program fee is 2.000 U.S. Dollars/month.

The fee includes housing, mentoring & support, on-site orientation and assistance throughout the application process. The fee does not include international travel, meals costs, personal effects, or incidentals.

How to apply

The applications can be submitted online continuously. Please send any additional inquiries to

The evaluation process will take place at the end of each month, the results being communicated to the students in the first week of the following month after the date of application. Students will have to confirm their participation in 2 weeks’ time after receiving the letter of acceptance, by sending an email and paying at least 10% of the program fee.

Please send any additional inquiries to