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Ukraine : Reviews (Kyiv)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Study Abroad & Global Engagement
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Patrick Michael Callen, Summer 2012 Participant
My favorite part of the summer Language Institute in L'viv, Ukraine was the daily fusion of academics with cultural experiences. At the beginning of the program I knew no Ukrainian and had to rely on Russian or English to accomplish simple tasks. After six weeks I was able to spend an evening conversing with my host family about Ukrainian society, politics, and culture at some length and with fairly proficient command of the basic grammar of the Ukrainian language. Interacting with Ukrainians on a daily basis gave me a glimpse into not only their daily routines, but their thoughts on life, their country, and the world around them.

 

Amy Lynn Murphy, Summer 2012 Participant
This program was fantastic. I cannot even pick just one thing to describe everything was remarkable. The beautiful city of L'viv, the many cafes, the relationships I made with professors and our host family, and just in general learning to understand the history and culture of an amazing country. It was a very personal program that was carefully adapted to meet the needs and interests of each student.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
The location of the program in a city that has a rich multi-cultural heritage and the overlapping accumulations of architectural styles gives the city a unique feel, which permeates all aspects of existence in L'viv.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
The best part of the program was the excellent language instruction. The teachers at the National University of Ivan Franko taught the grammar and structure of the Ukrainian language clearly and efficiently, so my classmates and I were able to quickly acquire a base for reading texts. The amount of time spent in class was neither too much nor too little for concentrating on, absorbing, and retaining each day's new material. Language learning was the core goal of the program, and I am very glad that it brought such quick results and was so much fun.

 

Faelan E Jacobson, Summer 2017 Participant
My favorite part of this program was living in L'viv. It is such a beautiful city and we were staying right in the center. I would walk to class every morning and grab a cup of coffee or a pastry and sit in the the park watching people commute to work. The city is so beautiful and full of life; I am very thankful I was able to stay right in the center of things.

 

Patrick Michael Callen, Summer 2012 Participant
The daily interactions with Ukrainians were the most rewarding part of my experience abroad. Every conversation, every transaction made in a shop or at a kiosk, and every academic lesson gave me the opportunity to constantly practice Ukrainian. Constant practice and the necessity of using Ukrainian exclusively is something that is hard to recreate in the United States.

 

Amy Lynn Murphy, Summer 2012 Participant
The university we studied with was not only prestigious but also very welcoming and friendly. We had contact and lectures from a variety of professionals in one of the oldest and renown universities in the country. The excursions to other parts of the country were rewarding and fascinating.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
The combination of intensive language and culture study and living with a host family make the L'viv program ideal for getting the most out of one's learning experience.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
Three aspects of the program were particularly rewarding. First, our daily language instruction was supplemented with lectures in sociology, political science, and geography, held by professors from the University of Ivan Franko. My classmates and I listened to the professors in Ukrainian, simultaneously acquiring knowledge of Ukraine and the Ukrainian language. The professors taught us the most salient aspects of the geography of the Ukrainian economy, presented us with survey data about the complexities and nuances of contemporary Ukrainian identity, and reviewed with us the various hypotheses on the origins of the Ukrainian ethnicity and Ukrainian statehood. Secondly, one of the most rewarding cultural experiences of the program was a short trip to the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine, including the cities of Uzhorod and Mukacheve. It was a great chance to see a different kind of western Ukraine. Lastly, the host family stay was perhaps the best part of the program. We were at home in a foreign country and had a chance to see Ukrainian life from the inside out, as well as practice our Ukrainian. Our host family saw to it that we were properly oriented and prepared for each day in the city.

 

Faelan E Jacobson, Summer 2017 Participant
I felt the most rewarded when I was able to understand our tour guide more as the weeks went on. Most of our tours were done primarily in Ukrainian and we had other students translating for us. But as the weeks went on I needed the translating less and I was able to fully immerse myself in the experience.

 

Patrick Michael Callen, Summer 2012 Participant
The academic side of the program is structured in a manner that allows students to quickly acquire basic understanding and proficiency in Ukrainian. Students are not required to have any prior language study to participate in the program, but, in my opinion, some prior study of a Slavic language will benefit the student, as the summer Language Institute is an accelerated, six-week course meant to provide the equivalent of one year of study at the University of Kansas. Students with prior language experience will be better prepared for the intensive language study that awaits them.

 

Amy Lynn Murphy, Summer 2012 Participant
I learned more about the obvious cultural and economical differences between the West and East in Ukraine but was able to put it into historical and political contexts. Language experience and instruction was exemplary.

 

Summer 2013 Participant
I learned that it is important to learn Ukrainian on its own terms. Many students come to Ukraine with a knowledge of Polish and Russian, and these languages will give them a leg up with Ukrainian. But thinking in Ukrainian will bring rewarding results for those trying to immerse themselves in the language.