Why did you decide to study in the USA?
Music is my passion. I have always dreamed of studying with cello professor Natalia Khoma, and that is why I am here.
Why did you choose the College of Charleston?
The prestige of the music program led to my decision to study at the College of Charleston. The historic atmosphere of the College, the tropical summers and the professors.
What do you like best about the college?
The ability to pick my own classes and organize my schedule, and the opportunities that I will have in the future.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss my family camping trips, concert halls, and our traditional food.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
The people are open, kind and ready to help anytime. At the college, I would say friendly communication with professors.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
The most difficult thing was to break the barrier of getting confidence to speak only in English.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
In Ukraine, the relationship between professors and students is stricter. In the US it is the opposite. It’s much easier to communicate with your professors because they are always ready to help.
What are your activities?
Last semester I took a Pilates class because I was stressed with too many classes. I felt I needed to relax, and I liked the fact that I was able to learn how to breathe, stretch, and get rid of negative thoughts.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
Most of my friends are international students. It is difficult sometimes to communicate with Americans. I think it is because they do not understand what international students go through before they arrive here, and that our first year living in a foreign country can be very stressful.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I do not know my future plans yet, but I plan to finish my bachelor’s degree at the College of Charleston. A bachelor’s diploma will help me find a job in the US or Europe. And I might go to Europe to study for my doctoral program.
What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering a U.S. education?
Stay strong, work hard, follow goals and dreams because if you don’t do anything, you won’t get anything.