Meet Oksana Perchyts, a student from Ukraine! She shared a bit about the differences between the U.S and Ukraine. Oksana also opened up about why learning English at the IEI has helped her, and how it will help her in the future.
Q: How is the United States different than Ukraine?
In terms of culture, several things are different. Smiling at strangers is not considered polite, it is not common for Ukrainian women to shake hands upon introductions, and if you stay with a Ukrainian host, you should bring some sort of gift for them. Education is also very different. To name a few differences: education is free in Ukraine and students do not choose what classes they take. If a Ukrainian student fails a class, he/she is expelled from the university and has to repeat the year and take the same classes all over again, including the ones the student took successfully.
Q: Has being in the U.S. impacted the way you think about your home country?
Of course. I have many suggestions to bring back to my home country for the education system, communicating with Americans and the lifestyle in Ukraine.
Q: Why did you come to study English at the IEI?
I joined my husband here in USA in August 2017 with an F2 visa. After the whole semester of communicating with Americans, I realized that I needed to improve my English skills. I looked on the Internet and found IEI, and joined it as a part time student in January 2018.
Q: How will learning English help you in the future?
It can help me in applying to and studying at a university here in the USA, speaking correctly with Americans or even with my future job in Ukraine. I want to be a good musician and study music here in the USA, so I need to communicate with other musicians. My studying here at IEI can help me to learn how to do it without any problems.
Q: Why would you encourage other students to come to the IEI?
It is a great opportunity to study here, to be a part of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign community and to study on campus and see real student life. IEI teachers are very smart and kind. They can teach you very common and practical things in the English language and even things and topics you never heard about before. Also, IEI interns help us to find activities here on campus, so you won’t be bored with just studying. All the staff can help with your documents for coming to study at the IEI and they help with other documents during the study process.