U-Korner: American vs. Ukrainian Schools

Q & A with Anastasiia Skoryk

Foreign exchange student Sia Skoryk completes homework in her first period class.

Enzo Libertini

Foreign exchange student Sia Skoryk completes homework in her first period class.

Anastasiia Skoryk, Guest Columnist

Anastasia Skoryk, a Ukrainian exchange student attending Northmont this year, shares her thoughts on the difference between American and Ukrainian high schools.

Q: Describe the school system in Ukraine.

A: Schools are usually located in the center of a settlement. In the cities there is always public transportation, so it is up to you to reach school independently, whether on foot, by a bus, or by machines. Schools are specialized. Some schools teach the only gifted children for specialties. To enter such schools, children must pass examinations.

Q: Describe the school you attend.

A: My school is specialized on foreign languages and leader skills.

Q: How do you choose your classes?

A: Children have no authority to choose subjects. You usually study 16 subjects a year. We all study Science without exception. However, in Ukrainian schools, we do not have such interesting subjects as theater.

Q: Describe the school day.

A: Subjects do not occur every day. However, even if a subject is not repeated daily, there is homework for each subject. We sit in desks for two people. In our classes, we trade subjects with a neighbor so that we can change books with the neighbor.

Q: What kind of extra-curricular programs do you have?

A: After school, children usually receive out-of-school education. For me, it was art school. Three times a week for four years in art school, you can get an unnecessary diploma, but you get the skills that may be useful to you in later life.  Out-of-school education includes music, art, dance, and sports. Some students also attend education clubs, that can be about anything from design to volunteer work.

Q: What was the biggest difference for you in an American school?

A: In America, I was mostly impressed with the friendliness of the people and their willingness to help. I really appreciate the warm welcome to this school.

Q: How do college plans differ between Ukraine and America?

A: In Ukraine, the first school ends after 9 years of education, then you can go to college. College is an education institution which provides only a basic knowledge of the specialty. For some professions, that is enough. If you want to have a higher specialty, you need to finish secondary education, which is two more years in school and then admission into a University. After graduation, students can take tests in subjects they have chosen for their specialty and can get into a better school In universities, students are paid a stipend depending on their success in school.