Interview with sophomore foreign exchange student Andy Lunin
Where in the Ukraine are you from?
“[I am from] Zaporizhzhia.”
Why did you choose to join the foreign exchange program?
“It was a competition I entered, and I spent three months studying and doing foreign exchange stuff, and six months later, they called and said, ‘Oh, you’re going to the U.S.’”
How is schooling in the Ukraine different from schooling in the United States?
“The school program is much more intensive. How I did it was, there is a government set of subjects you need to learn, and in the first grade or second grade, you choose the branch you want to go into. I chose chemistry and biology. You study these subjects and other subjects the government wants you to study during the entire 11 years in Ukraine. I study chemistry, math, biology, astronomy and a couple of subjects, like physics, from the first grade ‘till the ninth grade, and I’m going to finish it. So, we learn stuff here when you are a junior when we’re in, like, fifth or fourth grade.”
What is your favorite subject to study, and why?
“Chemistry and astronomy. I have participated in different competitions, and astronomy is cool.”
Since coming to the United States, are there new classes that you have enrolled in? Why did you choose to enroll in them?
“Everything is new. Probably only math is what I already know, and it is still boring, but I’m going to change it.”
Living in the United States, are there new activities or events that you do or attend? What are these things? Do you enjoy them, and why?
“In Ukraine, my daily schedule was that I would go to school at six in the morning and have my school classes, then go to my volleyball trainings and spend time there ‘till, like, 11 p.m., go home, do my homework, and then go to bed. Here, it is just not as intensive and complicated.”
What is one thing you really love about the United States, and why?
“It’s clean here, and the city I live in here is not as crowded as mine.”
What is the one thing you miss the most about the Ukraine?
“Ummm, really, my Ukrainian friends.”
Do you keep in touch with your friends and family in the Ukraine? How do you communicate with them?
“Yes, obviously. I Skype, chat with my parents and just text with my friends.”
How is staying with the White family [sophomores Ethan and Skyler White]?
“It is good because of the two brothers, so it’s cool.”
Do you hope to stay in touch with some people when you leave the United States, especially the Whites?
“Actually, I’m going to apply for an American university, so I will need to stay in touch. Also, most of the people I meet here are really cool people, so why not?”
Interview by Nate Williams, staff member
Photo courtesy of Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co.