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EESA (Eastern European Study Abroad)

Why choose EESA (Eastern European Study Abroad)?

EESA offers the most affordable quality study abroad and volunteer programs in Eastern and Central Europe. With over 10 years of experience, we guarantee cultural and language immersion, safety, support and a well-rounded study abroad experience. Our personal connection and attention to details is what our students value the most. We’ll make sure that your trip goes well, customize the details if needed, and make certain that you return from an EESA program inspired and ready for new opportunities.

EESA programs:
- Semester/year program in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Includes a two-week academic field trip to Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Lviv, Kyiv and Krakow.
- Spring break and fall break in Europe. Join the semester students and visit Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Lviv, Kyiv and Krakow on your break. Choose 6-14 days, starting at just $299.
- Language immersion: Russian and Ukrainian language. Summer, semester, year and custom programs.
- Online Russian and Ukrainian language. All levels welcome.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Eastern European Study Abroad - Ukraine

I have never traveled abroad before so I was really nervous about going to a new country alone, but EESA provided me with everything I needed to have a successful semester at the national university in Kharkiv and throughout the process of obtaining a visa. This reduced a lot of my worries so that I can focus on having fun, studying well, and learning the russian language. We were able to explore the city of Kharkiv and travel to the other major cities in Ukraine. EESA always had opportunities for my interests.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go with an open-mind! The culture shock seems to last forever but it gets easier with each person you meet. If you do not know the language but have the desire to learn, speaking with natives is the best thing you can do
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great immersion experience with full support

I went on an 8-week program with EESA in Kharkiv, Ukraine. I had a really great experience and would recommend this program to everyone. I had taken a year of Russian at my university prior to that program, but how much I learnt in those 8 weeks was probably worth more than my whole year of Russian classes in the U.S. I loved my professor Tatiana, she was very patient with us and was great at explaining and helping us get further. Getting immersed in the language-speaking environment was such a great benefit. An advice I would give to any future students is to not be afraid and go out there and try to use your Russian.
My special thank goes to the on-site staff from EESA. They were very nice and very attentive to all my needs. They made sure I was adjusting well, introduced me to a lot of new people in the beginning and provided great support overall.
I genuinely recommend this program for improving your Russian, making new friends, getting a different perspective on many things and simply for having an exciting new experience. I already plan on visiting again!
I greatly enjoyed my 8 weeks of the Russian language program with EESA in Kharkiv. I strongly recommend this program to future students. Our professors were amazing and on-site support was very helpful, especially in the beginning.

First, the classes were very efficient. I had Tatiana, she had a lot of experience and was good at helping us understand new topics. Being in the language environment certainly added to the progress that I was able to make.

Second, the on site staff was very nice and helpful. Olga and Dennis went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and had everything that we needed. We also got introduced to a network of peer students, and I was able to make friends with a lot of them.

Third, I couldn't wish for a better host family. They were very welcoming and helpful.

The last but not least, I loved Kharkiv! It's a great city with lots of activities available, amazing theaters and beautiful and well taken care of parks.

Don't hesitate to go when you have a chance! You will have a great time!

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Yes, I recommend this program

High quality teaching although support could be better

I studied for three months in Kharkiv, Ukraine with the EESA study abroad programme, completing 72 'academic hours' (=48 hours, if I'm not mistaken) over that time period. I chose to study fewer hours a week because I was also enrolled on an online Russian language programme that took up the majority of my time. In a year of Covid, I was grateful for an opportunity to actual travel and live somewhere new, getting plenty of Russian practice. I grew up in Central Asia and spoke Russian a little as a child, but have struggled to find the right level of teaching - that pushes me, while being aware of my mistakes. EESA was excellent when it came to language provision - my teacher, Tatiana, was hard-working, well-prepared, experienced, engaging and fun to be with! We focused on areas that I was interested in (which was mostly reading Economics texts in Russian) and had a good blend of speaking and writing, which taught me a lot. Sometimes the sessions were quite long and I could see that both my teacher and I were tired, but we still had a good time and used the lesson well.

Kharkiv is a great city for students. I cannot recommend it enough! Especially if you are hoping to practice Russian, this city is for you. In Kyiv or other cities in the west, I think you'd struggle to hear more Russian than in Kharkiv. I didn't speak any Ukrainian and I managed to get by just fine, although if I had stayed longer, I would have wanted to try to learn it too!

I lived with two girls, who were my hosts for the time. Their support was invaluable, because if you have never been to Ukraine before, you need someone to explain the transport system or various other factors, to you. I also felt safer living with other girls. Sometimes it was difficult, because it was a cross-cultural experience and we didn't always see eye to eye, but we parted as friends. I do recommend living with someone if you come to Kharkiv, it makes socialising a lot easier too!

At the time that I came, there was only one other student. Because of this, the support I was given was not the best (and maybe also because I was only studying part-time). I felt like I could have done with an induction (although they do do that for other students usually), more events (made difficult because of Covid) and more opportunities to meet people. They do try to support you in some areas, but it was not really enough for me. They have a peer support network, but I was linked to this too late. I think when there are more students and life is more 'normal', they are better at supporting you while you are living in the country.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Living in a new place is full of nerve-wracking moments! I was fined when I was in Kyiv because I didn't understand how the trolleybus system worked, I was accused of stealing a water bottle once from a supermarket, I set off an alarm in the supermarket another time because of not knowing that one item I bought had a security tag, I was barked at by guard dogs, I irritated people by being too slow to figure out new machines and systems.... but all this is part of living somewhere new! I learnt to be less embarrassed by my mistakes and to be forgiving to others, even when they were not forgiving to me!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Review of intensive Russian language study program

The program is very rewarding and allows you to significantly improve all aspects of your Russian knowledge as long as you take initiative in finding opportunities to study and improve your skills. While the classroom instruction is very helpful, you will need to seek out additional opportunities to practice what you learn outside of university. The program certainly connects you with local Ukrainian peers to practice with, however a lot of your experience with this program will be with the activities and people that you seek out outside of the classroom.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Expand your local social circle as much as possible
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Yes, I recommend this program

Russian Language Courses Online

I had a wonderful experience with the EESA program. I complete three eight week long Russian language courses online and able to transfer the twelve credits I earned back to my university. I now feel I can conduct many different conversations in the Russian language and I am grateful to my instructor for guiding me during the three courses. The program provides a stress-free and enjoyable way to learn the Russian language and I recommend this program to any student who wishes to learn the Russian language and/or is in need of language credits.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Chelsea McShurley

Chelsea is a Russian Language and International Studies major from Lafayette, Indiana, who will be beginning her senior year at Indiana University in the fall. Learning languages and traveling are some of her favorite things to do and she is always looking forward to her next adventure. This summer she is teaching English to children at a summer camp in Russia.

Why did you decide to study abroad with EESA?

I chose to study abroad with EESA because it is one of the few programs which offers American students the chance to study abroad in Ukraine. As a Russian language major, studying abroad in Ukraine sets me apart from my peers, who almost exclusively participate in programs in St. Petersburg or Moscow, Russia.

At the same time, I still got to experience those two great Russian cities during EESA-sponsored academic field trips. EESA was the only program I found which would allow me to study both Russian and Ukrainian languages while on the program. EESA offers one of the most affordable study abroad programs and the staff is extremely helpful and caring from the moment a student expresses interest in their program.

What made this experience unique and special?

Kharkov, Ukraine is a unique place to study abroad because it is primarily a city of students, allowing me to make many friends and find many interesting opportunities to attend and participate in various events in the city. My experience was also unique in that I had many opportunities to do more than just study abroad. I volunteered 3 days/week as a teacher of English at a school near my apartment and volunteered regularly a several orphanages in Kharkov.

For many of my friends in Kharkov I was the first American they had ever met, providing me the unique opportunity to really share my life and culture with them. An experience I gained with EESA, which few other programs offer was the opportunity to enroll directly in courses with other Ukrainian students and not just in courses with my American groupmates. These courses were taught in Russian and allowed me both language practice and the opportunity to make new friends.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Because of my year in Ukraine and the unique experiences I had there, I am now completely certain that I want to pursue a career which involves cross-cultural education. Spending the year in Kharkov, I made connections that will make that goal possible. Also, Ukraine is a country which will completely steal your heart. I absolutely fell in love with the people, food, music, architecture, landscape, and life-style. There are so many things I learned in and from Ukraine that will be important parts of my worldview for the rest of my life.