EESA (Eastern European Study Abroad)

Program Reviews

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Essynce
10/10
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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Jessica
10/10
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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Naomi
7/10
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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Ry
8/10
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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Peter
10/10
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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W
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A very cool study abroad experience

I made the decision to study Russian language and figured I would learn more through an immersion experience, so I explored my options online. The EESA team ended up having the best communication with me and answered all my questions. At first I was hesitant, because I wished to study in the capital, but the more I learned about Kharkiv I was impressed. One of the reasons I opted for Ukraine was because it was much cheaper than Moscow or SPB. I traveled to Ukraine without any expectations. I was pleasantly surprised and remember my time there as one of the best periods of my life. I learned so much in the courses (not only language, but also culture, etc.), had all my credits transferred to my home university, took a stunning trip around Eastern Europe, and had on-site assistance from EESA staff the entire time. I would love to recommend the program to anyone I meet, and I do.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
That would probably have to be horse sausage, which was very tasty 10/10. I am still looking to find it back home.
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Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

EESA online Russian language program was excellent. I was able to test for the upper intermediate level after my two months program. I had individual lessons and started as a total beginner. My professor was great, and the online calls worked out well. The lessons were very efficient. The fees were the lowest I could find. It was my dream to learn Russian language one day , and as I am busy person the online Russian language course was the best solution for me
It was the way I really liked as it was very flexible so I can schedule my other meetings and appointments and even trips. I could easily access the online course while traveling.
I definitely recommend EESA. I will probably sign for some more language classes with them in the near future.

Sean
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Results with Fun

I took the intensive two-week online course through EESA last summer. I was entering into a second-year Russian language university class. While I had a basic knowledge of the language through self-study I had not previously taken any introductory classes. My instructor (Irina) did an amazing job preparing me and improving my skills to the necessary level. She was extraordinarily patient and was able to quickly identify what skills I needed to work on. Her lessons were always fun and we had many interesting conversations. I found Irina's lessons balanced all aspects of language learning: reading, writing, listening and speaking. It was an immersive environment with almost everything taught in Russian. I ended up getting straight A's in my university class. I credit EESA with a critical part of my success.

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Hayley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure Awaits

In November 2018, I took a one week fall break trip with EESA to Lviv, Ukraine, Kraków, Poland, and Prague, Czech Republic. A few months earlier, I was just searching on the internet and came across their website and emailed in curiosity about the trip, not actually thinking it would be a possibility for me. I was assigned an academic advisor who explained everything to me and was willing to help me with everything, including finding plane tickets to my destination and being willing to adjust the schedule to my preferences. When I arrived, I was greeted by my guide for the trip at the airport, who turned into one of my great friends. Then later, I met the other person in our group who also was a fantastic companion. For the next several days, we traveled from country to country exploring, eating food, and having a great time. With several tours and places to visit, I learned a plethora about all of these countries and their cultures. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this short trip. In my experience, it was definitely worth the effort and will continue to fuel my passion to travel.

Default avatar
Hayley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure Awaits

In November 2018, I took a one week fall break trip with EESA to Lviv, Ukraine, Kraków, Poland, and Prague, Czech Republic. A few months earlier, I was just searching on the internet and came across their website and emailed in curiosity about the trip, not actually thinking it would be a possibility for me. I was assigned an academic advisor who explained everything to me and was willing to help me with everything, including finding plane tickets to my destination and being willing to adjust the schedule to my preferences. When I arrived, I was greeted by my guide for the trip at the airport, who turned into one of my great friends. Then later, I met the other person in our group who also was a fantastic companion. For the next several days, we traveled from country to country exploring, eating food, and having a great time. With several tours and places to visit, I learned a plethora about all of these countries and their cultures. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this short trip. In my experience, it was definitely worth the effort and will continue to fuel my passion to travel.