Beautiful landscapes, unique castles, national parks, and hot springs make Ukraine a treasure of a location. Even with all the ingredients that make a destination overrun with tourists, Ukraine remains one of the secrets of the world and does not draw very many travelers to its country. It's still wild at it's core, with 14% of the land occupied by forests, making this country one of the most wooded in Europe. Whether you want to go trekking in the Carpathian Mountain ranges, kayaking down Dniester through beautiful castle scenery, soak in a medicinal mud bath, or simply relax on the Crimea beaches, Ukraine undoubtedly has everything an adventurous study abroad student could possibly want.
Photo credits: feradz
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is a beautiful and scenic city situated on the Dnieper River. Students have the chance to explore Khreshchatyk Street, the main street in the heart of the city, which is closed to traffic on weekends and filled with artisans and street entertainers. There are numerous cave monasteries in Ukraine, where you have the opportunity to visit mummified monks and access the underground churches. Students will also be fascinated by the massive Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life, which features six restored rural Ukrainian villages, with old huts, wooden mills, and churches – meant to show how people used to live in different times and regions of Ukraine.
Located in the north of Central Ukraine, Chernihiv is known as one of the most ancient and interesting cities of Ukraine. Its sacred Christian temples were created over a thousand years ago but are almost completely intact. Chernihiv has been settled by human for over 2000 years so it's brimming with cultural treasures and historic ties. Study abroad students can still visit the baroque buildings and churches to feel the rich Ukrainian history resounding from preserved artifacts.
Lviv is the biggest city of the region and a major Ukrainian culture center. Once here, study abroad students have the chance to visit Market Square and brave souls can climb up 400 steps to the top of the central tower. With a great view of the Old Town it's one of the most romantic spots in the city. There are plenty of entertainment in Lviv, including an Opera, Ballet, the National Academic Theatre, and plenty of museums and art galleries that give students a closer look at Ukrainian culture.
Planning Your Trip
How to Choose a Program
Ukraine is one of the most peaceful and stable among ex-USSR countries, and offers a high quality of life. Ukrainians are also widely known for their hospitality!
- Language:Ukrainian students study in their native language, while foreign students have a choice of either English or the local language. English programs are highly available here.
- Housing: Programs in Ukraine provide three housing options, a home-stay, an apartment, or a residence hall. Home-stays with a Ukrainian family are often recommended because they offer a more complete “cultural immersion.” Before choosing to study abroad in Ukraine, a student should definitely have in mind what kind of housing they hope to have!
Students should contact the Ukrainian embassy in their own country in order to apply for a student visa. Study abroad students will need a valid form of identification, passport, medical records, and a copy of the Certificate of Completed Higher Secondary Education. US citizens who stay in Ukraine for less than six months on a private, tourist, or business visa do not need to register with local authorities.
Social life and Student Culture
Ukraine has an abundance of the great outdoors for students to explore. Beach fans will love the beautiful Crimea white-sand and blue Mediterranean waters. In the Carpathian mountains, hikers can find ways to entertain themselves for hours on end.
For a post-apocalyptic experience, students can visit the nuclear disaster area of Chernobyl. Tour companies drive groups into the plant, where they pass through deserted villages and an eerie overgrown landscape.
At night, study abroad students have the chance to check out the nightlife, with its exclusive clubs, latest rock bands, and underground jazz joints in all the towns. Kharkiv, a large university town, has Ukraine’s leading music scene.
The marketplaces are essential to students trying to learn more about the culture of Ukraine. The market is a great place to people watch, and has an abundance of sights, tastes, and smells. If you’re there on July 6th, join in the Midsummer’s Eve celebration when couples scour the woods for medicinal herbs and take midnight dips in lakes and streams.
Don't let the cost of studying abroad deter you- many scholarships are available to help you make your dream of studying abroad into a reality. Be sure to check with your university for other funding opportunities!
- EESA-Eastern European Study Abroad provides scholarships of up to $7,000 and the program fees are some of the lowest you'll find. EESA offers unique programs in Ukraine: intensive language study and courses in English with field trips to 6 countries. Semester, year, summer and short term programs are available.
- The Gilman Scholarship Program distributes additional scholarships to students receiving Pell Grants. They have a preference for students with disabilities and students from ethnic minorities to increase diversity amongst study abroad students.
- Boren Scholarships give scholarships to study languages that are “vital to national security,” including Ukrainian and Russian. Scholarships bring as much as $20,000.
- The School of Russian and Asian Studies is a unique resource for studying abroad in Eurasia. This program offers translation internships, grants, and research awards.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships