American Dream, Reality for Ukrainian Girl
A Ukrainian student realized her childhood dream of studying in the United States. UATV visited her in Virginia to talk with her about her goals
“I was very happy, I jumped up and almost screamed. I ran into my dad’s room and said, ‘Dad, I got in!'” she said, relating the story of when she first discovered her admission.
Achieving her dream wasn’t easy. Mikadze started by looking for grants which would fully cover the cost of her studies. In addition to this, she worked hard to improve her English and collect all the necessary documents.
“Starting with the TOEFL, then there was the SAT, an essay, a resume,” Mikadze said.
A year later, Mikadze received a response – she was accepted to Episcopal High School.
“She has come in, in a strange setting, in a strange class that she wasn’t in before and was completely relaxed. Excellent student. Cheerful. Friendly. Immediately found friends,” German Language Teacher Richard Dixon said.
Mikadze ‘s schedule is very tight. In addition to regular classes, she does sports and is a member of several clubs. Students choose all the subjects themselves. The only mandatory one is English.
“What is really good here is the freedom to choose the subjects you want to study each year. I decided to take economics, politics, statistics, German, choir, and music theory,” she said.
Mikadze said that the 23 mandatory subjects she studied at school in Ukraine facilitate comprehensive development and provide for a good level of knowledge of basic sciences. Now, she can improve her skills in the U.S.
“The selection is huge. One can study psychology, physics – I took it last year – or engineering. We also have a 3D printer at the science center lab at school. After classes, you can come here and print with this 3D printer,” she said.
Around half of the students at the high school are foreigners. Grants cover the studies, accommodation, food, and even leisure.
“On weekends when our students are not in classes and have downtime as it were, that also includes opportunities to go into DC to watch say a hockey game, or a basketball game, or some kind of performance – dramatic or musical performance – or a whole host of other activities, there’s no additional fees for any of that,” Director of Communications Billy Faires said.
This is Mikadze ‘s second year at high school. After finishing it, she’ll be able to apply to university.