Ukrainian students taking classes through DePaul shed light on life during Russian invasion – Chicago Tribune

After the Russian assault upended the each day lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, together with school college students, DePaul College partnered with Ukrainian Catholic College and different larger schooling establishments within the area to enroll greater than 100 Ukrainian school college students within the Chicago college’s on-line programs this spring quarter.

Right here, they share what life is like persevering with their research amid the battle.

April 29: Faculty scholar Marta Haiduchok was grateful for the silence Thursday afternoon as she walked from her house in Lviv, Ukraine, to fulfill up with classmates on the Ukrainian Catholic College library.

“It gave me so much joy. … I was super scared to go there, because I had anxiety based on the idea that the air siren will catch me while I would be on my way,” stated Haiduchok, one in every of 100 Ukrainian college students enrolled in DePaul College’s digital school rooms this month.

“But the university has shelters so everything was fine and I came back home before the siren,” Haiduchok stated by way of textual content messages to the Chicago Tribune.

However Haiduchok’s reprieve from the Russian invasion and devastating battle was fleeting, and by 8 p.m. Thursday Ukrainian time, the air raid sirens in Lviv had been wailing and Haiduchok was behind a laptop computer in a hall of her household’s house in western Ukraine, about 40 miles from Poland.

“It is safer behind two walls,” Haiduchok stated, including: “I’m in the class right now, and don’t want to miss it.”

Sofiia Kekukh, 18, a scholar on the Nationwide College of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, who can also be enrolled in on-line courses at DePaul, stated by way of textual content messages with the Tribune that final weekend was her “first Easter without my parents.”

“I strongly believe in my nation, in our people. This brings me hope and a little bit of peace,” stated Kekukh, who’s learning from momentary housing at an house in Lviv, the place she arrived just lately after she and her dad and mom abruptly left their house in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, in February.

“It’s difficult to talk about joy right now. My parents, grandparents, relatives, boyfriend and friends are alive and safe. It’s (what is) most important for me,” Kekukh stated. “My flat isn’t damaged and destroyed. I’m glad about it. We celebrated Easter a little. It was dangerous to go by transport to another region because of possible provocations and danger.”

Dmytro Sherengovsky, Ukrainian Catholic College’s vice-rector for educational affairs and internationalization, stated Thursday by way of a FaceTime interview with the Tribune that following almost two years of on-line instruction, the winter quarter on the college started in particular person, however was upended by the Russian invasion in February.

“We lost about a week, but we quickly decided to take a service learning approach, teaching our students how to do practical things while serving the community,” Sherengovsky stated.

“In our case, we asked, ‘what can we do to help?’ So our students are doing volunteer work, like providing psychological help, sheltering and helping people with disabilities,” Sherengovsky stated, describing a couple of of the hands-on scholar tasks going down throughout Lviv.

Whereas the college’s 2,100 college students had been additionally in a position to proceed their applications by way of on-line programs on the college, Sherengovsky stated the service studying tasks are possible to supply college students with experiences that may show extra precious than conventional classes realized within the classroom.

After which, all of the sudden, the FaceTime chat with Sherengovsky was halted by a keening sound bursting from his smartphone.

“The alarms are going off, I need to go to shelter,” Sherengovsky stated, earlier than including: “It means they’ve sighted missiles, but I can still probably talk for eight more minutes.”

“I’m not scared, but I was scared during the first days,” Sherengovsky stated. “Then your psychology adjusts a little bit, and while it’s definitely not typical, after a number of them, it is a routine.”

April 14: When the air raid sirens started wailing at 4 a.m. on a current day in Lviv, Ukraine, school scholar Marta Haiduchok started her day in search of shelter within the basement of her house constructing.

Greater than 12 hours later, Haiduchok, 20, was Zooming in to her on-line courses at DePaul College, the place she is one in every of 100 Ukrainian college students studying alongside their American classmates within the Chicago college’s digital school rooms.

“When the war first started I was super anxious all of the time, and it was hard to concentrate. But in my case, I’m putting so much into my education, my studies are helping me do my best to forget everything that’s going on,” Haiduchok stated by way of a FaceTime interview with the Tribune from her house in Lviv, positioned in western Ukraine about 40 miles from Poland.

After studying many Ukrainian college students and their households had been displaced from their houses, and universities throughout the nation had been working at lowered capability, DePaul reached out to professors who had been scheduled to show on-line programs for the spring quarter, asking for volunteers concerned about welcoming Ukrainian college students to Zoom in to their digital school rooms.

Given the eight-hour time distinction with Chicago, Ukrainian college students had been invited to enroll in on-line programs provided early within the day to permit for synchronized instruction as a lot as potential, Besana stated.

“War is no longer an abstract concept for our DePaul students, because now, they know classmates like Marta and Sofiia, which is really powerful,” Besana stated.

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