Stories of CISC graduates. Ostap Pavlenko: About the things that really matter for enrollment at foreign colleges, about patriotism and the competencies necessary for a modern person.

Stories of CISC graduates. Ostap Pavlenko: About the things that really matter for enrollment at foreign colleges, about patriotism and the competencies necessary for a modern person.

Love your country, wish to develop it, dream of representing Ukraine in international projects… It might seem that we are telling you about a public figure, a famous activist, a prominent scientist or an experienced diplomat. But we are not. Because all of these criteria characterize the modern youth, young people who, at the age of 18, want to “contribute to the public benefit”.

Ostap Pavlenko, a graduate of CISC_Holosiivo, shares his story – about why he decided to enroll at a university in Canada, what the best foreign colleges expect from a foreign applicant, and, in general, about formation of a modern person’s view of the world.


How I got to the UAL

After graduation, I enrolled at an acting faculty in Canada. Then the pandemic happened, and the strict quarantine, and I was absolutely against studying acting online. Still, I had thought about additional options at the time of my enrollment, one of which was the UAL (Ukrainian Academy of Leadership). It was a great solution, because it allowed me to study that year.

Ukrainian Academy of Leadership is a one-year program and an amazing base for your view of the world. It helps you grow up,  teaches you to take the initiative, provides many opportunities to implement your skills in various projects. The Academy has five centers in Ukraine, and I am currently studying in Mykolaiv.



Starting from next September, I will make my dream come true, and I will go to Canada and study offline. I had to start the enrollment all over again, and this time, by the way, I selected another college. This time I had a chance to prepare, and to enroll at the acting faculty for a 1,5 year program in an even better college, Vancouver Film School

At the beginning of the academic year I will study the acting skills in general, which includes both cinema and theater. My next step will be studying cinema and acting for camera. After graduation I am going to practice acting in Canada. After that I will return to Ukraine.

Further on, I dream of graduating one of the top Ukrainian universities, a faculty of humanitarian sciences like linguistics or cultural studies. By the way, Ukrainian bachelor programs in these fields reach a very high level according to international standards. Studies at bachelor programs help you to form as a person, and they shape your view of the world. People sometimes say that you will live in the area where you graduated. I have no intention of living abroad, I only want to receive good experience and practice.

Why the acting?

My family is creative: my father is an opera singer, my grandfather is a folklore expert. That’s why I graduated from a music school, learned to play the piano, and at the 8th grade I decided to join a theater club. We staged the “Forest Song” then, and I fell in love with the theater. Never before have I felt such an emotion. Theater unites a wonderful community of inspired and fulfilled people, who have many things to say to each other and to this world.


The artists are one of the most amazing people. They possess the extra-perceptive sense, and vividly feel the world around and themselves in the world. When the performance ended, and the applause burst out, and the people in the audience were really crying – all these emotions became a driving force for me.


About the things that became useful for enrollment

I really wish that our country would accept the selection system of foreign universities. At the moment, our whole system is based only on the grades of the External Independent Testing, and it’s sad. While abroad it (the test results) has only minor influence upon enrollment. Almost the only thing that matters there is the type of person you are, and how you will fit this particular university from the point of values, whether you are proactive or not, your civic stance, ideology, personal development, whether you are engaged into volunteering activities, whether you put your energy into development or other persons or things.

I used to volunteer at dofferent forums,  for instance, the M18 Forum for the kids and youth, where the teenagers meet politicians and can ask them different questions and have a dialogue.  I also volunteered at other events and marathons.


Essay writing is also important for enrollment. Your essay may be so powerful, with such a good grounding of the reasons why you want to study in this particular university or why exactly why they need to select you, that it will be enough for enrollment. This approach helps to flunk out the students with low motivation, and to keep the really mindful students, who kno what they want. It’s a popular selection practice in foreign colleges. I truly hope that our country will accept this practice, and the decision will be based on more factors than only the EIT results.

What was your most fauvourite charity project?

There were two of them. The first one was the exhibition with different trainings related to modern art. The second one was helping to organize different workshops for kids with development impairements. We came and simply  help to organize the events, and talked to the kids.

How did the school impact your development?

I remember well the Media faculty in CISC. We visited TV-channel studios, talked to the journalists, worked before the camera, learned how the TV works. It was interesting and important. Because it’s the media space, a sphere very close to the one I chose. And I learned many interesting things.

And there was a very high level of English language studies in school, and great teachers. Learning a foreign language is often a difficult process. CISC is a school  with tolerance, but after transferring to it I improved my English language knowledge, which allowed me to enroll in Canada.

In which country do you  see your future?

I am patriotic, that’s why I want to live in Ukraine. That’s how I was raised, and that’s my view of the world. It does not mean that I don’t want to participate in international projects. I am going abroad to get a good education, and, in addition, foreign diplomas in art sphere are more recognized abroad. That’s why, my decision is about freedom and opportunities. I think it would be cool to represent Ukraine afterwards in international projects. It is my dream.


What are the skills and competencies a modern person needs?

A modern person must posses a set of leadership skills. There are many of them. I will emphasize the most important ones, in my opinion.

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