Stories of CISC graduates. University in the USA, study programs in foreign colleges, debates. Iasia Miroshnychenko
The first CISC graduates are our love and pride. Charming Iasia Miroshnychenko shared her story about enrollment into a university in the USA, about life outside school, about the skills that young people have to possess nowadays, and about requirements set to enrollees in foreign higher education establishments.
Two higher education establishments at once – The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and Georgia Tech in Atlanta, USA – was it a dream come true or just a coincidence?
I’ve always dreamt about higher education abroad. Besides, Ukrainian universities simply do not have specialization I wish to study, – the chemical engineering.
Just when I was dealing with enrollment to the US University, the pandemic has begun. And I realized I had to find some good additional options in Ukraine. That’s why I will be studying in Kyiv-Mohyla Academy for a year, and then I’m planning to become a full-time student in the USA. I have passed the entry tests already, just made a sort of adjournment.
Many foreign higher education establishments pay a lot of attention to whether the enrollee participates in volunteer activities, has experience of work with interesting projects. Which additional requirements, beside the knowledge, were set in the process of your enrollment to the US University?
Yes, one of the conditions for my enrollment was volunteering experience, too. But you must understand that it has to be from the soul, not just for the sake of appearance.
I volunteered in an institution that organizes camps for children and teaches them English language. It’s an unbelievable feeling – to see the grateful eyes of the kids when you teach them! To speak English freely and without fear, and to watch them try to conquer their own fears and become more confident with every time. I am happy to have participated in such project, it’s a great experience.
And I wrote many things in my application form about our English language debates in CISC, how we participated in different contests together with Ms. Helen, raising very serious topics about politics and history. It’s important for the members of the enrollment commission to see that the enrollee has experience of participating in debates and discussions concerning various topics apart from the specialization he/she applies for.
At the time of enrollment campaign into the US University I passed two tests – the first one was English language, the second one – English+math. But these tests were not about testing the strict theoretical knowledge, they were about the ability to apply the knowledge in practice. For example, we were given a test about suffragettes, with various tables and questionnaires attached. We had to analyze whether they are suitable for the text, or whether we should insert new numbers or delete the unnecessary data. The math test was also about practical aspects and application in life: we were offered to solve problems related to business, statistics and everyday stuff.
Does your school experience help you with the studies in the Academy?
I am very grateful to CISC teachers who taught us to apply the knowledge instead of giving only the strict theory. We had laboratory classes and experiments all the time, we were taught to operate the knowledge and comprehend everything we learn. It is of great help with my studies now.
As concerns the English language, I am so grateful to Ms. Helen, because we studied the language at a very high level with her, participated in some cool activities, had debates and discussions on topics related to the economics, politics and history. And it has brought good results. Especially now, when I am studying at the Academy, I can really value the level of English language taught to us in School.
About academic programs abroad
For the last three years I’ve been to various universities in the USA, attending business and management academic programs. Despite of selecting a more technical profession, I think it’s very important to develop in all the spheres.
The focus in foreign universities is more on the self-studies. They can read a lecture and give you a project task. But you can’t complete the project unless you apply the best efforts to explore the topic yourself and perform the task correctly. For example, after one of the lectures about business we had to make a project for the company that deals with homes for the elderly. And to complete it successfully, we had to gather the knowledge from many spheres, including deep knowledge of psychology.
And we had similar integrated classes in CISC, which I liked so much. Especially the mathematics+chemistry+English, when we explored the topic from different aspects in English language. Even now, at the Academy, we are studying the topic of different theories for creation of the periodic system, which we have studied thoroughly in the CISC. I remember presenting this topic in English language in one of the integrated classes.
Which skills does a modern enrollee has to possess?
I think that critical thinking is a must. I am very happy that in CISC we were taught to develop it. Without critical thinking the way you perceive any subject (and any aspect of life) is different.
You must learn to have no fear of making a mistake. Only two years ago I understood that any mistake is a lesson and experience. And if you fail, it only means that you can do better or do it in a different way. Every mistake should stimulate you to move forward instead of clamping up.
I also think that adaptibility is important for every person. It’s especially priceless when you suddenly decide to change your sphere of activity, university or the country you live in, you must adapt quickly and understand the specifics of some processes, and start the activities in new circumstances and conditions.
Some advice for younger colleagues
First of all, you must start preparing for the enrollment and understand what you want starting from the 9th grade. Especially if you wish to enroll into a foreign college. Because, in that case, you must make time to volunteer, participate in different projects, and to think it through personally. All this takes a lot of time, that’s why you have to think beforehand and create an algorithm for your actions.
I would like to point out that the English language is what you simply can’t do without in modern world. In my opinion, not knowing English reserves the opportunities for your development.
It’s also important to remember that it’s Ok if you don’t know what you want to study or whom you wish to become. That’s why there are many programs in foreign high education establishments, where you can get familiarized with different professions during you first year, and select what you like more.
In CISC, we had carreer guidance and orientation starting from the 9th grade. As I recall, I did not know whom I wanted to become. And the teachers helped me greatly with that, I could ask advice from Ms.Irina, our chemistry teacher. I remeber telling her I wanted to manufacture cosmetic products. Then I really decided I can really become a chemist and make absolutely everything, this sphere is very interesting for me. Starting from that moment, I had a dream of engaging into science.