2018 Kharkiv Students visit Wyoming High School to experience American education

The Delegation from Kharkiv arrived on Saturday, October 21 for a two week visit to Wyoming High School. Their goal is to build relationships with American families and to experience American education and immerse themselves in American culture. The students attended classes at Wyoming High School each day and visited area attractions after school and on the weekends. Their itinerary included celebrating Halloween, attending at a WHS football game, and going to Kings Island and the Zoo.

The first week in school was quite challenging as there were so many things to learn and get used to. For example, for most students it was a surprise that their school schedule was the same every day. Back in Ukraine they have different schedules for each day: more math one day and more languages on the other. And of course the schedule is different every day in Ukrainian schools because the students have more than 20 subjects to learn through a year. Here, in American school they have only 7 or 8, so the subjects can be repeated every day. So the Ukrainian students realized how overwhelmed they are at home with all the subjects compared with American students.

Some of the girls described their new lessons as relaxed – the teachers don’t press the students with instructions and tasks, and at the same time everybody is busy doing their projects, finishing something they had started before. no pressure, friendly atmosphere and any issue can be discussed with a teacher. It is not that common in Ukraine as teachers usually say they are too busy with other students in class and have no time to deal with one issue of a student.

For some of the boys it was confusing that there was minimum instruction on what they were supposed to do and it was surprising that American students always knew what to do.

Also some stereotypes were broken, for example, the Ukrainian students thought that the level of difficulty of math tasks would be lower than they actually were, as they believed that American system of education was easier than Ukrainian one. Well, it is not true, the tasks were hard and the terminology made them even harder. The geometry and marketing principles were named as the most interesting subjects for the Ukrainian students.

The students from Ukraine found that they had some things in common with their American friends: home assignments, challenges to learn chemistry, having fun during lunch breaks with their friends. So, we have more in common than we think.

Nadia Kklymyshy
Ukrainian Teacher