A Ukrainian journey

Namibian national Taimi Kashilula had the following to share with The Zone regarding her experience as a first-year foreign student at Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University.

16 April 2019 | Education

Taimi Kashilula

I am a first-year medical student at Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University in Ukraine.

I am still trying to get used to the education system here, as I feel like it is stricter compared to our education system back home.

Being a foreign student, a first-year for that matter, has been challenging yet fascinating. The ‘missing home fever’ kicked in the moment I arrived in Ukraine, a challenge that I still struggle to cope with because being far from home is not as easy as I thought. Talk about avoiding the market, yapp! That was definitely me; for the past few months I avoided going to the market due to my zero knowledge of the Ukrainian language. I wouldn’t know how to communicate, in case I needed assistance in finding something. I also found it weird that I had to walk approximately 30 minutes just to get to the next class; I expected lecture halls to be closer to each other.

Despite all the challenges, Ukraine is actually a very nice country with an interesting people and culture. I have also made new friends. These friends are from different countries and have rich multicultural backgrounds. Making friends made me adapt to my new environment quicker than I expected. Even though adjusting to the Ukrainian weather was a challenge, I truly enjoyed my first encounter with snow. It was actually fascinating even though I do not really enjoy the coldness that comes with it.

The food here is also cheap compared to back home. Due to the affordability of food in Ukraine I am able to spoil myself with the best cuisine on offer. Due to my love for food travel around town and bought myself a variety, as I was curious to know what type of food the Ukrainians enjoy. Ever since I never thought there would be any type of food that would outshine my favorite meals back home, until I tasted borsh, vereniki and kvasola - mouthwatering indeed

Studying and obtaining my qualification is my number one priority, but obviously it does not hurt to have some relaxation, especially during school breaks. Besides having friends over at my place for a get-together, I am also an adventurous person who enjoys visiting different places. I have visited great places such as the Bukovel and Odessa beach. I am blessed to have my big sister here with me, who has been a student here for five years now; so exploring the best of what Ukraine can offer has not been a challenge, as shows me around. In a nutshell my experience in Ukraine is amazing and I am enjoying every minute of it.

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