Foreign Exchange Student Compares Learning in Ukraine to the U.S - KOAM TV 7

Foreign Exchange Student Compares Learning in Ukraine to the U.S.


A student more than five thousand miles from home spends sophomore year at Jasper high school.

It’s  not just culture but education systems that are worlds apart.

Vladimir Babenko is from Izmail City, Ukraine. He says learning is easier here and more practical.

Babenko explained,  "American schools, they focus on  um subjects that you really will need  in your life. While in my country, we studied like things that we might not need in your future. Here in America you study  personal finance which will really, really help you in your future ."

He studied English for three years but says language is always a bit of a barrier and challenge. Vlad says teachers are tougher in his country and the curriculum too and students are held to strict standards. He was taking trigonometry in eighth grade.
His host mom who lives in Carl Junction but is a teacher in Jasper schools explained the education push in Ukraine. She said,  "If they don't score a certain  percent, they're not gonna get into anywhere so I think that  the pressure put on them is a lot harder than is put on us in the United States."

As part of his ASSE international  foreign exchange program, he's put in more than one hundred community service hours and done presentations about his country.  His social studies teacher says students, like Vlad  add  to what the class is learning.

Jason Bright explained,
Like in government, we talked about Russia recently, them taking over the Crimea. He's from Ukraine. That actually hits home for him, so he had his own perspective to add to that."

Vladimir said his home can be a source of worry,  "All the things going on between Russia and Ukraine and I think it
s not really safe to be there.  I really want to take my mom and my family to America."

Vlad misses home and friends who text him daily. But he's made new friends here.
Preston Harr is one of them, "I wanted to show him the stuff America has to offer. We have a lot of bonfires here and he really likes em."


In fact, Vlad plans to hold one this Friday to celebrate his sixteenth birthday which was April 11th. Hes also taking drivers education but learning to drive is something he wouldnt be able to do until hes eighteen in Ukraine. The age required to get a permit there.

 While he's enjoying making new friends here,  Vladimir says there are things he misses about home.
My mom, definitely, he said.

Beier said,  "He doesn't have much contact with his family so  we're doing our very best to be his family all in all while he's here."
 They took him to Mexico for spring break helping him realize a lifetime dream of seeing the ocean.  But Vlad is more taken by the U.S.  He said,

I really love this country.  I have tried to learn new things in America. This is what I like the most."

Vladimir,  who  is here through the ASSE international exchange program wants to be a journalist and earlier this year visited the KOAM studio and  shadowed one of our reporters.
          He is one of three foreign exchange students attending school in Jasper.


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