The main task of this Center is to help international students of Lviv Polytechnic to adapt to their new environment, overcome the language barrier, as well as social and psychological counseling.
According to Khrystyna Barvinska, the coordinator of international programs at the Center for International Education, the idea to create such a Center came up during the trainings organized by representatives of the Erasmus Students Network Ukraine in Kyiv last year:
– There I met Yana Kuryliak, our student from the Institute of Administration and Postgraduate Education, who is also studying at the University of the Netherlands. When the girl once came to study abroad, she used the services of this program, so she understands the need for a similar center in our country. And in October of this year we managed to start a Buddy System center at Lviv Polytechnic. It was headed by Yana Kuryliak, her deputy became Yuliia Stoiko from the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technologies, and I am the coordinator.
First we had to find volunteers from among our students who know English well, because their task is to communicate with foreigners who have just entered Polytechnic and have not learned Ukrainian yet. Thus, 15 volunteers started working in the center. They successfully organized the first meetings, International Students’ Day, made a tour around Lviv for them. In the near future it is planned to organize days of the countries from which these students came from: Congo, Vietnam, Egypt, Iran, etc.… And the big goal – membership in the ESN, which operates successfully in many European countries: Germany, Spain and Italy.
Currently, ESN has only one representative office in Ukraine – in Kyiv. There are candidates for membership in Chernivtsi, as its branch has already completed certain preparatory stages.
At the moment, our students are willing to communicate with their colleagues from other countries who have chosen Lviv Polytechnic to study, and help them adapt to the new environment as quickly as possible.