The first student exchange program has started in Ukraine with the aim of internal integration. Recently students from Uzghorod returned from Mariupol where they stayed for ten days with GOxChange program. The main goal of the trip to distant cities is to overcome stereotypes about different parts of Ukraine.
What I want to remember from this trip is how responsible and breathtaking it is to give people chance to widen their worldview, find out about new exciting things, to see young people from different backgrounds come together in the right place and time, and how great it is to come back home a new person,
-manager of GOxChange program Julia Fedotovskih
For our pilot launch of the program which we hope to see nationwide, we intentionally choose two opposite points of Ukraine -Mariupol, and Uzhgorod. Uzhgorod is the closest city in Ukraine to Europe and Mariupol has gone through an occupation four years ago and turned it to one of the most advanced cities of the east. Even logistics did not stand in our way, some of our students spent over 40 hours on the road.
From 18 to 28 of march Mariupol state university students will go to Uzhgorod to create their own stories and memories about the new city.
I along with our whole team believe that only experience acquired by yourself and communication can bring Ukraine back together. Students had to get to know Mariupol history, people, and their custom without the influence of stereotypes because people are the important part. To be honest, Mariupol surprised us with its hospitality and the whole team was pleased with signs of friendship amongst students,
-Co-founder of GoGlobal office and people’s deputy Mustafa Nayem.
Students from Transcarpathia who visited Mariupol for the first time satiated that, even though ten days is not much but it was the most productive ten days of their life.
Student Galina Gichka participant of the program said:
“not only I received an opportunity to meet interesting people and see something new. I had an opportunity to revise a lot of events and to break stereotypes that were poisoning the hearts and minds of millions of Ukrainians. What I concluded for myself is that you can’t fully trust the media and politicians, you should go out and speak to regular people. And the more people you meet the clearer your thoughts and conclusions get”.
Our team and Uzhgorod students saw how stereotypes implanted in our minds by history, media and politicians crumbled in front of our eyes.
We Ukrainians are different but we are one nation, and this is not just a posh phrase, there are the words that became dear to our hearts,
-concludes GoGlobal initiative manager Svitlana Kolodii
We want to thank everyone who helped us make our dream come true, all host families who took students into their home like their own, Mariupol State University Chancellor Konstantin Balabanov and Olena Procenko, for putting their trust into our insane idea. Katerina Bilova for organising the hospitable reception and housing for students and classrooms for our activities. Oleksandr Kornienko for team building lectures for our students. Vladislav Zaicev for his input in the development of the project. Olga Demidko for the great sightseeing around Mariupol. Dmitro Chicheria for tutoring in photography in amazing establishment Halabuda. Culture house Molodisnii and Anton Telbizov for submerging in cultural atmosphere of the city and for newly discovered actor abilities amongst our students. Ilich Metallurgical plant for inviting us to see how this enormous structure operates. Vezha Creative Space for virtual reality. “Platforma TIU” for movies and modern art. Yurii Chapin for sightseeing of port of Mariupol. Public initiative centre and Maksim Borodina for his position and work on improvement of ecology in the city. Canteen “Eda” for breakfasts and lunch and their flexibility. School #47 and Olena Korolova for welcoming atmosphere and tasty diner.editorial office mrpl.city and TV Channel TV-7 Mariupol, 0629.com.ua and all regional media for attention to the project and its promotion