Place: Gainesville, Florida, USA
Host university: University of Florida
Lenght: one semester
Hi there! My name is Roksolana, I am a second year student of an MA program at the ASC, and I am spending this spring term of 2021/2022 academic year at the University of Florida.
I am taking classes at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, mainly at the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies Research. I particularly liked the course on Transnational Feminism, which places women and feminism in a transnational perspective, focusing on various theories and movements engendered by women in contemporary national contexts. Violence Against Women has been another excellent course I took. It focuses on what we know and what we think we know about violence against women, described by United Nations as a “global injustice.” I was taught by incredibly strong and inspiring women at the ASC, and the UF is not an exception. This term has been full of both research and data, as well as meaningful, wholesome conversations in a group of strong young women who know what their purpose is.
Apart from classes, this experience was also a life-turning point for me. I am Ukrainian and when a war broke down, I received so much love and support from the University of Florida. It is truly a place of great people. Our Ukrainian club cooperated with the Polish Student Association and did a lot to raise awareness and bring a change. This month we were able to organize a humanitarian aid drive on campus and send help to my native city in the southeast of Ukraine.
I was engaged in a lot of activist work on and off campus, making sure everyone knows how they can help Ukraine. Together we sent almost 2000 USD to Ukraine and held numerous events. My time here at the UF has been truly amazing — both awakening and heart-breaking. It has brought a lot of tears and a lot of happiness, moments of loneliness and desperation, as well as belief and hope. I’ve received a lot of support from the International Center, specifically from Amila Tica — person of a great heart, who is a coordinator on the UF side, and she truly is the one to reach out to if you need anything.
So far, the University of Florida has felt like home. Go Gators!