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August 8, 2020

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She sees her education more as a stepping stone than as a final destination

ONU student Elizaveta Dyachuk from Russia says: "Americans are very much like Russians, but smile more frequently"

Elizaveta Dyachuk
English pronunciation:  Liza (pronounce like Lisa but with Z)
Nationality: Russian
Year at ONU: Junior
Major at ONU: Business Management  

Icon: How did you hear about ONU?
It’s the most popular question that I get here! People are always wondering: How did you end up choosing ONU in the corn fields?! I got lucky that my program, I am a part of (The YEAR Program), has chosen it for me because otherwise, I’d do a bad job, just selecting the well-known one. Ohio Northern is a great place to study.

Icon: What city did you grow up in? What is its population?
Saint Petersburg. Its population is  5,468,000.

Icon: Tell us about your family.
My mom is an accountant; she works in a bank. My dad used to work in an oil company. All my relatives live all across Russia-Nizhnevartovsk, Tobolsk, Syzran, you name it. I seldomly see my extended family, especially my grandparents, but I try to keep in touch and visit them once a year during my summer break. 

Icon: How do you communicate with your family while in the U.S.? 
I use WhatsApp with all of my relatives and friends.

Icon: What do you hope to do with your degree?
Now I see my education more as a stepping stone rather than a final destination. After getting my economics degree in Russia, it’d be really neat to switch to business and get an MBA in the U.S. or Europe, but we never know where life will bring us, so I’d rather stop discoursing about that.

Icon: How many languages do you speak?
I speak Russian and English.

Icon: What other countries in the world have you visited?
Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Germany and Sweden. 

Icon: What is the biggest culture shock you experienced when arriving at ONU?
I was surprised with American university culture. I’m used to seeing a university as a stress machine where you have to study 24/7, have no free time and personal life.

We don’t have syllabi, so as a Russian student, I have to always anticipate teacher’s gifts in the form of tests or exams. Plus, all the classes and schedule are already chosen for you, that’s why it becomes a real problem to work and study simultaneously.

Given that, it’s understandable that Russian education is strong enough, but personally, I love having an opportunity to plan my days, sleep and develop extensively, in all areas of my life. 

Icon: What’s the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the United States?
Americans are very much like Russians, but smile more frequently. 

Icon: What do you miss the most from home?  
I had a short period of homesickness in December since it’s the most festive month, but other than that I wouldn’t say so. I was working really hard the last academic year to come here, so I prefer to treasure the moment. 

Icon: Is there somewhere in the United States that you hope to visit?
I’ve already visited places that I hadn’t even expected to go to. That’s why, I’m more than happy with that. But one day, I’d like to come back and explore the country a bit more, stay for a while in different places and listen to regional accents. 

Icon: What food do you miss from home? 
Honestly, I don’t miss Russian food. First of all, I cook for myself, and believe me, I’m far from being the greatest cook. Apart from that, I have absolutely no wish to spend time on that during my study weeks, so I end up eating a fried chicken with rice or vegetables which is the world-famous dish that you can make in 20-25 minutes.

Icon: How do you like the weather in Ohio?
It’s sunnier and not so windy, I like it.

Icon: What has been your favorite experience so far?
The number one thing is my host family. They are terrific and have definitely enriched my year.

Apart from that, I really love small daily things here as being surrounded by great, like-minded friends whom I’ve met here, student organizations, side projects and conferences. I’ve got the taste of life I’d never lived before, and it turned out to be pretty good.