Ukraine ahead of the West

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Sept. 16, 2011, 6:57 p.m. | Letters — by Eva Kukko
Dear Editor,

My name is Eva, I am Ukrainian and currently live in USA where I study biomathematics at local university. Approaching graduation, I face a tough decision – stay in US and pursue career here or come back to Ukraine. Kyiv Post story “Ukrainians debate identity as nation marks 20th year” helped make up my mind – I will back to Ukraine. We in Ukraine are striving to reach the level of the West, and while striving, we don’t understand that we already surpassed them.

I make this conclusion based comparing young people in US and Ukraine. We, young Ukrainians, and Russians as well, were brought up during deep economic recession and because of this turned out more firm, with more patience and diligence.

Most of Americans, and probably Europeans as well, had comfortable childhoods that did not require any effort on their side. They had everything they need - toys, food, entertainment and no responsibilities. In American schools, if you do minimum effort – you get the highest mark, which is not the case in Ukraine. US school curriculum is behind ours by at least two years.

Yes, Americans start working early, when they are around 16. But from my personal experience I know they don’t take their jobs seriously – they are often late or on sick leaves, always grim and unhappy.

Of course my opinion is subjective, but many older Americans share it. In the University of Houston where I study, young students from the former USSR are top of the class, even though English is not their mother tongue. American students, on the other hand, are always below average. I am sure that new generation of Americans will not be able to compete with us when the time of our generation comes. Having spent five years here in US, I have made my choice to come back to Ukraine, not because of patriotic feelings, but because I am sure that our country has potential, while in US and Europe they will reap the fruits of their labor. They will roll down while we move forward.


Eva Kukko, League City, Texas, USA
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