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You're reading: Ukrainian Voices From Abroad: Andrii Zaitsev’s Independence Day story
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Editor’s Note: As the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence as a nation approaches on Aug. 24, the Kyiv Post is asking Ukrainians who live abroad to comment on their lives and their reflections on their homeland. To participate, Ukrainians living abroad should send a photo and answers to the following questions to Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner at

Kyiv Post: Where are you from in Ukraine?

Andrii Zaitsev: Initially from Zaporizhzhia, I went to Kyiv Polytechnic Institute for higher education in 2006. In 2009, I was offered to participate in a double diploma cooperation with Université du Maine in Le Mans, France. After one year of language courses, in 2010, I quit Ukraine to France to follow master’s courses in chemistry. After two years, in 2012, I graduated from both universities (number 5 of 18 students, both Ukrainians and French) and started my Ph.D. thesis at the same university. In France, if you don’t have French passport, it’s quite difficult to find a job with high qualifications: too much administrative work for employer. Well, it depends on domain, because for IT and economical specializations there are no problems. So, I accepted a temporary position at Lyon University and after one year returned to Le Mans where I live nowadays and work on scientific projects on a temporary basis.

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