Most of all, we respect Ukraine, its good people and its fertile lands. As they say, they do not choose their parents and the country, but we are very proud that we are able to live in this truly European country.
- Official language: Ukrainian
- Capital: Kyiv
- Independence: August, 24, 1991
- Population: 47 732 079
- Currency: Hryvnia (UAH)
- Time zone: GMT+2 (UTC+2)
- Location: Central-Eastern Europe, part of the East-European plain, between 44”20′ and 52”20′ N and 22”5′ and 41”15’E.
- Area: 603 700 km2
- Climate: moderately continental.
- Average winter temperature: is from -8° to -12° C (from +17.6° F to +3° F). In the Southern regions average winter temperature is 0° C (+32° F).
- Average summer temperature: is from +18° to +25° C (from +64.4° F to +77° F), although maximum temperature can be more than +35°C (+95° F).
- Best time to visit Ukraine: summer, late spring and early autumn.
- Internet top-level domain: ua
- International phone code: +380
We do not intend to give you a lecture in geography on topic "Living in Ukraine".
Therefore, we better advise you to read the facts that the famous journalist Hugh Morris wrote in daily British newspaper The Daily Telegraph
25 things you didn't know about Ukraine, the heart of Europe
1. It is large
- Russia excluded, Ukraine is the continent’s largest county at 603,628 square kilometres, stretching from Russia in the east to Poland in the west, and sandwiched between the Black Sea in the south and fellow former Soviet state Belarus in the north. France is next at 551,695 square kilometres.
2. And boasts seven wonders
- Within its large borders, Ukraine has seven World Heritage Sites, including the 11th century Saint-Sophia Cathedral in Kiev, the ancient city of Chersonesus, and the primeval beech forests of the Carpathians. Another is the Struve Geodetic Arc, a chain of survey triangulations linking Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea in Ukraine. It “helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping,” according to Unesco. Beyond its World Heritage Sites it has a wealth of majestic Orthodox cathedrals, including St Michael's in Kiev, pictured below.
3. It likes a drink
- Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks Ukraine sixth for alcohol consumption, with 13.9 litres glugged per capita per year. Only Belarus, which tops the chart, Moldova, Lithuania, Russia and Romania consume more.
4. But it's not just vodka
- While we’re on the subject, it’s worth noting that Ukrainians do not exclusively drink vodka, as one might assume. The national drink is called horilka, another clear spirit. While vodka means “little water”, horilka means “burning water”, a nod to the fact that drink is often flavoured with chili pepper.
5. It loves Mcdonald's
- Ukraine is not all about booze. The McDonald’s next to the main train station in Kiev, the country’s capital, is claimed to be the third busiest in the world.
6. It is at the heart of Europe
- Put your tea down because this one is a gasper. Within Ukraine is the geographical centre of Europe. OK, it’s not quite as simple as that. A number of locations lay claim to the title and it depends on how you measure Europe, but the small town of Rakhiv in western Ukraine is one such place. The country has a second claimant in Transcarpathia, where an obelisk marks the spot.
7. It’s not The Ukraine
- The English-speaking world commonly referred to the country as The Ukraine. That is, until independence in 1991 when the West gradually dropped the definite article. In 1993 the Ukranian government requested that the country be called just Ukraine. US ambassador William Taylor, who knew that addition of the “the” was considered insulting by some Ukrainians, said it implied a disregard for the country’s sovereignty.
8. It gets deep
- Arsenalna, a station on Kiev’s Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska line, is the world’s deepest at 105.5 metres below ground.
9. And has a very wide road
- Kiev’s main street, Khreshchatyk Street, is often referred to as the shortest yet widest main drag in the world. At only 1.2km long but remarkably broad, the street, which was destroyed in Second World War, is a focal point of the capital.
10. Speaking of Kiev...
- No, chicken Kiev does not come from Kiev. It is thought to be a 19th century French recipe, brought to the east by Russian aristocracy fascinated by French cuisine.
11. It was once a breadbasket
- Bread, on the other hand, plays a large part in Ukrainian history. The country was once known as the breadbasket of Europe, owing to its large agricultural industry. This title was to cause the country immense hardship when it became responsible for feeding the Soviet Union under Stalin. Collectivisation and unassailable grain targets were the main causes of the Great Famine, otherwise known as Holodomor, which in 1932 and 1933 killed as many as 7.5 million Ukrainians. The famine is considered a genocidal act by 25 countries, including Ukraine, Australia and Canada.
12. It has hosted plenty of history
- Ukraine has played the stage for much destruction during its history. But it was also the host of the Yalta Conference in 1945, where Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met to discuss the organisation of post-war Europe. Livadia Palace, which hosted the meeting, is open today as a museum. Today, Yalta is part of history once again as it lies on the disputed Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014. The Crimea is one of four regions the Foreign Office advises against travel to [Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk are the others].
13. It is home to ghost towns
- Another Ukrainian claim to history is Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster. The location in northern Ukraine is now the centre of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, established by the USSR soon after the accident in 1986. Within the zones are a number of abandoned towns, most notably Pripyat, that draw interest from all over the world. Tours of the area, including the power plant, are available, at the risk of the traveller. Radiation levels remain dangerously high – read Telegraph Travel's Chris Leadbeater guide on how to visit.
14. And a cafe capital
- The city of Lviv is sometimes claimed to have the most cafes in the world per capita. Fiona Duncan, after visiting for Telegraph Travel, said: “Though Livivians of today are known for both their fervent nationalism and for their churchgoing, their city has an easy-going, almost frivolous air, filled with university students, embellished by its frothy confection of Renaissance, Baroque, Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau buildings and scented with aromas from its hundreds of Viennese style coffee houses. We only had to step out from our hotel, the Opera, and stroll with the crowds along Lviv’s central spine, Svobody (Liberty) Avenue, to find out how relaxed the place is.”
15. It invented the gas lamp
- Lviv also claims to be the home of the first ever gas lamp. Invented by a local pharmacist in a store called At the Golden Star, today the achievement is remembered by a café called Gasova L’ampa found in the same building.
16. Recognise this?
- The Tunnel of Love, excellent Instagram fodder, is found in the forests near the town of Kleven. The rail road is for a private train that provides wood for a local factory.
17. It built a superlative plane
- Kiev was the birthplace of the world’s biggest plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya. It has the largest wingspan of any aircraft, at 88.4 metres and weighs 640,000kg. A brainwave of the Soviet Union, only one was ever made.
18. And has a huge military
- Ukraine, which inherited a large nuclear arsenal after the break up of the Soviet Union, has the second largest military in Europe behind Russia.
19. You can ski there
- It’s no French Alps, but Ukraine has about four or five ski resorts to shout about, including Bukovel in the Carpathian mountains, with 55km of slopes and 15 lifts.
20. Its capital is a hero
- The capital Kiev was given Hero City status by the Soviet Union following its resistance to the Nazis in the Battle of Kiev in 1941. The Germans encircled the city in July of 1941, eventually capturing it in September and taking more than 600,000 soldiers captive. Despite the battle being seen as a huge victory for Hitler, the city was rewarded for its defence with the title of Hero City in 1965.
21. It is big on easter eggs
- Ukrainians are pretty big on easter eggs. Less so, stuffing their faces with low-quality chocolate: they favour more intricate designs using wax on ornaments known as pysankas. Different regions of the country have different styles and methods of decoration. The practice was banished by the Soviet Union, but continued in North and South America by Ukrainian immigrants.
22. Its music inspires
- George Gershwin’s Summertime was inspired by an old Ukrainian lullaby.
23. It has a mighty Soviet relic
- Armed with a 16-metre sword and a great slab of a shield, Mother Motherland clearly isn’t to be messed with. While Communist symbols and street names were outlawed from Ukraine in 2015, Second World War monuments – like this titanium statue in Kiev – were allowed to remain.
- Mother Motherland, a suitably imposing 62 metres tall, was built in the 1970s – and now forms part of the Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II (catchy title). The monument’s fire pit is supposed to hold an eternal flame, but due to funding issues it now only burns on the biggest national holidays.
24. It has a cool coastline
- The Black Sea, home to Ukraine’s only coastline, is popular with holidaymakers. The massive lake lacks a tide and the water level never changes.
25. And a surprising claim to political history
- Ukraine was home to one of the world’s first ever constitutions, in the form of the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk, written by a Ukrainian Cossack in 1710. It established a democratic standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive and judiciary branches, an idea perhaps made more famous by Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws, which was published in 1748.
As you can see, Ukraine is a very attractive country for both accommodation and tourism and leisure. However, in the range of all these positive characteristics of Ukraine, we have completely forgotten to tell you about education in this wonderful country.
So, why is it better for you to choose Ukraine for study and for higher education?
- In Ukraine, quality education, because:
- Internationally recognized scientific achievements, quality Higher Education Institutions and effective teaching methods.
- Education in Ukraine is both useful and very beneficial. In comparison with other European countries, the price of education in Ukraine is much lower.
- According to Expat Insider 2016, Ukraine was the most affordable country in terms of living expenses and second best in terms of personal financial satisfaction.
- Foreign citizens as well as legal asylum seekers residing in Ukraine have the same rights, freedoms and obligations as citizens of Ukraine.
Areas of study in Ukraine that we promote to prospective international students :
- Medicine and Pharmacology
- Avionics and Rocket Technology
- Applied Physics and Nanotechnology
- Gas and Oil Engineering and Technology
- Shipbuilding and Maritime Engineering
- Atomic Energy Studies
- Biology and Genetics
- Being a student in Ukraine means having an active social life, full of unforgettable activities, which will obviously become precious memories for the rest of your life.
- All universities have student unions which were formed to organize and enrich students’ social and academic lives.
- There are numerous different activities, contests, and cultural clubs on offer at local student communities. Brainstorming competitions are popular in Ukraine and students also take part in scientific conferences to present their research.
- In Ukraine, you can find any sport you like, with big university campuses having their own gyms and play yards. The most popular team sports are football, volleyball, basketball, soccer and cricket. Other sports on offer to students include tennis, badminton and chess. There are sports tournaments constantly being held all over Ukraine.
- Sports culture in Ukraine is rapidly developing. Ukraine hosted the UEFA Euro 2012 in huge modern sports stadiums such as “Olimpiyskiy” in Kyiv, “Metallist” in Kharkiv and “Arena Lviv” in Lviv. In every city you can find a gym for a reasonable price not far from your place and don’t forget to ask about student discounts!
- In Ukraine you can visit theatres, exhibitions and cinemas at a very reasonable price, most with a special discount for students. The traditional Ukrainian opera on offer includes “Natalka Poltavka” and “Zaporozhets za Dunayem”, which have exciting and touching stories full of authentic Ukrainian spirit. Additionally, you can watch folk dances and listen to melodious songs at the theatre.
- Ukrainians respect all cultures and denominations, allowing foreign students to have days off from university to celebrate their own traditional holidays. Besides, this will give you an opportunity to show off your own culture. Ukrainian universities host various projects within the global cultural dialogue, where international students are able to share their traditions with fellow students.
Festivals and Holidays
- In recent years, a variety of festivals have emerged in major Ukrainian cities. Among the most popular are international jazz, open-air, street food and various summer festivals.
- Ukrainian traditional holidays are widely celebrated with the whole family. People like visiting fairs and concerts during Maslyana (the week before the Great Lent), Christmas and Ivana Kupala (Midsummer Day). At these events, you can enjoy traditional Ukrainian cuisine and participate in year-old traditions that will help you form a deeper understanding of Ukrainian culture.
Tourism and Events
- Ukraine has fertile soil and beautiful nature, which has always been a great treasure for conquerors. Every region of the country has it’s unique natural and man-made attractions and tourist spots. You can find numerous museums, nature parks and reserves you surely will be impressed with.
- The largest cities of Ukraine are Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and Kharkiv. Graceful architecture, cozy cafes and restaurants, and a variety of cultural facilities make Ukraine a fascinating destination.
- There is a small city in the Kyiv province called Pereyaslav, which is a known as a “living museum” and is one of the biggest history and ethnography reserves in Ukraine. There are over 20 different museums, and the city hosts various exhibitions and ethnic festivals.
- Western Ukraine has a charming European spirit you should experience: ancient churches, old castles, waterfalls and breathtaking mountains. Carpathian cities like Bukovel, Slavske and Pylypets are well known skiing resorts in the area. The Shatsk lakes in Volyn are one of the biggest in eastern Europe.
- The coastline on the Black Sea is a popular summer destination for vacationers, the river trip from Kyiv to the Black Sea coast promises remarkable sights.
If you still have doubts about Ukraine, then please contact us or read more about cities which you can study in and learn about Ukraine's culture and values.