Oct 10, 2019

As you’re reading this article, there are thousands of international and local students who are currently in Ukraine, enjoying quality education or maybe taking a break from it by tapping into the numerous adventure opportunities that Ukraine has to offer. At this very moment, there are students who are doing practical disection or are in world class facilities. They are enjoying Ukrainian cuisine at the cafeteria or a Big Mac at one of the busiest McDonald’s in the world. There are students who are river rafting or simply exploring one the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are standing at the centre of the world or they are having wonderful conversations with new friends or just dreaming of fun as they sleep in an affordable room in an hostel.

These students were able to have all these without stress or the need to break the bank. So, why are you not one of these students?

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is a large country filled with amazing history, architecture, and culture as well as warm and hospitable people. What’s more, they are one of the most educated countries in the world.

Ukraine is also bordered by seven countries including Russia and Poland. The local language is Ukrainian but the average Ukrainian knows at least two languages. Also, the local currency is Hryvnia.

Despite the war that goes on between Ukraine and Russia, this is only at one section of the far region. Schools and people have since been evacuated, moreover, it is highly secure and students are warned to stay away. The good news is that both locals and visitors hardly feel the presence of the war as they carry on their day to day activities. Therefore, Ukraine is still beautiful and safe place to study.

There are lots of unique benefits of studying in Ukraine no matter the angle you take. Be it ease of admission, quality of education or affordable tuition, and standard of living.

Here are some things that you need to know.


Studying in Ukraine is so cheap that you can use the first year fees of some universities in America and Uk to cover at least two years of tuition and accommodation in Ukrainian universities. The tuition fee from as low as 2000 to 4000 USD per year, and the highest range are primarily for medical, aviation, master and PhD programs with a tuition range from 4000 – 7000 USD for majority of the universities.


Academic Accreditation, Recognition and Programs

Be it research or academic institutes, Ukrainian universities offer lots of values to students through rich curriculum, world class facilities, and standard teaching methods, most of which are accredited by the Ukrainian Ministry of Education. They are also widely accepted all over the world with international recognition from organizations like WHO, UNESCO, MCI, FAISER among others.

There are institutions that offer a wide range of courses for multi-level programs like pre-university, bachelor, masters, doctorate, specialist programs. The programs are mostly practical and are also available in various languages mostly in English, Ukrainian, and Russian. This gives you the opportunity to experience different approaches to education.


Admission Process

Compared to other universities with lots of requirements and multistaged screening process, the admission process of Ukrainian universities are much simpler and easier.

From application to admission, to registration, you won’t have to go through the hassle most international students face by doing language tests like IELTS and TOEFL or even have entrance examinations. Instead, most universities have a simple online process that only requires you to provide the basic information and have good grades as well necessary supporting documents.

To apply for bachelor’s degree, you need your high school certificates and results or it’s equivalent. Undergraduates need at least 5 credits in related subjects.

For more advanced, post graduate programs, you will need to submit the prerequisite certificates and transcripts from the tertiary institution. All this make it easier and quicker for students to apply to as many universities as they want.

Of course you need to meet the eligibility criteria for whatever you are applying for and then you will get the acceptance and invitation letter within a few weeks. After you get the invitation letter, you can then apply for a student Visa.


Visa Requirements

Earning that degree you have dreamt of is only a few more steps away. There are a few countries that do not need to apply for visa before studying in Ukraine. However, most times, applying of a long-term student visa is absolutely necessary before you can finally take that next academic step.

Ensure to apply for the visa months before admission deadline and always do all the required process as well as arrange the necessary documents.

Do your research before hand to a smoother process. Check out the Ukrainian embassy in your country and understand the application process. Here are the basic things you need.

  • Original and photocopied acceptance or invitation letter into a Ukrainian university.
  • Filled visa application form (cross check all spellings).
  • Visa fee payment receipt.
  • Original school certificate legalised by the Ministry of Education.
  • Original and recent medical certificate (not later than a month) from your country’s ministry of health.
  • Original birth certificate.
  • International Passport (valid for at least a year and lot less than 10 years after arrival in Ukraine).
  • Recent passport photographs, 3 by 4 cm in size (check required number and have extra just in case.)
  • Other medical forms like HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis screening results, also approved by the ministry of health and within a one month period.
  • Sponsorship letter containing his or her name, signature, contact details, and the name of the person who is being sponsored. It should be in form of a court affidavits.
  • Sponsor’s valid ID
  • Bank statement, from either you or your sponsor, to proof that you have more than enough to take care of all academic and living costs. The minimum amount differs so you need start saving up early. Also keep the amount steady for at least three months before applying for the Visa.
  • Travel or health insurance.
  • Flight reservation
  • Visa interview.

Please note that you may be required to translated some or all documents, this can be done at the embassy for $50 – $90 depending on your country. The basic Visa application takes at least a month to be processed but there are different visa packages that will speed up this process for a price. Using a consulting agency also helps.

Here are some questions that may be asked during the interview.

  • Why do you need a visa?
  • Where and what are you going to study?
  • How long will your study last?
  • Do you have all the necessary documents?
  • Can you afford to live and study in Ukraine?
  • Do you have a sponsor?
  • During your study, do you plan to work as well?
  • How long do you plan to stay after graduation?

The questions are pretty much centred on these key areas. In case you are denied the Visa for a particular reason (which they will give), you always appeal their decision with a focus on correcting the reason for the denial.

After getting the visa, send the scanned copy of all of these documents to the school to finish the application process. Ensure to notify the school of your travel details for them to organise a pick-up and to avoid being sent back. Also check and cross check that you have ALL the necessary documents and copies as well. You can also scan the original documents and save them to your drive.


Living in Ukraine

There are a lot more benefits and opportunities to studying in Ukraine than I had mentioned earlier and will ever be able to completely discuss today. However there a few key areas of interest that you need to understand in order to do proper planning and budgeting.

Although cost of living differs from city to city (Kyiv being the most expensive), it is cheaper to live in Ukraine than England or America for example.

Standard of living in Ukraine is also high. All the basic amenities are available for all citizens in most areas so that there are little or no ghettos. Everything is pretty much cheap here including feeding.

Accommodation and housing is also cheap, although cheaper in the countryside than in the city. Whether you decide to go for hostel or private apartments, everything is budget friendly.

Transportation: International students in Ukraine enjoy transport and travel discounts. In case you didn’t know, Ukraine has one of the best transportation system in the world.

Are you tired of the generalisation and want some figures? Let me summarize all I just said.

Concerning transportation, public transport like electric buses and subway trains cost the least with you spending at most $30 the first month (on touring and getting lost), and lesser in other months (again this depends on your preference.) Students can also enjoy up to 50% transport discounts through their student cards.

Accommodation is also affordable in Ukraine, I will advice you to stay in hostel for the first year which helps you find your bearing (socially and otherwise) and avoid the common “newbie” mistakes.

Hostel rooms range from 500 – 1200 USD/Year depending on room standards number of persons per room. On the other hand, rental flats can range from as low as $200 to $500 per monthly, depending on location and room standards. It is also possible to dwell with a Ukrainian family or split the rental chaving having a room or housemate.

With the exception of tuition and accommodation, a student can live comfortably with a average of $3000 for the first year (because you are bound to over spend while understanding the new way of life) and $2000 annually for the rest of the year. This covers the basic transport (within the country), and cost of some necessary documents as well as that of stationaries (books, pencils, and pens). Of course, these amount depends on your lifestyle.

Therefore, the overall range of living costs and tuition for the first year is $8,000 to $10,000 and $5,000 to $7,000 for the successive years.

Apart from that, Ukraine’s climate in fairly normal with the normal hot and cold peaks in July and January respectively.

Bonus 1: Fun

There are so many beautiful places to visit and fun things to do in Ukraine. To list a few you can go paragliding, skiing, ice skating, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain trekking, cave exploration, and river rafting. If you are not the type to do all these, you can go sightseeing to lots of tourist attractions like museums, monasteries, opera houses, castles, or witch meetings. There are bound to be lots recreational facilities and extra curriculum activities in your school as well.

Bonus 2: Tips and benefits for International Students

  • Find a way to tap into the benefits made specifically for international students.
  • Pick a school on course-related ranking instead the normal university rankings.
  • You can also decided pick a school based on their non-academic features like location and cultural diversity of students.
  • Tuition fee is almost always paid on arrival so don’t fall victim to scam artists.
  • International students get special licence to teach foreign students.
  • Don’t build a box for yourself, meet different people and learn from them.
  • Understand the exchange rates and have basic understanding of current affairs.
  • Volunteer or participate in extra-curricular activities.


Bonus 3: Fun facts about Ukraine

  • Ukrainian is the second most melodic and third most beautiful language in the world.
  • Ukraine is home to loads of Cafes so you are most likely to have a few on your street.
  • Ukraine has Uber, Bolt and a local app called Uklov. You often have to haggle for other cabs.
  • Ukraine boasts of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • They have a thing for Easter eggs, bread and spirits.
  • $1 in some parts of Ukraine can get you two loaves of bread.
  • You have to pay for plastic bags and to use public restrooms so always hold change.

So there you have it, all you need to know to be among those lucky students I mentioned earlier. All you need to do now is pick a school an apply.

Good luck!

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