PH International

Vadym Horban (Vinnytsia)

Ukraine | English Access Microscholarship Program | 28 Sep 2018

Hello! My name is Vadym Horban, I am 16 years old. I am studying on the first year of Vinnytsia Technical College, specializing in "Servicing computer systems and networks". Today, this college is one of the largest and most respectable educational institutions in the Vinnytsia region. I became a student of this institution thanks to the events that happened to me during the past three years.
Three years ago, I became a participant of the English Access Microscholarship Program that helps to study English language and learn about culture of the United States.
I have to admit that at that time my level of knowledge of English was rather "nasty". I was ashamed to speak this language, even during the school lessons with my teachers, afraid of being mistaken in pronunciation or meaning of words, and being ridiculed by my classmates or even a teacher (at that time I was a student of Stryzhavka secondary school in Vinnytsia region). I received mainly 6 and 7 points for my knowledge (12 ball system), while at school I was considered an excellent student.
In autumn 2015, the NGO "Center Podillia-Socium" offered me to go to the selection for participation in the above-mentioned program. I am very pleased that I was lucky to pass this selection.
And then learning began...
In the first lesson, in my opinion, all participants had a very confused look, because everyone was unfamiliar, at the age of 14-16, and here as well, to speak English. However, paying tribute to the teachers and project organizers who took the initiative in their hands, from the second lesson, we felt were very familiar people.
Already after several lessons, I felt a huge difference between methods of teaching at school and during Access program classes. I was shocked that learning can be fun and productive, because we studied English while playing games, singing songs, dancing various dances, using modern technologies (smartphones, computer programs, the Internet, etc.). As for productivity, already in the second quarter of the school, in my success chart, instead of the gloomy "7" I got a solid "8" in English. I went to classes with great pleasure, because I knew that my friends are waiting for me and that we will have fun.
And when I started communicating with the "native speakers" of English (for example, John Meister, a retired from the United States and at the same time a Pease Corps Volunteer), my admiration for communication in English was generally unlimited. John explained to me that he was endowed with unlimited satisfaction with the fact that we, Ukrainians, communicate in his native language, and our little mistakes in pronunciation or grammar are of no significance. That's when I finally lost the fear of being ridiculed by peers or teachers.
A year later, I received a scoreboard of "9" in English, and, after a year, I had already fought for "11" with my English teacher at my school, who seemed to me was not very willing to give me this score as she felt that’s that was not a school program that gave me such knowledge and, the most important, self-confidence.
I have a lot of pleasant memories about these three years. The participants of this program are still communicating with each other; we often meet and, for some reason, recall the lessons of Anna Yuriyivna Kynal (one of the teachers of the program). With John, I also communicate, but unfortunately, only through social networks. However, I am sure that I will also visit his homeland, as my future profession provides opportunities for foreign business trips.
I am convinced that due to my self-confidence, which I acquired through the Access program, I believed in myself and took the risk of entering the Vinnytsia Technical College in 2017 for the specialty "Servicing Computer Systems and Networks" (at that time, the competition for one vacant place in the college was seven candidates!). As a result, I am a student of this college and I am proud of this. My ambitions, in the future, are far beyond the limits of this educational institution.
I take this opportunity to thank all those involved in such an extremely useful program. I would like to advise others - if you will ever have the opportunity to study a foreign language exactly in this program, use it and you will never regret about it!