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Ukrainian exchange student falls in love with Wales

29 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Ukrainian exchange student Mariia Hryhorian

A Ukrainian medical student has described ‘falling in love’ with Wales during her study visit.

The Ukrainian student spent a term at Swansea University as part of a student exchange with her university in Mykolaiv which has been under attack since Russian forces invaded the country this year.

Currently in her sixth year of studies, Mariia Hryhorian said: “This is my first time in Britain and in Wales, but I fell in love with this country from the first day and the people are very kind and friendly.

“Wales has beautiful nature every time you want to travel to learn about the culture and I enjoy every day I’m here.”

Her home university, Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University has recently signed partnership agreement with Swansea University which will enable them share research, as well as further opportunities for Ukrainian staff and students to study in Swansea.

Mariia described the time spent abroad as part of the student exchange as “a tremendous experience that gives me courage and self-confidence.”


Mariia has a particular interest in reproductive medicine and hopes to be a gynaecologist, specializing in areas such as IVF, which she describes as “the future of medicine.”

The new partnership was signed by the heads of both universities in a coordinated ceremony that took place in Swansea and Mykolaiv.

Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle said that the partnership is an example of how Swansea University, “stands with the people of Ukraine in defence of their sovereignty, independence, and democratic freedoms.”

Mariia is amongst the first group of students to benefit from the new partnership and thanked both universities for making the visit possible.

Mariia said: “It is a great honour to exchange experience in work and study and I want to thank my university for this opportunity and Swansea University team for such a warm welcome.

‘Beyond the war’

“I am very pleased that Swansea University supports Ukraine in such a difficult time for us.

Professor Lisa Wallace from Swansea University Medical School said the collaboration between the two Universities was one that ‘endures beyond the war.’

Professor Wallace said: “We are honoured to be twinned with PMBSNU and are delighted to host Mariia and her fellow students from Ukraine.

“Colleagues and students from Ukraine have shown incredible resilience and Swansea University is pleased to play a small part in supporting them.”

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1 year ago

Croeso i Gymru xx

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