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North Star

The student news site of Lawrence North High School

North Star

The student news site of Lawrence North High School

North Star

Junior leaves Ukraine, comes to Indiana

Kovalova adjusts to school in new country
Desiree Stubbs
Junior Kseniia Kovalova works with structured study hall teacher Vivian Tragesser during R7. Kovalova moved here from Ukraine in October.

In one school year, Kseniia Kovalova took Chemistry, Biology, Algebra, Geometry, Geography, Ukrainian, Ukrainian literature, Frauen literature, World history, and Ukrainian history. This was all part of her academics before moving to Indiana from Ukraine. 

“School in Ukraine was much more different than in the U.S.A. because we had much more classes and much more pressure,” Kovalova said. 

Kovalova had to move away from her home country due to the war that’s been happening in Ukraine. 

Although adjusting to a new country can be difficult, Kovalova says getting used to a new country hasn’t been too hard for her. 

School especially has been something that has been very different for her. 

“I’m not really missing Ukrainian school because there was way more homework and pressure,” Kovalova said. 

Kovalova’s structured study hall teacher Vivian Tragesser has been working with Kovalova since she arrived at LN. She says that Kovalova has been very easy to work with. 

“A lot of times when you come from other countries and your teachers are like a king, you don’t dare tell them you don’t understand. They are also very humble kids and they kind of get embarrassed if they’re not doing well to a teacher,” Tragesser said. 

Here at Lawrence North she is currently taking Environmental science, Choir, English classes, Principles of broadcasting, Pre-calculus, and US history which is a big contrast to what classes she was taking at her old school. 

Kovalova’s favorite class here at LN is her Principles of Broadcasting class. 

Tragesser says that Kovalova learned how to read and write pretty well back in Ukraine. However, Kovalova says that a challenge she faces here is the language. 

“She is doing pretty well in a lot of her classes. She feels like she needs the most work in speaking so that people can understand and so she doesn’t have to repeat herself. So I think that’s her personal goal, is to get better at being able to communicate with people and maybe make friends that way,” Tragesser said. 

Another challenge that Kovalova faces that Tragesser is trying to help her with is self advocating. 

“I’m trying to work to teach her how to self advocate and explain, ‘I need help in this,’ ‘I need to change this,’ and to get her confidence level up when she’s not doing as well as she expects and that with good communication with the teachers, she’ll be able to overcome those areas and succeed,” Tragesser said. 

Although Kovalova has had her challenges and successes with her move, Tragesser says Kovalova has been a joy to work with.

“She is an excellent student. She works the whole time when I ask her to work. I don’t have to beg her in study hall,” Tragesser said.

Even though she is doing well adjusting here and in a new school, there are things she misses from Ukraine. 

“There was my language and people over there and my city,” Kovalova said.

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