From EYP sessions to Minerva
Would you like to live in global hubs like San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and Seoul throughout college? Are you interested in an educational experience that bans lectures, encouraging discussion and debate instead? Are you an active member of EYP Ukraine? Today we will tell a few success stories from our beloved members, who shaped their creativity are making their dreams come true abroad now.
Interviewer: What are your first impressions of Minerva? How is Minerva different from all the other experiences you’ve had?
Andrii: My first impression is that Minerva is a very diverse community, my classmates truly inspire me. I’ve had a lot of international experiences before, but Minerva is very unique. First of all, it’s an active learning environment that is new to me. I feel like I’ve learned so much in the past 4 months and started applying some of the concepts from the classroom to my day-to-day life and projects. Besides, we have 10:01 (presentation about different countries led by the students who come from those countries) every Sunday, I learn a lot about other countries. I remember talking about all those countries at school, but the 10:01s really go into depth in the cultural aspects and make me see them from the inside perspective.
Also, Minerva teaches you a lot of practical knowledge. For example, we have civic projects (organizations we work with during the academic year) and I am working on something I am very passionate about — sustainable fashion, and it’s just my first year!
Anna: It is very different from what I expected. There is a huge emphasis on the community. We are encouraged to get to know all our classmates through various activities and university events. I love how people are eager to explore each other, want to know more about me and my experiences. As for academics, we learn how to apply Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts (HCs), essential concepts and skills, to different subjects this year. What I really enjoy about it is that you can see how interdisciplinary they are and the variety of fields you can apply them to. Also, our curriculum is tight to specific locations — assignments and years that we study in. It’s very well-thought through. For example, we spend the first year in San Francisco and it’s the hub of the startup culture — you get to explore a lot of your interests in many ways during this year.
Interviewer: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the Minerva community? How is it similar to the EYP community?
Svitlana: Diversity in the community is similar in both Minerva and EYP. However, in EYP we have limited diversity — the 38 countries we have represented are European, so our background might be somehow similar. Minerva, on the other hand, has people from all over the world — Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America, Africa. We all come from contrasting cultures and often we are programmed to think or look at a problem in one way or another — this helps to bring up better discussions and see every issue through different lenses.
Interviewer: How did EYP influence your experience exploring the world, and living and learning in new cultures at Minerva?
Andrii: EYP was definitely an important experience in my life. I’ve met so many people and all of them were very different, open-minded and unique. Working with them helped me to become more understanding and open to new experience, it taught me to be a real world citizen. Besides, I developed critical thinking. For example, if I am a Chairperson I have to so a lot of research on the issue we are preparing, take into account different perspectives — local and global. This skill helps me to communicate with my classmates — when we talk about their countries, I feel that I am a lot more open-minded and respectful. I listen to people more actively and not afraid to give feedback, which helped a lot in the Minerva classroom. At Minerva, we have to be active listeners all the time, because everything is recorded and you are always on spot.
Anastasiia: I think the culture that is encouraged through EYP is understanding and expecting all people regardless of who you are and where you are from. It makes the world closer to me and I am more open to experiencing other cultures, meeting new people and exploring new ideas. When you feel welcomed in a community and you get used to people being different (like in EYP), it’s easier to adjust to new cultures when you travel and live in different countries. With EYP world became closer — that’s when I started traveling a lot. I realized that the world is actually small, it’s not that big of a deal — just a couple of hours and you get to the opposite side of the world.
Also, EYP helps me to see how humanity is united — we all have the same goals, we all want peace in the world and the best for our people. EYP showed how any country can unite with the rest of the world to achieve a common goal. At Minerva, we also learn about global issues and we can connect those issues to how countries can solve them by joining forces to overcome it. Global experience at Minerva helps connect all the parts of the world and see how similar we are and see the global perspective rather than local. It also allows us to see how different parts of the world see and tackle the same problem using different approaches.
Interviewer: Tell me about your experience in Seoul. What have you learned?
Svitlana: My experience is Seoul is great so far. What I’ve noticed is that people here have a more balanced lifestyle, comparing to San Francisco. People in SF spend much more time worrying about their professional development and career hunting. This helped me learn how to keep my professional, academic and personal life in balance.
Anastasiia: It is very different- completely different culture for me. It’s very reserved and hierarchical, sometimes you need to hold on to some words and emotions. Ukrainian culture and the EYP community are very respectful and accepting, where I can say whatever I want without being judged, so I had to adapt to South Korea. In a professional setting, I have learned how to be patient and restrict myself from saying something to people above me. I’ve learned that some people might be not as tolerant as Mineva community and how to deal with it.
Interviewer: What are your interests and why?
Andrii: Some of my interests are volunteering and giving back to the community. Last month I actually got to do some community service for my assignment, which I enjoyed a lot. I feel very good being able to contribute to the society I live in. Some of my other interests are writing and design, I am very passionate about design. In San Francisco went to this Hackathon called “ScienceDay”, my group created an app to plant trees to mitigate climate change in San Franciso. I got to do the design part and I was very happy to do it because prior to it I didn’t have much practical experience.
Interviewer: What do you aspire to do when you graduate? What is a problem you would like to address in the world?
Anastasiia: I am very specific with my future goal — I want to be a negotiator in international issues on a global level.
It started with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine when I realized I want to be a part of dealing with it. But I don’t want to stop just there.
EYP helped me understand how international politics work and relations are structured in Europe. Now Minerva helps me see the global perspective of it — right now I have an opportunity to engage with organizations like Liberty in North Korea. Next semester I will be in India, where I can be a part of other interesting organizations too.
Interviewer: What would you tell another student who is considering Minerva?
Anna: Don’t be afraid of challenges. Yes, nobody likes challenges and they can bring discomfort. However, it’s exactly what provides growth. So just don’t be afraid to go for something that doesn’t immediately give you a positive result. Sometimes you just have to wait to get something more satisfying. For someone applying to Minerva, I would advise reflecting on your own values. Because Minerva is about value and community in its core. If you want to understand whether you fit or not, it’s important to show yourself while applying.
Minerva Schools is an accredited university program that prepares students for an ever-changing global future. Minerva students live in seven of the world’s greatest cities throughout college, taking classes exclusively in active learning seminars. The institution is committed to supporting all students regardless of their origin with need-based financial aid. Minerva does not require TOEFL or SAT, the unique application process is instead focused on who you are, how you think, and what you have achieved.
Apply before the January 15 Regular Decision I deadline: http://bit.ly/2LTfGnC