Ukrainian Catholic University student enrolled in DePaul University online courses determined not to let war derail his studies

CHICAGO (WLS) — From her home in Lviv, Ukraine, Marta Haiduchok logs into a virtual classroom taught by DePaul University professors. The 20-year-old Ukrainian Catholic University history student signed up for two online courses: Comparative Politics and Women’s and Gender Studies.

“I’m really enjoying the class, it’s really different from what I’m used to,” Haiduchok said.

Haiduchok is one of 100 Ukrainian students taking dozens of online classes during DePaul’s spring term. Like Haiduchok, most attend the Ukrainian Catholic University, however, since the start of the war the Lviv campus has been used as a shelter and several professors from Haiduchok have left to fight on the front lines.

“It’s really scary because these are people I know who are super smart, super educated, and super smart in their fields,” Haiduchok said.

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Ukrainian Catholic University and DePaul have a long history of collaborating on projects, Lviv University contacted DePaul to help its students further their education.

“We are constantly answering the question of what needs to be done and this was an opportunity for us to do something right,” said Gian Mario Besana, associate vice-rector for global engagement and learning. online for DePaul University.

With an eight-hour time difference, Haiduchok logs in twice a week to Assistant Professor DePaul Heather Montes Ireland’s Women’s and Gender Studies class.

“Even though it’s evening for our visiting students, they show up ready to go and eager to be part of the learning conversation,” said Montes Ireland.

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Montes Ireland said she was struck by the hope of Ukrainian students, despite the chaos surrounding them.

“We’ve already had a few airstrikes this month. We’re in danger right now. We have a lot of sirens, which usually means we have to hide,” Haiduchok said.

With DePaul’s help, Haiduchok is determined not to let the war stop her from graduating and continuing her education. Her dream is to become a historian. Haiduchok said that when the war ends, his work begins.

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