Have you ever thought about the people who make the community of ESN Kyiv flourish and prosper

ESN Kyiv has several departments. Today, we talk with a fabulous ESN member, who is a part of the Education Department. Diana Raychuk told us everything about her life in the community and even more!

Q: Do you remember how you started at ESN Kyiv? How was it?
A: Yes, of course, I do! I was a freshman and everything was new and unusual for me. I decided to take part in one of the students' organisations at my university. There were a lot of interesting options, but something made me join the Department for International Cooperation. I thought that was a nice opportunity to improve my English and to meet new people from all around the world. During the first meeting of our department, I realized that everything was more complicated than I thought it would be. At that time three girls decided to create something more, something fresh and engaging, and something, that nobody did in Ukraine before, the ESN section. That is how I became a part of it.

Q: Why did you decide to join the ESN Kyiv community?
A: As I have already said, I did not fully understand what it was when I just joined ESN. My beautiful team and I were working hard on opening a new ESN section for an entire year. Afterward, we did it! We became ESN Kyiv, the one you all know today. I am extremely grateful that my destiny led me to invest my time exactly in this community.  

Q: What were your first tasks within the organization?
A: From the beginning, I was working in the event department and we made a bunch of events. I cannot think of my actual first task. Though, I can clearly remember one of my most favorite events. It was when we took part in #trashtagchallenge. It was awesome as we were cleaning up big areas and doing a great thing for the ecology, as well as talking and getting to know each other better.

Q: What results in terms of ESN Kyiv life make you personally proud?
A: Firstly, I am really proud of my team, they did a lot! Now we would not be an official section if not for them. I love you, people! Secondly, this year I visited ESN Gender Check Up Session in Budapest. That is my point to be proud of because I did not expect to be chosen for this trip. I was so lucky to be there and to meet a lot of ESNers from different countries! I got to know interesting and important topics to consider. Also, I visited Budapest and got acquainted with a lot of great people. 

Q: From your point of view, what is the main purpose of ESN Kyiv?
A: I think that the main goal of ESN Kyiv is to unite people all around the world and to show that we all are similar in spite of different backgrounds, different countries, and cultures that we have. And, of course, one of the aims is to make friends within the organization and inspire each other.

Q: Are you from Kyiv? What were your first impressions, when you moved to this city?
A: No, I am not from Kyiv. I am from a small town Kovel, which is in Western Ukraine. When I just moved to the capital, I truly did not like it. Kyiv was too big for me, too busy and too cold. Although now I cannot imagine my life, not in this city! Kyiv gave me a lot of freedom, chances and amazing friends. I adore Kyiv!

Q: What three places in Kyiv would you recommend to visit if one came to this city for the first time?
A: One of my favorite places in Kyiv is Kontraktova and Poshtova squares. Those are located near the Dnipro River and you always can admire beautiful views from its bank. I usually go there when I seek calmness, harmony, and inspiration. The Golden Gates is an amazing place too! It has antique architecture and beautiful history. This spot is always crowded, but the best thing about it is that you can easily find someone to talk to. Also, Taras Shevchenko Park is a very majestic place, especially in the evening, when the Red Building of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv turns on its lights. 

Q: Share a couple of lifehacks on how to survive in Kyiv and live a happy life here.
A: These lifehacks will probably be suitable for all cities, not just for Kyiv. First, you should be open to new people, new places, and try to explore everything that surrounds you. This way I am pretty sure you will be fine. Another thing is to find great friends, who can give you a helping hand in any kind of situation. That is why we are here; ESN Kyiv is always ready to give a piece of advice!

Interviewer: Yelyzaveta Bashcheva
Photos: Diana's Raychuk personal archive, Erasmus Student Network