The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

From Ukraine to Wisconsin


Kropyvnytskyi is a City in Ukraine that is the home to 232,052 people, including Vladyslava “Vlada” Flerchuk, a foreign exchange student who arrived at Black River Falls High School on August 17.

Karyn Millis, a junior and the host sister to Vlada, said that she was very excited to be hosting a foreign exchange student.

Millis said that it worked out perfectly, since her two older brothers recently moved out, leaving Vlada a spare room.

Susan Leadholm, a counselor at Black River Falls High School, said that a company helped Vlada to find the perfect host family.

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“A family will say I’m interested in hosting a foreign exchange student, and then they’re able to look through the applications of the students, to see which one would best match their family.”

Leadholm said that as soon as the family agrees to host, the company will contact the student and let them know they’ve been selected as a foreign exchange student.

“I was actually really excited,” said Millis. “I did not know what to expect and it was obviously a lot of change.”

Millis said that Vlada is a very good fit for her family.

“I’m really glad that I decided to participate in the exchange program because I was always dreaming of coming to the United States and meeting people here,” said Flerchuk.

Leadholm said that the school district loves when foreign exchange students come to Black River Falls.

“All of us, teachers included, learn about new cultures,” said Leadholm. “It’s exciting when the students that come to our school are willing to share what the differences are between their country and our own.”

Flerchuk said that there are a lot of differences when it comes to Ukraine and the United States.

“For example, we use different currency,” said Flerchuk. “While you here have dollars, we have different currency.”

Flerchuk said that Ukrainian currency is called hryvnia.

“One dollar equals 27 of my currency,” said Flerchuk. “For five dollars you can buy a train ticket, and for five dollars you can buy groceries for a week.”

Flerchuk said that another difference she noticed is schooling.

“Schools here and schools in Ukraine are so different,” said Flerchuk. “In my country, you cannot pick your classes. Here, you can choose what you want to study.”

Flerchuk said that her favorite class would have to be law and society because it relates to her dreams of studying law.

“I’m really glad that I decided to pick law because I think it’s going to help me with my future career.”

Flerchuk said that another difference is the fact that there aren’t any school sports or clubs in Ukraine. While attending Black River Falls, she decided to try track, musical, student senate and FBLA.

Flerchuk said something else that’s new to her is the school dances, particularly homecoming and winter formal because she doesn’t get the experience back home.

“We only have prom,” said Flerchuk. “Homecoming and snowball were good experiences.”

Flerchuk said that she has enjoyed making friends, and will have mixed emotions when she leaves on May 15.

“I really enjoy my time here and I’m sad about leaving all the friends I made,” said Flerchuk. “But I’m happy to see my family.”

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The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School
From Ukraine to Wisconsin