Early in life Yuliya Horbach wanted to come to the United States to attend school and she found a way to make that happen. “I am originally from a town that is called Kyiv Ukraine which is southeastern Ukraine and I decided to come to the United States as an exchange student in high school back when I was fifteen and it was just a great program to get a great experience being in a foreign environment and it is just the thing to do for pretty much everybody in my school and since the fifth grade I knew that I was going to try out to do that and I did and I am really happy that I got elected,” she says. [and] “It is a State Department sponsored program where a student gets to stay with a host family for a year and go to high school and following that I decided to stay to go to college here.”
Yuliya choose Bemidji State University as the school to further her education. “I am going to the Bemidji State University which is northern Minnesota it is closer to Canada and Saint Paul is the Capital of Minnesota. I am studying Mass Communications and Marketing Communications here, which is a double major. Currently I am in my third year, but actually it is my senior year and not a lot of people have heard about Bemidji so I am always kind of excited to hear that someone has actually heard of it,” she says. “The reason I went to Bemidji State is because my high school exchange program was my placement during that year was about thirty miles north from Bemidji State so I just decided to stay in the area and my first year I found out more about Bemidji State and I found out that they have a program that I am really interested in and that is it pretty good,” she says. “Bemidji State is a small university, but mass communications program is just what I have been looking for so I am really fortunate to be here.”
Since being in the U-S, Yuliya says she has learned to be more open minded and flexible. She also says attending a university that isn't well known, it is good to see a lot of international students there. “It’s actually pretty amazing that a small school like Bemidji I think we have about twenty-five hundred maybe up to five thousand students there,” she says. “We actually have a pretty large body of international students there and I am not sure how many exactly, but I would say maybe up to seventy countries represented so there are students all over and judging from the classes and all the faces I see around campus and the languages I hear in different corners I can tell that it is a pretty diverse university and even me not being an American I think it is just great because you get to meet all the people from all over and it is just wonderful I think.”
Yuliya says many students are familiar with her country from it being in the news last year and that she as well as other Eastern European students at Bemidji State University now have experiences they can take back home to help their country. “What we really need and what we are lacking in Ukraine is it all comes down to getting rid of corruption and try to change the mentality of the people I mean it is not perfect right now and the part of exchange and the part of the whole purpose of me being here and many other students from Eastern European countries not only Ukraine is to take back something positive that they find or that they learn here and take it back to implement it back home,” she says. “I think what really needs to be implemented and taken back to Ukraine is the ceiling of openness and what ever you do is going to give results back to your country. So having this attitude of getting the work done not to benefit yourself but to achieve some results in the long run I think we are still lacking that and that is why it is such a big fight and such a long transition period for us to get rid of all of the corruption and have a more transparent government and society.”
Yuliya will graduate next year in May. Following that she wants to go to graduate school to work on her master's degree and evidently return home.