“Bribe-free entrance procedure, opportunities to learn above corruption or agreements and gain the “West alike” knowledge” – that’s what I knew about UCU, and it really fascinated me,” Odarka Bordun says. Back in 1999, she surprised her relatives by entering the Lviv Theological Academy. Today Odarka works as the head of the Department of Communications and Resources, Caritas Ukraine.
“Back in 1999, despite its still low popularity, UCU had a good reputation. Nonetheless, my decision caused astonishment followed up with a question “well, and what do you think you will become?”. Naturally, I could not answer that kind of question, but the very first weeks clearly showed me that I literally got into “another world,” Odarka Bordun says while confessing that UCU has become her second home.
“I recall how we, being first-year students, went to sing kolyadkas to our curator Olena Gegora. Just imagine: paying a visit to a teacher’s home! Moreover, we even got ourselves some wine there. In our teen minds still containing the remnants of the Soviet Union, this was a real eye-opening experience,” she recalls with a smile.
She recalls her studies with special warmth: “I like to think that even though I did not gain enough at some of my classes (for instance, “Our Father” is the only thing I can recall in Greek), we were taught to think, to acquire knowledge, to ask questions and to look for respective answers. We were taught to be independent and to support practically any initiative – whether it was the Movie Club, or the Centre for Sacred Art, a student newspaper, and many other”.
Odarka continues to follow the development of UCU, which has grown substantially since her student years.
“There is a significant demand for high-quality education in society, UCU’s new opportunities and answers to these inquiries only yield enthusiasm. It’s really cool that our UCU family is getting bigger, more interesting and diverse every year, since together we have more tools for changing the world for the better. Also, UCU students were always told that they are “the salt of the earth”, it is a remarkable metaphor which carries a great responsibility as you need to keep its per mille from dropping.”