Smart People. Smart Power.
Helping talented Ukrainian students to get a world-class education
Students meeting the following criteria can apply to our program:
Documents for submission
In 2020, we require all students to apply online by filling out our online application, which you can access above or here.
We require the following items in our 2020 application:
The deadline for submitting the application is April 15, 2020, 23:59 Kyiv Time.
Our program is extremely competitive, and choosing between students often feels difficult and unfair. We review each application extremely carefully and ultimately select students who are most likely to get admitted to world's best universities with our help. We consider the following factors when making our final decision:
Student's ability to score high on standardized tests
After our training sessions, students should be able to score on par with students admitted to world's best universities.
Student's application attractiveness
Special talents, extracurricular activities, skills, ability to present oneself well on paper etc. The more impressive academic or extracurricular achievements a student has, the more chances he/she has to get admitted to our program and eventually to a Western prep school, college or university.
Student's ability to work hard and carry through the admission process
Admission process to the Western colleges usually lasts more than 6 months and demands absolute concentration, determination, and hundreds of hours of hard work. Not every student can survive that.
Since 2015, we have helped 85 young Ukrainians win over $20M in full scholarships to the world’s top boarding schools and colleges.
applications received since 2015
UGS finalists applied to boarding schools & colleges with our help
$20 000 000+
in scholarships awarded to 85 admitted UGS finalists
applicants from towns & villages
cumulative acceptance rate 2015-2020
< $300 000
cumulative UGS operating and admin expenses since 2015
We offer a pathway to an education at the world's best schools, including:
Meet Our 2019 Finalists!
This year, we selected 45 exceptionally talented students from all over Ukraine who are currently applying to the schools of their dreams
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About the Program
Ukraine Global Scholars is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization established to assist the most talented, intelligent, and ambitious Ukrainian students to get an education in the world's best boarding schools and colleges, usually located in the United States.
Ukraine Global Scholars is run by alumni of the world's best universities, such as Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Vassar, and many others.
We help high school students (8-11 graders) with the application process in hope of raising the number of young capable Ukrainian leaders who have a positive impact on the development of Ukraine and the world. Specifically, we do the following:
As a result of our efforts, Ukrainian students gain acceptance to the world's best institutions with full financial aid packages that cover all expenses for the duration of their undergraduate studies. The program is highly competitive as we select only up to 50 students from Ukraine each year. Read more about our application process and selection criteria above.
UGS Leadership Team
Yuliya Sychikova, Board Member
Education: University of Pennsylvania '11 (BA in Economics)
Professional Experience: Entrepreneur, Associate at AVentures Capital VC fund
Mikhail Lemesh, Board Member
Education: Deerfield Academy '08, Harvard University '12 (BA in Economics), The Wharton School '17 (MBA)
Professional Experience: Senior Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company
Julia Lemesh, Board Member
Education: Queen Mary, University of London '11 (LLM in Banking and Finance), Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv '09 (Masters in Constitutional and Finance Law)
Professional experience: 10+ years of experience as a banking and corporate lawyer. Most recently worked at Imperial Tobacco's headquarters in Bristol, UK
Marina Bayeva, Director of Community Relations
Education: Vassar College '06 (BA in Biochemistry), Northwestern University '12 (PhD), Northwestern University '15 (MD)
Professional Experience: Psychiatry Resident Physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Pavlo Kononenko, Director of College Counseling
Education: Harvard College '09 (BA in Economics), Harvard Business School '13 (MBA)
Professional Experience: Fintech, management consulting. Currently a healthcare operations executive
Andriy Revin, Director of Education Advising
Education: Brown University ’09 (BA in Economics), INSEAD ’11 (MSc in Finance)
Professional Experience: Operations Manager, OpenVPN
Ambassador John Herbst
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (Medford, MA). Ambassador Herbst also attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy
Professional Experience: John Herbst is the director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Ambassador Herbst served for thirty-one years as a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, retiring at the rank of career minister. He was the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. Prior to his ambassadorship in Ukraine, he was the ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2003. Ambassador Herbst previously served as US consul general in Jerusalem; principal deputy to the ambassador-at-large for the Newly Independent States; director of the Office of Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs; director of regional affairs in the Near East Bureau; and at the embassies in Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Saudi Arabia.
Hometown: Boston, MA
Education: University of Massachusetts, BA in Political Science
Professional Experience: Major Gift Officer, Pathfinder International, Simmons College (retired) 4 years. Relationship Manager, Travelex Foreign Exchange Trader North America 10 years. 12 years as a Board Member, Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Education: University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), the University of Massachusetts Amherst (M.L.A.), and Northeastern University School of Law (J.D.)
Professional Experience: Attorney specializing in real property, construction and related commercial contracts. Over 25 years’ as Associate General Counsel at the University of Pennsylvania (current position). Ten+ years serving on the Board of Directors at local Ukrainian-American credit union, including 4 years as Board Chair (current position). Chairman, Ukrainian Community Foundation of Philadelphia
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Education: Undergraduate degree at Harvard, a JD from Harvard Law School and an MBA from Harvard Business School
Professional Experience: In the course of his career at Oliver Wyman (currently a Partner), Adrian has written 8 books on strategy, from Value Migration and the Profit Zone, to The Upside and Demand. Adrian also teaches at the Lviv Business School. His most recent book, written in conjunction with LvBS, is entitled David Wins: The Discipline of Asymmetric Competition. It is available in draft form on the LvBS website
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Education: Undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College, a master's degree in teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to adults from Boston University
Professional Experience: Editor and teacher of English as a second language; community activist and fundraiser, most recently for the Ukrainian Catholic University
Ambassador Steven E. Steiner
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Education: Ambassador Steiner received a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a Master’s Degree in international relations from Columbia University
Professional Experience: Served from 2011 to 2018 as a gender advisor for the U.S. Institute of Peace. Ambassador Steiner previously served in the Department of State’s Office of Global Women‘s Issues and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. He was the director of the Department’s Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative. Steiner served for 36 years in the United States Foreign Service. He completed tours of duty at the U.S. embassy in Moscow and the State Department’s Offices of Soviet Union and West German Affairs and served as the deputy director of the Department’s Operations Center, its 24-hour crisis management facility. He served from 1983 to 1988 as director of Defense Programs on the National Security Council Staff. He was named by President Reagan as the U.S. Representative to the Special Verification Commission, the implementing body for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and was named by President George H. W. Bush in September 1991 to serve as the U.S. Representative to the Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission, the implementing body for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
Hometown: Boston, MA
Education: University of Connecticut, BA in Literature, Northeastern University, MBA
Professional experience: Managing Director, Corporate & Investment Banking, Bank of America (retired), 10 years as Program Operations Director for Asia, The Pathfinder Fund. 7 years as a Board Member, the Sheffield Land Trust (current)
Hometown: Sudbury, MA
Education: University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Bachelor of Fine Arts
Professional Experience: Vice President and Trustee, Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia, Boston, MA. Former President of the Sabre Foundation, Cambridge, MA. Extensive experience in international development, state government and community service. Significant cross-cultural expertise with work-related travel to over 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Ambassador William B. Taylor
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Education: West Point and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
Professional experience: William B. Taylor is the executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Earlier, he was the special coordinator for Middle East Transitions in the U.S. State Department. He oversaw assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009. Hef also served as the U.S. government's representative to the Mideast Quartet, which facilitated the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. He served in Baghdad as the first director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office from 2004 to 2005, and in Kabul as coordinator of international and U.S. assistance to Afghanistan from 2002 to 2003. Ambassador Taylor was also coordinator of U.S. assistance to the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He earlier served on the staff of Senator Bill Bradley.
Partners and Supporting Organizations
Fundraising and information partner
Ukrainian Federation of America
Fundraising and mentorship partner
European Business Association
Information partner in Ukraine
CMS Cameron McKenna
Pro bono legal partner in Ukraine
Resources of Ukraine
Fundraising and information partner
Pro bono legal partner in Ukraine
Ukrainian Community Foundation of Philadelphia
Admissions interview partner
U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
Although our main focus goes to high school students, we offer the following paid services to students interested in Masters, PhD, and professional degrees (MBA, LLM, Medical School):
Interested? Please send us an email and we will get back to you with the details.
The profits we earn by helping you will be donated to Ukraine Global Scholars.
Ukraine Global Scholars (UGS) was founded in 2015 with a mission to break stereotypes and help capable young Ukrainians to obtain the best education for free and contribute to the development of Ukraine and the world.
Many of UGS founders are alumni of the USA/USA Program. USA/USA was created by Dr. Bohdan Oryshkevich and Dr. Olena Prokopovych in 1992. Since then, Dr. Oryshkevich has run the program pro bono. He has been committed to his vision to educate young Ukrainians at top American institutions on full scholarships, in order to supply intellectual talent for Ukraine. USA/USA has been supported by a number of establishments, including the Coordinating Committee to Aid Ukraine (USA) Inc., a 501(c)3 organization. The program has had 60 alumni who won scholarships to prestigious American institutions, including Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Stanford.
In 2009 when the seminars stopped for some period of time, participants have sought ways to continue empowering young Ukrainian students. The thought process led to the creation of Ukraine Global Scholars. Founders of UGS gained much from their experience at USA/USA and aim to give back to individuals and organizations that provided unmatched educational opportunities for them.
In its mission, UGS encourages its students to use the knowledge they gain from training and abroad studies to make a positive change in Ukraine.
UGS via fair competition works to gather talented Ukrainian students who have the potential to succeed at the best American colleges and preparatory schools. The program welcomes the support of those who would like to contribute to Ukraine’s talent growth, whether with ideas or financial means.
UGS wants to create scientists, activists, and leaders able to cooperate and be a forefront example of success for other young individuals in Ukraine. Eventually, UGS aims to become a center of connection for Ukrainian leaders globally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply to UGS if I am a university student?
As of the UGS application deadline you should be enrolled at a Ukrainian high school (grades 8 through 11). Depending on your age and achievements, we will decide if you'll be a boarding school or college applicant. We do not work with Ukrainian university students and we don't help transfer from one university to another.
Do you guarantee admission to any college, university, or boarding school?
No. We do not guarantee admission to college or university. We work individually with every student and do our best in preparing them, but the final result ultimately depends only on a student.
Do you have an affiliation with any college, university, or boarding school?
No. Besides having studied in some of the best U.S. universities, we do not have any affiliation with those establishments and cannot impact the decision of their admission committee.
Why are you helping me? What are you getting from this?
It might be hard to believe, but we are indeed doing this because we feel it is important for many more Ukrainians to get the best education possible. We truly believe that Ukraine will benefit (directly or indirectly) from a greater number of young, smart, and ambitious professionals. Once we were helped by other alumni, and now we would like to give back.
Where are you getting money to pay for program's expenses?
We are collecting money on a voluntary basis from Ukrainian alumni of top western schools as well as other individuals who would like to help our mission.
Can one pay the money to get into your program?
Absolutely not. We do not accept money from prospective or current participants of the program. You may donate money only after you graduate from a top school to help our mission.
Who pays for students' education abroad?
We select only the most talented students who will be eligible for scholarships from universities or boarding schools in the United States. Each university, college, or boarding school decides whether to cover education and expenses of each applicant. Usually, each of us was able to get full financial scholarships for the full duration of attending a preparatory school/undergraduate program that covered our education and living expenses.
What is the difference between a college and a university?
Both refer to higher educational establishments equivalent to Ukrainian institute or university. Colleges usually offer only undergraduate (Bachelor's) programs while universities offer both undergraduate and graduate (Master's, Ph.D.) programs.
Can I apply to your program twice?
Yes, and if we notice significant progress you have made in your professional and personal development over the year, we are more likely to accept you into the program.
What if I don't get admitted to any U.S. college, university, or boarding school?
U.S. admissions offices are not straightforward, and it is hard to say why some students get admitted and some don't. If you don't get admitted on the first attempt, we recommend that you reassess your application, try harder and apply next year. We know a few cases when students got admitted only after three years of trying. We will continue to help you if you demonstrate progress in your performance and continue displaying strong motivation to be part of our program.