• Helping talented Ukrainian students to get a world-class education

  • Application Process


    Students meeting the following criteria can apply to our program:

    • You are a Ukrainian citizen or FLEX student from Ukraine currently studying abroad
    • You are ready to come back to Ukraine 5 years after finishing receiving undergraduate education in the US and work in Ukraine for 5 years. We require that you sign such a contract with UGS
    • If you a FLEX 2020 finalist and are going to the US in 2020, you cannot participate in our program this year. You can, however, apply when you come back to Ukraine in 2021. If you do not know whether you are going to the US, we recommend that you apply to UGS and notify us of the results once you get them
    • You are in 8-11th grade. Students in 8-10th grade can apply to preparatory schools first. Students in 11th grade apply to colleges and universities.
    • You are under 18 years old at the time of submitting your application. If you are over 18, we will not consider your application
    • You are an excellent student and have high GPA
    • You have good knowledge of English 
    • You have a long impressive list of extracurricular activities or hobbies
    • You are passionate about one or more subjects 
    • You come from a family with modest financial means and require financial assistance with the application process
    • You dream about studying in world's best establishments and are ready to work very hard to get admitted

    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:

    • Pictures or scans of final year grades for the past 3 years
    • List of extracurricular activities, hobbies, significant awards, and achievements for the past 4 years
    • 1 long essay on one of two topics specified in our online application
    • Answers to a few short questions specified in our online application

    The deadline for submitting the application is April 15, 2020, 23:59 Kyiv Time.

  • Selection Criteria

    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.

  • Our Results

    Since 2015, we have helped 86 young Ukrainians win over $24M in full scholarships to the world’s top boarding schools and colleges.

    ~2 750

    applications received since 2015


    UGS finalists applied to boarding schools & colleges with our help

    $24 000 000+

    in scholarships awarded to 86 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:

  • Reports

    Our 2020 Spring report can be found here.


    Our 2019 End-of-Year report can be found here.


    Our 2019 Mid-of-Year report can be found here.


    Our 2018 End-of-Year report can be found here.


    Our 2017 End-of-Year report can be found here.

  • Meet Our 2020 Finalists!

    This year, we selected 49 exceptionally talented students from all over Ukraine who are currently applying to the schools of their dreams

  • 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.

    Stanford University, Stanford, CA

    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:

    • Acquaint students with the Western educational system
    • Help with all aspects of the application process
    • Assist with SAT, SAT II, TOEFL, and other standardized test preparation
    • Provide information on financial aid and scholarships
    • Pay for selected students' TOEFL, SAT, SAT II exams
    • Provide support and guidance on every step of the application process
    • Introduce students to a network of high-potential young Ukrainian leaders studying abroad

    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.

  • It is possible to study at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Penn, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, MIT, Stanford, University of Chicago, and others.

    We have done it, and so can you!

  • UGS Leadership Team

    Yuliya Sychikova, Board Member

    Hometown: Berdyansk

    Education: University of Pennsylvania '11 (BA in Economics)

    Professional Experience: Entrepreneur, Associate at AVentures Capital VC fund

    Mikhail Lemesh, Board Member

    Hometown: Zaporizhia

    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

    Hometown: Odesa

    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

    Hometown: Dnipro

    Education: Vassar College '06 (BA in Biochemistry), Northwestern University '12 (PhD), Northwestern University '15 (MD)

    Professional Experience: Psychiatry and psychotherapy fellow at the Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, MA

    Pavlo Kononenko, Director of College Counseling

    Hometown: Myrhorod

    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

    Hometown: Berdyansk

    Education: Brown University ’09 (BA in Economics), INSEAD ’11 (MSc in Finance)

    Professional Experience: Operations Manager, OpenVPN

  • Our Advisers

    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.

    Zina Kondratiuk

    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

    Roman Petyk

    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

    Adrian Slywotzky

    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

    Chrystia Slywotzky

    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)

    Alicia Szendiuch

    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)


    Tania Vitvitsky

    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 vice president, Strategic Stability and Security at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Last year, he served as chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv. During the Arab Spring, he oversaw U.S. assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009. He 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 the 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

    US-Ukraine Foundation

    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

    Fundraising partner


    Admissions interview partner

    U.S.-Ukraine Business Council

    Nova Ukraine

  • Graduate Students

    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):

    • Application strategy development 
    • Review of application materials (essay, CV/resume, short answers etc.)
    • Interview preparation
    • Advice on financial aid, visa, and other practical matters for international students 


    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.

  • Our History

    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.

  • Learn more about our finalists or email us

    Join today to get updates

  • 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.

  • Support our organization by donating via Network for Good

    All collected funds will go toward supporting our students through their application process and covering the direct needs of our organization. Specifically, we will spend donations on the following:

    • Students' admission tests (SAT, TOEFL, SAT II) and score reports
    • 10-day summer boot camp in Ukraine

    • Test prep books, essay guides, and other educational materials (including shipping costs)
    • Spreading the word about UGS 
    • Website maintenance
    • Legal and accounting expenses

    501(c)3 donations are now available.


    We appreciate your support!