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Ukrainian students studying in NC describe stress, insecurity when reuniting with family

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CARY, NC (WNCN) – International students from Ukraine study right here in the Triangle.

Many had no idea when they left in August that their return date would be uncertain as Russia continued to attack their country.

“It changed my life a lot. I can’t focus on my grades anymore,” said Anna Tyshkovets, an international student at UNC-Chapel Hill. “I try, but when you have so much on your mind and then you worry about it, it’s hard to focus.”

Tyshkovets divides her time between studying and talking to loved ones on the phone because of fears that the Russian invasion could reach her hometown in western Ukraine.

“I try to call or text them every day, my mom, my grandma, my boyfriend and I just text them to know if they’re alive or not,” Tyshkovets said.

She said she worries most about her father, who opposes Russia and serves in the Ukrainian armed forces.

“He defends my family and my country – I’m so proud of him,” Tyshkovets said.

The Ukrainian exchange student Pavlo Panchuk is also studying at a local high school.

“I feel guilty that I’m here now and in a really safe position and having a good time with my friends,” Panchuk said.

Panchuk’s visa expires in May, but the United States allows students like him to stay longer under temporary protection.

While Panchuk said he wants to return to protect loved ones, his family in Ukraine wants him to stay in the US a little longer.

“They would prefer that I stay here,” Panchuk said.

That’s because Panchuk said he would be of fighting age when he returned.

“Soon I’ll be 18, which means I’d have to go to war and I can’t leave the country,” Panchuk said. “Now they’re really happy I’m staying here and safe.”

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/orange-county-news/ukrainian-students-studying-in-nc-describe-stress-uncertainty-in-seeing-family-again/ Ukrainian students studying in NC describe stress, insecurity when reuniting with family

DUSTIN JONES

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