Katya Yurkovskaya: how to go to study in the USA at the age of 14.
03 August 2017 /
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Each parent dreams of having his child grow up on his own. Some tediously read notations, others – by their own example and behavior gradually lead to this independence. Just over a week ago, the tape of Olga Yurkovskaya, a popular psychologist, business management consultant with an MBA degree, author of books, literally blew up the publication that her eldest teenage daughter herself flew to America for three weeks of language courses. And all the organizational issues the girl also completely took over. Fashionbank.by talked with Katya and her mother about all the nuances of the trip.
“If there is no motivation, nothing will turn out”
As long as I can remember, my mother always said that we must learn languages. As a child, we watched cartoons in English. When they got older, there were tutors. But … all this did not bring a tangible result until I myself did not understand why I need English.
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This year I realized this to the full. I want to study at the film director in America. In my opinion, only in this country you can get a decent education in this field. My favorite directors are Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg. I like to revise such films as “Harry Potter”, “Alone at home”, “Catch Me If You Can.”
Therefore, when in winter, my mother and I were looking for language courses somewhere abroad, we began to consider the option of American English.
Mom has a friend in America, and we just asked her what language school option might be best. She recommended several programs, among which were the summer courses at Yale University. As you know, my choice fell on this option. The university is among the top ten universities in the world, it was completed by several US presidents. Plus a very beautiful old architecture. My parents supported me.
“Mom said: do it yourself!”
When I started to fill out the questionnaire on the university’s website, I always jerked: “Mom, help, Mom, tell me.” To which she emphatically declared: “This is your camp, understand it yourself!”
So I had to do everything myself: from filling out a questionnaire for courses and to the American embassy and ending with an independent flight to the United States with a transfer in Germany.
“Dad went to the embassy for a” tick ”
In the embassy, when submitting documents by a child under 16, one parent must be present. I went along with the pope, but when talking directly with the ambassador, he stood aside. By the way, I managed to get a study visa.
“You need at least a minimum of English to understand all the questionnaires. Plus, to properly study the system, where and how to obtain a visa. Fortunately, now there is no problem with obtaining information. ”
For the tourist it would be necessary to go to Moscow, and this I did not want. The training was available in Minsk. At first, I was told that since I was traveling on a program that does not imply issuing a certificate, I need a tourist visa. I wrote to the director of the language school at Yale University, and I was sent an invitation. With him I submitted to the American Embassy in Minsk.
“Girl, are you alone?”
My first trip without my parents was at the age of 9, when my sister and I went to a camp abroad as an organized group.
On the plane, I had to fly either with my parents, or with my brother and sister, when we were accompanied by airport employees. The only plus of such accompaniment is that you pass everywhere without queue.
By law, a child from 12 years old can fly himself. And when it came to me about my flight to the US, the issue of escort was not even discussed with my parents. I do not fly on an airplane for the first time. Minsk airport I know as my five fingers.
“Two thirds of the children who were with me in the camp flew by themselves. The rest of the parents were led by the handle. ”
I knew that I could handle myself. Of course, I did not know either the New York airport or the Frankfurt airport, but the system is the same everywhere. Plus, before the trip, I reread a bunch of information on the Internet. During the flight and transplantation, I had no difficulties. Yes, sometimes they asked: “Girl, are you alone?” After receiving an affirmative answer, they just smiled.
However, when I passed the American customs, there was a small hitch. Me at once did not want to miss. For 10 minutes they asked what, how and why. I tried to explain and reassure myself that I was going to the camp. At the airport, I was greeted by representatives of the camp, and we were already traveling together to the place.
“They taught English five days a week”
It was an ordinary summer camp. From 09:30 to 13:00 five times a week we studied English, and several times a week we had master classes after lunch. They could last two hours, and sometimes dragged out until supper. Every week someone came or went. In the beginning, we were just over 20, then 40, and then 100. I thought that it would be very much, but we were added teachers and new leaders. In the group where I studied English, the number of children was constantly varied – from 5 to 10 people.
Children were from different countries: China, South America, Japan, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, several children from Russia, from Belarus – I’m the only one. All very different. Spaniards, for example, are noisy, energetic and cheerful: they always played music at full volume. The Chinese are a little reserved, and many spoke poor English. The Italians paid special attention to their appearance: they constantly dyed, made hairstyles and chose outfits.
The first days were difficult and unusual, and then I found friends, and it became more comfortable and more fun. When I came to America, I experienced some discomfort. I did not have practice in American English, so it was very difficult to communicate. Read and write – no problem, but to speak … But in three weeks everything has changed for the better. Back flying with a guy from New York, who was sitting in the next seat, and I had no difficulty in talking with him.
Now I continue to study English at home: 4-5 times a week I have individual online lessons.
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In addition to English, I have other hobbies. I’ve been doing breakdancing for two years now, and recently my sister and I have a YouTube channel.
“It was her conscious choice”
I asked Katya to go with Nastya and the band to London, but she got it into her head that she needed only in the US, only in Yale, she did not like any other programs. Katya said that she will find out everything herself, write, organize and do it herself. And this is logical: she knows English at the Intermediate level, and I am at the level of “one coffee and two buns”. And it is quite logical that the questionnaire in English should be filled by the one who knows this English, and not the one who will use the Google translator and still somewhere will be mistaken. If Katya had not coped with this task, she would have gone with Nastya to London.
“I did not worry and nothing was feared”
After all, this is a world-famous international school with an excellent reputation and feedback. I was sure that such a top university as Yale would not allow someone incompetent to spend summer school. Doubts that the program will be quality and excellent, I did not have. I did not see any excuses for experiencing during the flight. Katya flew business class of Lufthansa. No one there could offend her by definition. A representative of the school met in America. Why here worry and worry?
Catherine more than a dozen times was on air travel. And any training takes place according to a well-known scheme: at first the child looks like adults do, then it does it with adults, then independently under the supervision of an adult, and then is ready to do it completely independently. Similarly, with air travel. If a child flies more often than does a bus, then what is the problem to fly again?
“Only those people who rarely or do not travel at all can perceive this situation with something unusual. It does not occur to them to see the child off to a tram or a bus and think about how he will get there. ”
For me, as moms, this trip is no different from a dozen previous trips of my children to health camps, sanatoriums, competitions and language schools. As we every summer went to pioneer camps or to sports camps, so now my children are also riding the same way. Why should I take this as something unusual?
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