Far away from home

18-year old Sofiia Korzhova has left her family in Donetsk, Ukraine, to seek a brighter future in Europe. Now she lives in a student dorm in Lublin in Eastern Poland, almost 1,500 kilometres away from her parents.


When Sofiia first moved to Poland, she didn’t know anyone. Now her roommate, also from Ukraine, is her best friend.


Sofiia’s room at the dormitory costs 400 Zloty (100 Euro) a month. She hasn’t got a job, so her parents pay the rent.


Sofiia often eats dinner with her Ukrainian roommates. However, at the moment they are back in Ukraine to visit their families, but Sofiia didn’t go home because of the war in her region.


About 70 to 80 people live on Sofiia’s floor; out of them 10 to 15 people are Ukrainians. While most of the students of the dormitory have left to visit their families, Sofiia spends Easter in Lublin.


Sofiia is dreaming of becoming a business manager once she has finished her studies. However, she emphasizes that family is more important to her than a career.


Sofiia studies a bachelor degree in Business Management at Maria Curie-Skłodowska-University in Lublin. Among her subjects are Finance and English.


Sofiia shares the two-room flat with bathroom and a small hall with 3 other people. All are from Ukraine.


The last time Sofiia saw her family was for Christmas. Next time Sofiia plans to go back to Ukraine to visit her family is in the summer, but it all depends on the war.


Sofiia misses her family and friends in Luhansk. However, they catch up via Skype almost every day.


Sofiia plans to study in Poland both for her bachelor and master’s degree, however, she thinks about eventually swapping Lublin for Warsaw, as it may be easier for her to find a job in a bigger city.


About 1,000 people live in the 10-storey building, which is located near the university. Sofiia got help from an Ukrainian company to find her room. Now she has only 5 minutes of walking to get to her classes.