KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — A group of Ukrainian students is getting the chance to continue their education in the Miami Valley.

Since the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Kettering College has opened its doors to more than two dozen students whose lives were disrupted because of the war. Dmytro Kolodii said he had dreams of going to medical school in Ukraine before Russian invaded.

“When I was in Ukraine, I planned to go into medicine, too. So, I really like having the opportunity to study it,” Kolodii explained.

Yelyzaveta Hontar actually started medical school in Ukraine, but that also changed when the war began. Now, this group is getting a chance to earn their degrees at Kettering College. They are part of a group of 10 Ukrainian students who are beginning their studies at the school; the first group arrived in the fall.

“It’s a very interesting experience for me and for all of us. Every day is something new, the lessons are very interesting,” Hontar said.

Anastasiia Masiuk is also working on her degree at Kettering College. She already graduated from medical school in Ukraine, but she was impressed with the program at Kettering.

“My parents sent me a lot of information about this college, about this program, and I thought it was amazing,” Masiuk said.

These students are in the pre-nursing program, which is a three-year program with an opportunity to work within the Kettering Health Network when they graduate. It is a big adjustment learning complicated material in a language that is new to them, but these students are embracing the challenge.

“It’s very cool with listening and learning something new. So it’s very interesting to know about ourselves, our body. We are having a discussion in class. I think it’s very cool,” Kolodii said.

Kettering College is trying to make their transition a little easier. A staff member is dedicated to helping them navigate campus life. They are even in the process of helping some of the students get their drivers licenses and find jobs.

“It’s a very nice community because every week, every Saturday or Sunday, we have many interesting events,” Hontar said.

Being far from Ukraine and far from their families is never easy, but they are grateful for this opportunity to be away from the fighting and to follow their dreams.

“It’s sad to be away from my country, but I never imagined that I would be studying in the U.S. So it’s really cool, and it’s such a blessing,” Kolodii said.

Kettering College has started a fund to help the students with things like school supplies, dorm items, and even groceries. If you would like to donate, click here. Then type Ukrainian Student Initiative in the “I’d like my gift to go to” field.