Elizaveta Volnova is from Russia. After spending her freshman year at Concordia College with us she transferred to Boston University (ranked 37) to major in Film and Television.
"When I started at Concordia with Kings, I thought they were a family of people who wanted the best for me. Everytime I went to a meeting with my advisor, I felt he was really interested in me going to the best school. I got a accepted to Boston University which was my first choice so I am happy about it.
"When I heard back from BU I think I just screamed at the top of my lungs because I was so happy I got accepted."
Below is an interview from when she was with us at Concordia College.
What made you want to study abroad to pursue your degree?
I studied in the IB program in my high school in Moscow. Since I took both the Russian program and the IB program at the same time, I could notice huge differences about how the studies were going.
In my Russian program, we had to learn everything by heart, read the book and learn the material. The IB program was far more creative, we could watch real news, for example and discuss it. Instead of just reading a book, we discussed real world issues, such as beauty standards. This was shocking to me, because we would never discuss these topics in a Russian school.
When I looked into the US system, I thought it was quite similar to my experiences with IB. When I went to Concordia, I found what I wanted to find for the most part, and now I know I can achieve what I want to achieve.
What are your plans or goals after graduation?
I have always admired my father's work. He is a producer for TV. I believe this is what I want to do with my life, become a TV producer. Instead of being fully into the creative process, I want to get more into the business side. I want to manage the productions. My other big dream I hope to achieve someday is doing music videos. I really enjoy music, and since I was young, my mother would play me her favorite songs, even if I didn’t understand them like I do now. That has really stuck with me. I would really like to apply myself in that field.
Why did you choose to study at Kings at Concordia?
When I already had my dream of studying in the US, my father and I sat down and started looking at schools. Pretty soon we realized we were helpless. We didn't know how to send documents or communicate with universities. I didn’t have someone to help me check my essays. We went to an agency, and a man there advised us to go to the Kings program. It turned out to be a good decision.
What is your favorite class, why do you like it?
I'd say Photography. Photography allowed me to have creative flow. I liked how the class was going. The teacher would give us the topic and some advice. We would then go to shoot. Instead of just shooting alone, the teacher would shoot with us, so we got lots of hands on advice on how to improve, including how to use the equipment better. I believe it's very important to study photography to learn how to compose a shot, as in film and video shooting. It was a great outlet for my creativity.
What class do you find more challenging, and why?
For me, Math was challenging. Since high school, I have had a lot of issues with Math. It was always one of the hardest subjects for me. During high school I had some family issues and stopped studying, so I missed a lot in my class work and had to catch up. For me, it was a journey to improve my Math skills and I had to work hard to improve. I had my friends' help, to support my growth, which was great, if not frustrating for them. But I managed to get something good out of that experience with Math.
In order for you to get to your dream school, how did Kings staff guide you through the process?
I think the most important part is that my advisor gave me a check list of what we have to do. This was my problem when I was first thinking of applying back home. Since we didn't know how the education system in the US is, for example how rankings work, it was difficult. It was easier for me to understand when I got to New York and met with my advisor. My advisor also helped me see how to present myself as a student, and what will set you apart from the crowd, which was important. I don't think of it as "selling myself", but it’s important to show your best side to admissions.
Which student activity did you enjoy the most?
During Concordia Orientation, we had a bus trip to New York City. I had been in New York before, and it was exciting. But when we went on the bus trip, I remember when we were on the bridge, and we were allowed to stand up for a while. I felt the wind blowing on my face, and the overview of New York. I thought, "I really made it! I am going to study in New York. That's crazy". I wouldn’t have thought of that before.
What is your favorite part of living in NY?
I really like the people. In Moscow, everyone is going to subway, wearing the same black coats with a sad look on their face. In New York, there are lots of crazy people, in a good way. Ones who have passion for life and want to do something. I can really feel the energy of the place. New York is overwhelming in general, but I enjoyed it a lot. Even if I go there in the morning, or spend the day there, I get tired, but the next day, I am ready to go there again and experience it all over again.
Is there anything you wish you would've prepared before starting school?
I wish I had known to not be afraid of going to a new city, so I should have dived into life at school immediately. Instead, I was kind of shy at first and didn’t leave my room much. If I had known there were so many great people around, I would have had a better experience and had more exciting experiences.