Concordia University helping Kyiv students forced from home

Concordia University Wisconsin is working to make sure students at a university in Kyiv have what they need while being forced from home.

"On Thursday morning, I was woken up at 4 a.m. to a huge missile strike at the airport," said Paul Thomas, a faculty member with Ukrainian-American Concordia University (UACU).

Imagine going to sleep and waking up to the sound of bombs. That is the reality for several UACU staff members, students and alumni.

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"I feel very scared," UACU alumna Yuliya Morozova said.

Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) is the co-founder of UACU. It is the first time in the 20-year relationship that the two universities have had to work through war.

Ukrainian-American Concordia University diploma

"The students from what we can tell are doing well. The best they can, obviously in these circumstances," said Brian Curry, Concordia University assistant vice president of international affairs.

The university in downtown Kyiv is still standing. People who work at the university say students and staff are safe.

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"Human lives are much more important now than buildings," said Julia Romanovska, UACU vice-rector.

Some staff members said they are in bomb shelters. Others, including students, have been able to escape to other countries.

"I cannot believe what’s happening, and I think it’s so unfair," Morozova said.

Students of Ukrainian-American Concordia University in Kyiv

Right now, class is canceled as administrators focus on safety and communicating with roughly 600 students – some from that area. 

"We’re really focused on the next three to six months. Trying to figure out how we can help our students continue to go forward with their education," said Thomas.

Technology has been key in connecting with students in Ukraine and getting them what they need.