It started with an opportunity. Eduard Gusak sat down with his family and friend as they presented the life altering news to him. Months had passed since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, and Gusak was unsure of what his future held, but he knew he had to move forward.

“They told me I had an opportunity to study in the United States,” Gusak says.

With a bachelor’s degree in political science from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Gusak dreamed of continuing his education at Syracuse University. He wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to attend, but the U.S. government pathway program “Uniting for Ukraine” gave him the chance to see his future clearly.