Aleksandr Zykov ’18

Aleksandr Zykov ’18 experienced a stark contrast in educational systems when he transferred to UNCW. As an international student from Russia, he was used to a pre-determined, fixed course load, but at UNCW he was able to expand his horizons by taking a wide range of classes. His time at UNCW has taught him how to be open to more cultures, religions and people.

Through his coursework, most notably his introduction to religion class, Zykov has learned how to be more respectful toward and tolerant of other cultures, nations and religions by increasing his understanding of multiculturalism.

Zykov also noted that getting involved with other people helped him thrive at UNCW. “I have attended many interesting events,” he said, “but the most memorable were the Chancellor’s Dinner with international students my first year and Thanksgiving dinner my second year.”

These moments created bonds between Zykov and other international students, providing him with meaningful experiences shared with different types of people. At UNCW, he learned how to balance these social events with academics in order to build a well-rounded college experience.

As for what keeps him motivated, Zykov looks to other people. “I’m trying to be around very active and productive people with a wide range of interests,” he said. “I also get my motivation from drawing and being among art and artistic people. Thankfully, we have a lot of people like this at UNCW.”

Over the years, UNCW has become a second home for Zykov, and after graduation he plans to find a year-long internship, either in Wilmington or elsewhere in the United States. Once his internship is complete, Zykov intends to continue his education and earn an M.B.A.

“UNCW gave me an opportunity to expand my communication skills, taught me how to be in touch with people and how to maintain good connections,” he said. “I believe that those are essential skills to be successful in our highly globalized world.”

-- Lauren Henderson 15