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Summer Experience: Lane Johansen ’22 Lane Johansen was inspired by an unforgettable summer in Ukraine.

Lane-Johansen_headshot-scaled-800x533 Summer Experience: Lane Johansen '22Lane Johansen ’22

Q: What did you do last summer?

This past summer, I interned with the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and had the incredible opportunity to travel around Ukraine for five weeks. I wrote articles about the Donbas War and attended U.S.-Ukraine Foundation networking meetings, but the most important part of my summer experience was gaining the human element to what I’d been studying for the past few years.

During the last two weeks, I stayed with two Ukrainian families—one in a tiny village in western Ukraine and the other in the center of Kyiv. I was able to personally witness the diversity and commitment to democratic values of the people of Ukraine, and this inspired me to change my honors thesis topic to an exploration of national identity in Ukraine.

I was planning to move to Kyiv after graduation, but now will likely be in Poland; I’m currently working out details to join the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation full time as a coordinator of assistance programs for Ukrainian refugees. Long term, I hope to work as a Foreign Service Officer, but I see nonprofit work and graduate study in the more immediate future.