Student displaced by war, welcomed to Acadia


Laura Karpov smiles with her parents, younger brother, and Acadia President Peter Ricketts on a sunny day in front of the Eaton House residence entrance.
Laura and her family are greeted by President Peter Ricketts on Move-In Day

Laura Karpov is a Ukrainian student who has been displaced by war and is starting her academic journey in Nova Scotia this fall. She was chosen as the recipient of Acadia University’s Formuziewich Bursary for Ukrainian Students. The bursary will help cover her tuition, residence, and meal plan fees through the duration of her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology.  

“Laura has demonstrated herself to be a dedicated and talented student and is willing to use her personal experience and post-secondary education to help other students displaced by war. We are honoured to support her for the remainder of her degree program at Acadia and look forward to being part of her academic journey and future in Nova Scotia,” said Acadia University President and Vice-Chair and Chair of EduNova’s Board of Directors, Dr. Peter Ricketts.   Laura plans to offer psychological support to people overcoming post-war trauma and plans to research further in that area. Her research will be funded by Research Nova Scotia during her time at Acadia.

“We are pleased to work with universities to help place and fund students who arrive from Ukraine. This is an opportunity for our strong research ecosystem to support hardworking and passionate students like Laura, and show the world that Nova Scotia is a welcoming place whether you are just starting out in your studies or are leading the world with your research,” said Research Nova Scotia Director of Strategy Heather Desserud.

Laura has chosen to study psychology at Acadia University this fall. This is what the head of Laura’s department had to say about her determination and next steps in her academic journey:

“I am so pleased that Laura has chosen to study Psychology at Acadia University. It was difficult to hear what she and her family have been through, but her hope for a better tomorrow and her determination to continue her education are inspiring. As a  department, we are committed to guiding and mentoring Laura as she begins her next chapter at Acadia University”, said Acadia University Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Randy Lynn Newman.


EduNova's Student Recruitment and Retention Officer, Gabi Martins, interviewed Laura Karpov. Here’s what Laura had to say about her journey to Nova Scotia and her dreams for the future:

How would you describe your experience of planning to come to Nova Scotia? 

This decision was quite spontaneous. Everything was resolved in less than a month. We chose Nova Scotia because this province seemed to us warm and cozy, with beautiful nature and warm summers. My family read that the people of the southern provinces are very friendly, which is absolutely true. Also, Nova Scotia reminded us a little of our hometown with its climate, beaches and tourists. Perhaps all this influenced the fact that my family and I quickly got used to life in Nova Scotia.

What inspired you to choose psychology at Acadia?

I truly adore psychology and studied it before coming to Canada. For a very long time, I was thinking about where I could continue my education, and Acadia University seemed to me a great option. The university is well known for its bachelor’s programs and is also located in the beautiful small, and very cozy city of Wolfville, where it is pleasant to be. After a more detailed acquaintance with Acadia, it turned out that the studying process in it most often takes place in small groups, and the academic teachers are wonderful and supportive. All this greatly influenced my choice; I really wanted to become a student at Acadia University.

What was your reaction when you found out you’d be receiving the Formuziewich Bursary for Ukrainian Students?

To be honest, at first, I could not believe it! It seemed to me that this was either an incredibly good dream or a very bad joke. Awareness began to dawn on me when I started to receive congratulations. I was so happy that I couldn’t think of anything else. I could not find the right words to express my gratitude, because it seemed to me that such words simply do not exist in any language. Now I am very excited and looking forward to the beginning of my studies!

What are your hopes for the future?

I would like to become an excellent professional in the field of psychology. Also, I hope that all the people who helped me get into the university will feel that it was all worth it. It is important for me that these people feel pride when looking at me

Is there anything you’d like to add about your experience, in particular, to motivate other students?

If your desire is huge, then everything will definitely work out. Even if initially something seems absolutely impossible, there will always be options in the world where we live. Also, it is important to have good support around you, as going through ups and downs is always easier when there is someone nearby!


This story was originally posted on EduNova. You can learn more about the Formuziewich Bursary on our website.


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