CMU accepts Ukrainian exchange student who is staying in US

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MOUNT PLEASANT — A high school student from Ukraine who won’t return home because of war will stay in Michigan and start college.

Mariia Smahliuk said she accepted an offer from Central Michigan University (CMU). The exchange student already is in Mount Pleasant attending the local public high school.

“Since March, everything has changed,” Smahliuk told The Morning Sun.

Smahliuk lives with Liz Busch, a Mount Pleasant city commissioner, who helped her make contact with CMU.

Ling Zhang, CMU’s director of graduate and international recruitment, visited Smahliuk at school and pledged to get her enrolled for fall.

Smahliuk said her family lives in central Ukraine, five hours south of the capital, Kyiv. She declined to be more specific.

Smahliuk is collecting money for medical supplies and inviting people to visit a local store, For Art’s Sake, next Tuesday to write letters to Ukrainian soldiers.

Members First Credit Union is accepting contributions to support Smahliuk at CMU.

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