Julia Gerlyuk beams as she describes her career as a journalist. It is undeniable how much she enjoyed her career in broadcast journalism in Moscow before moving to New York City to live with her husband two years ago. Gerlyuk spent four days last week on Bates’ campus, speaking to Russian students and learning about campus culture.
Before moving to Moscow to work at NTV, a Russian television channel, Gerlyuk studied at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. She worked as a reporter and producer on an informational government program before moving to the network’s entertainment and talk show programs. There she dealt with content relating to Russian show business. Gerlyuk remained with the company for four years and gained production experience. Before leaving Moscow, she worked in media and news production as a production and a director’s assistant.
It was just two years ago that Gerlyuk made the monumental decision to move from Moscow to New York, where her husband lives. Having to start over in a new city, Gerlyuk now writes articles about the entertainment business in New York for a New York-based publication. Additionally, she has picked up numerous other projects, including her own blog. She writes in Russian since her main fanbase is located in Russia. She and her husband also hope to start a YouTube channel—featuring content about life in New York—in the near future. As of now, her blog is one of her top priorities.
“I’m talking about New York City, American life, and I’m trying to travel around the states!” Gerlyuk says, regarding the content of her blog. Her trip to Bates marks her first time in Maine, which she acknowledges is nothing like New York.
Gerlyuk explained that she is fond of the way of life on a college campus. She said, “I like campus life and college life, as well; because, in Russia, we don’t have that kind of campus life for university. I think it’s the best place to learn something.” She noted how her college experience differed from that of any Bates student. The desire to experience college in the American way is something that she said she thinks about frequently.
Gerlyuk was invited to campus by Alina Popova, a teaching assistant in the Russian department at Bates. “Of course I was so inspired about this trip, because I want to present all this life for my small group of fans,” Gerlyuk said about her upcoming social media posts about Bates. While on campus, she had the opportunity to speak with Russian students at Bates. She described how she empathized with students learning foreign languages. As someone who has learned a foreign language, she understands the difficulties and apprehensions that can come with conversing with native speakers. She admired many of the students she met.
Gerlyuk describes feeling like a newborn in America. “I discovered, not only New York, I discovered America, and it gave me a lot of power and a lot of opportunities. I just want to show people how it can have an influence on you,” she says. One of her future blog topics is a description of the experience of moving. She is fascinated by the insights that this allowed her. One of her favorite things about New York is the open mindedness of its residents. She describes it as a cultural hub where it’s easy to learn new things and meet new people.
Gerlyuk has no regrets about moving to America. The prospect was exciting, though still somewhat out of her comfort zone. She noted that making the choice was the most challenging decision she ever made. However, once she had her heart set on it, it was just a matter of sorting out the formalities. Her advice for young people is to get out of their comfort zones. She urges students: “Enjoy this time of your life and try to get all of the opportunities that you have now. This is your best age!”