From writing essays to writing letters to soldiers: How students' lives have changed in Ukraine war

Tap above to watch student Maryna share how life has changed on her university campus in Lviv since Russia invaded Ukraine

Four weeks ago, students across Ukraine were enjoying university life - heading to lectures, studying with friends on campus, and going out.

But since Russia's invasion, students at one university in the western city of Lviv have swapped writing essays for writing letters of support for their country's soldiers - one of a few ways they are doing what they can to support the war effort.

Maryna, 21, is among the students who have volunteered in support of the Ukrainian army.

"I was just a student…and now it's quite difficult to realise that you need to accept this new reality", she told ITV News' Here's The Story.

"You need to understand how you can be useful and how can you help", she said.

A student ties material to make military nets for Ukrainian soldiers

To begin with, some students were guarding their campus to give staff at the university a break, ensuring no intruders entered.

On campus, students now spend their days volunteering to tie military camouflage nets - with one saying they do it because they "feel like they can do something" to help soldiers on the frontline.

They also show their support by baking cookies in their accommodation to send to Ukrainian soldiers, and packing supplies for refugees and the military.

Hundreds of donations are sorted every day by students on the university campus in Lviv

With no sign of an end to the war, Maryna told us that she and fellow students are struggling to see when studies will fully resume - although some universities in Ukraine have begun trying to restart lectures.

Some are considering leaving Ukraine to continue their studies. Olesia, a science student in Lviv, worries about the idea of having to transfer to an university in a new country, and establish "a new life in a completely unknown place".

Olesia talks about the idea of having to continue her studies abroad

Ukraine's students can only hope that in the future they will be fully reunited with their lecturers and their old life on campus, but for the time being, volunteering towards the war effort is their way of working towards making that a reality.

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