4 things I Wish I Knew Before My First Year at ITMO
As a second year student here at ITMO, I've gotten adapted to student life here and am more comfortable than I was the first semester. Here is a list of a few things that, if I had known about them before starting my first semester, it would have made my life easier and saved a lot of time and effort. As Russian is not my native language, I found some of the things to be confusing or easily misunderstood.
1. Finding answers to questions
In your first semester you are assigned to a group that you will be in until you graduate, unless of course you switch majors or transfer groups. Each group has multiple adapters, which are more experienced students who show you around the campus and tell you the basic information you need to know. They are there to help you, so feel free to ask them any questions you have. If they are unable to give you a satisfactory answer, or the question is something private or more complicated, go to the Student Services Office. Any possible question you have can be answered there. There is a Student Services Office on both Kronverksky and Lomonosova campuses, you can find their office hours here: Student Services Office.
Even before going to the adapters or the Student Services Office, it’s also possible to search everything up online. Don’t be scared to simply look things up! The Student Services Office website can answer the most common questions you may have, like about the Student travel card, Student dormitories, events students can participate in, and scholarships.
2. Online resources
There are a lot of websites that ITMO uses. Apart from the main page, which gives you basic information about the university itself, there is also ISU (the university's intranet). Every student and staff at the university has access, and once enrolled you will be given an account to sign into, to access your profile. ISU is incredibly useful; you can find any professor’s contact information, a barcode pass that lets you access any campus, and book rooms to study in at the coworking spaces. The website myitmo, which you can find a link to on ISU, not only has your schedule, but also lets you sign up for and schedule your PE classes. There’s an app by the same name that is very convenient for looking up your schedule on the fly.
Another helpful link I found is Корпоративные сервисы — ITMO.STUDENTS. Here you can find what services the university offers! Unfortunately, the website is only in Russian.
This year they changed how the sport classes work, which I found extremely confusing. Each time you attend a class is worth five points. Unlike most classes, where you have to get 60 points to pass or get a "зачет", to pass your physical education classes, you have to get a total of 100 points. You can try out for more advanced classes separately. You can find more details on the official website: Kronbars in English.
4. The library
Apart from the many coworking rooms, there is also a library (ITMO.Library) on the fifth floor at Lomonosova. ITMO’s library has many cool and beneficial features that can make your student life easier. In addition to being able to check out and return books via an automatic terminal, you can access a variety of scientific journals and publications directly on the library’s website. The library also provides lockers to store your books and other things. You can print up to 50 pages for free, as well as borrow a laptop or tablet for your studies. For the latest info, you can join the library’s Telegram channel (in Russian). However, they don’t allow outerwear in the library; remember to leave it in the cloakroom!