In the first installment of this story, we learned how Mikael, a third-year student at ITMO, and his sister Zhenya decided to set out to Barcelona for academic exchange. We left him as he'd established communication to the international office of his receiving university, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). Here's what happened next!
Hi, my name is Mikhael and I am a third-year student at ITMO University. Six months after my return from academic exchange in Barcelona, the memories are still vivid and alive. Academic exchange is a unique opportunity to try to get a feel of education in another country and get acquainted with its traditions. However, I don’t want to write this article as a typical success story, there’s enough of it on the web. I will try, in addition to cultural features, to focus on some of the difficulties that I had to face so that future students would be a little more prepared. Let’s go!
In part 1 of this blog series, I talked about how to prepare for the study abroad experience. In this blog I talk about my personal experience of studying and living in the city of Montpellier, France, at IAE Montpellier University. Also, this blog contains information about my travels in France and some recommendations for future students of our university. This article builds on and complements the previous work of my colleague Tatiana (in Russian).
My name is Alina Zashkola, I’m an ITMO student and now I am currently studying in the USA! This all became possible thanks to the YEAR Program. The Year of Exchange in America for Russians program is organized by the US Embassy in Russia that sends talented students to study in the US every year, covering the full cost of tuition, living and more. In this article, I want to tell you more about the application process and what you should do to become a finalist and spend the whole amazing year in the United States!
I think almost everyone has dreamt of studying in another country: having an unforgettable experience, meeting kindred spirits, and immersing themselves in the atmosphere of student life like they do in the movies. Indeed, it is impossible to deny the value of such experiences, career prospects after graduation, and much more. As someone who is currently a foreign student in the U.S.A., I really want to share my small discoveries with you and tell you more about what you will have to go through on the way to receiving the coveted letter of admission to a foreign university!
The nearly three months of my stay in St. Petersburg as an exchange student has gone in an instant. I have experienced incredible emotions from the city and studying at ITMO during these last few months. St. Petersburg became especially comfortable for me thanks to people that I met at university. This is also the merit of the incredible Buddy system team that not only helps to get to know the city, but also invests all its efforts in creating a friendly atmosphere among students.
When you read this phrase for the first time, you may think that it’s a simple catchphrase to convince people to go to ITMO University. Actually, once you step in any ITMO building and talk to someone, you immediately understand that it’s not the case.
What do you think makes life at ITMO University so exciting? Yes, it's the Buddy System, a wonderful club that fully supports our exchange student life, devises various activities, organizes weekly national nights, and keeps us entertained. This club also provided a lot of support when I visited ITMO University in 2019 for just one week. They guided me from the airport to the hotel, talked about their culture in English, and took me and other students to famous sights in St. Petersburg, such as Japanese restaurants, aquariums, and bookstores.
After two years away from ITMO, I had a very special reunion with my intercultural communication teacher.
Breathe in, the first border: Russian border control officers suspiciously gaze at my red passport; the second border: European border control officers ask about the purpose of my visit; the third border: German police are smiling; breathe out.