As stated by Aleksei Lizunov, an organizer of the school and assistant to ITMO’s First Vice Rector, one of the key goals of the school was to introduce Latin American students to academic prospects in Russia. The country has a long history of engagement with Latin America, tracing back to the early 1950s, when Soviet universities eagerly welcomed students from Latin American countries. Although the situation had changed in the ‘90s, recent years have shown a greater interest in Russian education among students from the region. 

ITMO University has more than 90 partners around the world, with 12 of them being Latin American universities. The university is always interested in new collaborations and programs.

“We discovered that we have comparable academic interests after examining the development strategies of the region’s largest countries. At the same time, universities there lack programs in crucial subject areas such as information security, artificial intelligence, nanomaterials, and foodtech – ones in which we at ITMO possess competencies and experience. ITMO’s biggest asset is its high quality of education and research, as proved by a number of international rankings,” notes Aleksei Lizunov. “It’s also worth pointing out that we don’t merely offer our programs, but rather do our best to adjust our curriculum to each nation’s needs: for instance, a foodtech program we aim to introduce in Ecuador will focus on issues unique to this particular region.” 



The school welcomed over 350 participants from 13 countries, including Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Paraguay, and others, as well as international students from Russian universities who wished to learn more about ITMO University.

The program

The school took place over five days, from August 14 to August 18, with classes held at the hours convenient for students overseas. Daria Kushnereva, a manager at ITMO’s Internationalization Department and an organizer of the school, adds that the school provided an overview of the key fields pursued at ITMO University:

  • chemoinformatics; 
  • robotics;
  • information security;
  • machine learning;
  • blockchain. 

While these subject-specific classes were tailored to students’ interests, introductory lectures were meant to familiarize students with ITMO’s subject areas. As shared by school participants, the format allowed them to explore different fields and visualize their career paths more clearly. In addition to specialized lectures, students also attended classes on the Russian language, where they dove deep into the language’s peculiarities and the culture. 

“I’m immensely glad that I got to know ITMO University and participated in the school. Offering open classes is a superb way to promote the university and its academic programs. The school prompted me to pursue ecology and entrepreneurship, as well as study Russian. I am now eager to explore the culture and history of Russia. My thanks to the organizers for such an excellent event!” shares Lucas Martin Garay from Argentina.  

ITMO Open School. Credit: ITMO University

ITMO Open School. Credit: ITMO University

“What an incredible experience! In five days, we picked up some Russian and learned more about ITMO’s programs and teachers, who are true professionals in their fields. I was most excited about ML lectures – the field I’m determined to pursue after my Master’s studies,” says John Stive Avalos Quispe from the Technological University of Peru.

All in all, more than 100 students who attended 80% of the course were awarded an official certificate from ITMO University, which they can add to their portfolios and use to receive a 10% discount for ITMO’s summer schools next year. 

Summer schools for international students at ITMO. Credit: ITMO.NEWS

Summer schools for international students at ITMO. Credit: ITMO.NEWS

Opportunities for international students

Short-term schools. ITMO University plans to run several interdisciplinary online schools for international students in October, says Aleksandra Zavalina, the deputy head of ITMO’s International Admission Office. 

The first school will be held for Latin American students interested in the university’s unique fields (innovative entrepreneurship, public health sciences, and art & science), whereas the second one will introduce African students to programs in ecology, foodtech, and public health sciences. In addition to international Master’s programs (e.g., Public Health Sciences and Art & Science), the university offers a number of programs with English-taught specializations, such as Industrial Ecology and FoodTech.

A complete list of the university’s schools for Russian and international students can be found here

International Master’s programs. In 2023, ITMO University offers 20 Master’s programs, of which 10 are English-taught and another 10 have English-taught specializations. A list of the international Master’s programs is available via this link. Students from Latin America can enroll in the programs tuition-free through the government scholarship or the international Open Doors competition.

Discover more enrollment opportunities here

Academic mobility programs. Additionally, international students can apply for the university’s academic mobility programs and spend a semester or an entire academic year at ITMO University. This is an excellent way to get the feel of the university, build an individual learning track, as well as to select courses from the soft skills module and specialized courses, like bioinformatics, molecular biology, robotics, or industrial ecology. 

Students from ITMO’s partner universities can also study online or spend a semester on campus. 

To stay updated, visit ITMO’s official websites in English, Spanish, and Chinese and follow the university on Telegram (in English and Spanish) and Weibo.