Academic Mobility Opportunities at ITMO University
ITMO University students have lots of opportunities to gain exciting international experiences, such as short-term internships, the Buddy System, the Study Abroad at Home competition, and semester exchanges. Applications are already open for ITMO’s academic mobility programs! Read on to learn the details.
Academic mobility competition
Participation in an academic mobility program offers students an opportunity to gain international experience while studying at ITMO University. This includes participation in international internships, workshops, and conferences. According to Ekaterina Tulugurova, the head of ITMO’s International Educational Programs Department, most students prefer to spend a semester at one of ITMO’s partner universities.
“To be able to participate, one has to be an ITMO University student. This implies that you are not getting expelled or taking time off your studies. While studying abroad, you still remain an ITMO student, only your educational trajectory changes a bit,” shares Ekaterina Tulugurova.
Any ITMO University Bachelor’s student starting from their second year of studies with a strong academic record and upper-intermediate level of English or another foreign language can participate in the competition. In addition to that, you’ll need a recommendation letter from your research advisor or the head of your educational program. Preference is given to those students who actively participate in university life, such as conferences, exhibitions, and competitions organized by ITMO University.
You can apply for participation from your ISU account. The competition is open until September 22, 2019.
“This will give you enough time to fill out an application form, have an interview, get answers to all your questions and start studying abroad. Remember that the staff of ITMO’s International Educational Programs Department are always there for you. If you can’t decide which program to choose, you can always ask us and we will do our best to help you,” continues Ekaterina Tulugurova.
To get started, Ekaterina recommends taking a look at the list of ITMO’s partner universities. It changes every year. Also, think about your expenses in advance. The amount of money you are going to need can differ depending on the country of your choice. Then discuss your trip with the head of your educational program, as it can rarely happen that they don’t approve of your choice of a university, notes Ekaterina.
If you make it through the competition at ITMO, you will be eligible to participate in the next round organized by a partner university. Note that the number of places at each university is limited. Once you have applied, a representative of the university of your choice will get in touch with you, but you can still contact the International Educational Programs Department should you have any questions.
Get ready for your trip: make sure to collect all the necessary documents to keep your scholarship at ITMO. What is also important is to get an invitation letter from your university, which you then have to submit with your visa application. In parallel to that, you can start looking for accommodation. Some universities offer a place in a student dormitory, others don’t, but there is no need to worry, as everyone gets housing eventually, says Ekaterina.
“Don’t forget to send us a stamp confirming that you’ve crossed the Russian border. And remember that your exchange program only allows you to stay abroad for a limited amount of time. This is a prerequisite to continue to be considered an ITMO student,” concludes Ekaterina.
Short-term academic mobility programs
Short-term trips usually include internships, workshops, conferences, competitions, as well as summer and winter schools. ITMO University partially covers their cost. Being allowed to participate in an event is a must to get financial support from the university.
ITMO University covers up to 70% of expenses. Preference is given to government-subsidized students. Up to five students can apply for each event.
Study Abroad at Home
This is a program for those who are not yet ready to go abroad. Its participants can take courses taught in English together with exchange students coming to ITMO. There are five courses available this semester.
The only condition is that a student willing to participate should be proficient in the English language. To apply for participation, fill out an application form, write a motivation letter and undergo an interview in English. The competition is open until September 15. Learn more about the program here (though the due date has already passed, you can try next year).
Take IELTS for free at ITMO University
ITMO University’s Foreign Language Training Center organizes English-language tests in the IELTS format. Any ITMO student or staff can take the test for free. Upon completing the test, you will receive an official ITMO University certificate valid for two years. Note that ITMO’s Foreign Language Training Center is not an affiliated examination center. The certificate that we issue is an official document that confirms your level of English at ITMO and its partner universities; it is of a purely advisory nature and cannot be attached to visa applications and other documents outside ITMO.
Second- and third-year Bachelor’s students can receive the certificate without taking the test. To do so, visit the Foreign Language Training Center and tell them your name and the number of your group. The level indicated in your certificate will be one step below the level you’re training at. For example, if you study in the Advanced group, your certificate will have Upper-Intermediate in it.
Apart from that, the Foreign Language Training Center offers fee-based courses in English, German and Spanish and organizes English speaking clubs for everyone interested.
The participants of ITMO University’s Buddy System assist ITMO’s international students by welcoming them to Russia, helping them with the paperwork, telling them about the country, and showing them around St. Petersburg. The most important thing for a buddy is to always stay in touch with their students and be ready to help. Proficiency in a foreign language and responsibility is all you need to become a buddy, says Ksenia Strokina, a staff member of the International Office.