Despite the unusual circumstances, academic mobility programs are still on: offline, online, and in the blended learning format.

How to: study abroad for a whole semester

Selection criteria

When choosing candidates for semester exchange, the competition’s coordinators pay special attention to a student’s academic performance, language proficiency (B2 being the required minimum), proactive attitude, motivation to study abroad, and willingness to come back to ITMO and share their experience – both academic and general – with others. 

Get advice

Semester exchange is not a vacation but a responsible choice, and you should get advice before starting this journey. 

Talk to the head of your program and make sure that your studies won’t suffer while you’re doing an exchange program (online or offline). Also, check in with your family because you may need their financial support. Check with your employer if you can work remotely. Talk to other students who just got back from their exchange semester or are still in the program. You can find them in discussions on the ITMO Student Exchange VK page or in the highlights and stories of its Instagram account

ITMO University
ITMO University

Choosing the university

You should start by choosing the countries you’d like to travel to, and then make a list of your top universities. It’s better to turn to the head of your program as they might suggest the best option for you. After that, choose up to three universities that offer disciplines in your major. Take a look at the list of ITMO’s partner universities, and be sure to check the application deadline at the universities of your choice, as well as the list of all required documents. 

Selecting disciplines

Students must earn 30 ECTS (academic credits) per semester: at least 9 ECTS (for Bachelor’s) and 12 ECTS (for Master’s) for the core subjects studied at ITMO.

When selecting disciplines, remember to talk it over with the head of your program as it is they who approve and sign the Learning Agreement – an official paper to count your studies abroad towards the completion of your program at ITMO University. You must choose as many disciplines in your major as possible. So that when you get back, they will be recognized at ITMO, and you can compensate for the difference on-site or remotely while studying abroad.

ITMO University
ITMO University

Applying for the contest

You can apply via your personal ISU page (please use your email to log in).

List of documents for participation in the first stage of the competition:

  • CV;
  • Proof of your English language proficiency;
  • Video CV in English.

There, you should talk about yourself, your academic and personal achievements, share your reasons and plans for studying abroad, as well as the benefits of this trip to your professional and personal experience.

To prove your language proficiency, you can use a valid TOEFL/IELTS certificate or take the test and get the certificate at ITMO University’s Foreign Language Training Center (sign up for testing here).

ITMO University
ITMO University

NOTE: if you would like to study in another language (German, French, Italian, etc.), you have to provide a certificate of proficiency in this language. 

When filling out the form, select the program you want to study. If the partner university offers only modules for exchange students (without enrollment in a specific program), then indicate “Exchange Program” in your application.

You can submit your application until February 21. However, the earlier you apply for the competition, the sooner you get to the interview. It may give you a great advantage over other candidates in case you are applying for a university that has a deadline in early April. 

If you have any other questions about studying abroad, please send a message to