Why did you decide to get a Master's degree in mechatronics?

I had chosen this field because I wanted to change my career direction to be more connected to the tendencies of the fourth industrial revolution. 

Are you studying in English or Russian, and why did you choose that option?

My Master’s program is taught in English. However, I'd studied the Russian language in the Foundation Program. I chose English because the Russian language is very complex and I did not feel ready to study for my Master’s degree in Russian. Although I really like the language and I am still motivated to learn it.

How were your first experiences with the Russian language?

My first encounter with the Russian language was here in Russia, I had no prior knowledge of it. I was in Russia before applying to ITMO, on a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

What was your educational path before joining ITMO?

I studied mechanical engineering for five years at the University of Rio Grande do Norte (Natal, Brazil). And one year of that degree, I had the opportunity to study mechanical and automotive engineering at the University of Bradford (the UK).

What were your first impressions of the university and St. Petersburg?

My first days at the university were exciting: everything was new and I met a lot of new people. I found the university beautiful. St. Petersburg has different weather than my hometown, but I love snow and cold, so I had no trouble adapting to the weather. The only month that I don’t like to be in St. Petersburg is January – it’s too dark. The city is beautiful and has an impressive history; it’s also a metropolis, so you can do whatever you want at any time you want.

Photo courtesy of the subject

Photo courtesy of the subject

Where are you now? And why are you there?

Now I am in my hometown, Natal. I came back to spend the Christmas there and, unfortunately, because of the pandemic, the borders are closed. Now I am waiting for the border restrictions to be lifted so I can return to Russia.

What’s it like studying online?

The process of studying online is different because it takes more focus and dedication. Although, it gives you more free time because you don't have to spend time commuting between your home and the university. It is essential to maintain your productivity; I do it by keeping to a rigorous study schedule.

Any advice on improving one’s skills with the Russian language?

To improve my Russian language, I try to read the news and have daily contact with the Russian culture. Now that I’m in my country, I do that using the internet.

What are your hobbies?

I like to watch series and movies, hang out with friends, learn languages, and walk in the nature.

What are your plans for the future?

I have great expectations of the university. I hope I can have more confidence working with technology, learn new languages, and enjoy my time during my Master’s studies. I plan to be working in the technological sphere and, if it will be possible, to get a PhD degree also at ITMO.

Any advice for other international students who want to come to Russia and do a Master's degree here?

I absolutely recommend it! Russia is a unique and great country with high-quality education. I see Russia far ahead in the field of information technology and I believe that in the coming years this will accelerate. I am happy to study in Russia.

Interview by Juan Sebastian Velasquez Acevedo