Why did you decide to do a Master's degree in Information Security?

I picked this Master’s degree because I got my Bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Technology and I wanted to follow the line of my profession. What I like about this program is that it focuses on governmental and business information, and the different ways in which information technologies are used in different private and state entities.

How did you become a student at ITMO University?

I did some research online. One of my priorities was for my program to be taught in English. I read about ITMO on the web and I knew that it is one of the best universities in Russia when it comes to computer science and IT. So I applied for a fee-based place at the university and luckily I got in.

What was your educational path before joining ITMO?

I got my Bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Technology at Novena University in the Delta state in Nigeria .

What were your first impressions of Russia?

Before coming here, I was a little nervous because there were many negative views on Russia published by different media: you hear things on international news, like the economic sanctions, and the unbearably cold weather, among others.

Once I got here I realized that the language barrier limits you a lot, the first days were very difficult and I had the constant desire to run back to Nigeria, since I did not know the language and had no friends or family to help me. People here in Russia don't socialize much with strangers so it is a bit difficult to adapt, but with time it all comes together.

Gabriel Enofogha. Photo courtesy of the subject
Gabriel Enofogha. Photo courtesy of the subject

Did you ever think of Russia as a place to acquire your Master’s degree? 

No, Russia was not my first choice. I was thinking about the US, Canada or Australia as options to get my Master's degree. But one of the main problems with going to these countries is collecting the necessary documents and fulfilling the requirements to study. I chose Russia because I discovered that here it was easier to prepare the documents, and higher education is of good quality here. My goal is to succeed in my career, to learn new things at a good university, and I think I am achieving it here.

What do you like the most about St. Petersburg?

I like the city - it is beautiful everywhere. I think that you can live in peace here because the safety standards are quite good, something that not all cities have.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to take advantage of my time here, learn a lot during my studies, get the most out of this Master's degree and the university. After finishing my degree, I'd like to apply for a scholarship and study for a PhD here.

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

I recommend that when you come to Russia you concentrate on your studies. Although there are many other things that Russia and especially St. Petersburg has to offer, education here is of a high standard and you have to make the most of it.

Interview by Juan Sebastian Velasquez Acevedo

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