How did you find out about ITMO?
I applied to many Russian universities through the Russian Embassy in Afghanistan. At the time, I had no idea about ITMO. When I found out that I have been accepted to ITMO, I started researching it. I was fascinated to learn about this beautiful university, its teachers, and its students. I am proud to be a part of ITMO.Family now.
What made you interested in software engineering?
We live in a world where software is an integral part of our lives. I have always been passionate about creating software that would make life easier for people. I am living my dream right now. I am really excited to get started.
Did you find it difficult to learn Russian?
It was really difficult. For me, Russian and English were new languages, and learning both of them together made the challenge even crueler. I tend to forget English when I concentrate too much on Russian. It's puzzling! For now, my priority is Russian as all my courses are going to be taught in this language.
Where are you currently staying?
I am living in ITMO’s dormitory located on Alpiyskiy Ln. 15. It is a nice and tidy place. Many international students from countries like India, Egypt, and Syria also live in the same dormitory.
Do you enjoy living there?
Yes, I do. The location is great. There are various stores nearby, making it quite easy for us to buy stuff. The staff are also very kind and helpful. They maintain the premises pretty well. Overall, it is a wonderful experience.
What are your favorite places in St. Petersburg?
I really like the Hermitage. I have never seen anything so beautiful. Another place that is very close to my heart is Yagodnoe. It is a charming place in the lap of nature. I went on an excursion with my instructors and classmates there. It was an extremely memorable experience. I also enjoy the buzz around Nevsky Prospekt. It is very energetic.
Do you like sports?
I play chess and football, though I prefer chess. I have been playing it since a very young age. I never got formal training, so I am self-trained. Russia is known for its unmatched supremacy in this sport. Legends like Gary Kasparov, Mikhail Tal, and Vladimir Kramnik are all citizens of this country. Russia boasts the maximum number of Grand Masters in the world – 256!
Have you joined ITMO KronBars yet?
No, not yet. But I am looking forward to joining their chess club next year. It is a great thing that every student and staff at ITMO can get trained in a sport to their liking. I am glad that ITMO pays attention to the health of its students and staff.
Do you like Russian food?
Of course, I do! I love pelmeni (Russian-style dumplings – Ed.). It is my go-to meal in Russia. I also like borscht and plov. Pro-tip: don’t forget to add smetana (sour cream – Ed.) to your borscht! I have heard that Russians have some special summer dishes and I am excited to try them, too.
What are your plans for the summer – besides trying new food?
It might sound boring, but my plans for the summer are to learn programming languages like Java, Python, and C++. I will need them once my Bachelor’s program begins this September. I want to be prepared in advance. Therefore, I have taken up the challenge of learning all three of these languages by the end of summer.