Hi, thanks for joining me today. How was your day so far?

Thanks for having me. It has been a very productive day. I have been busy. I have just reached my dormitory after a 30-minute metro ride.

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Kaykhan Noyan, and I am a citizen of Afghanistan. I was born and brought up in Kabul, the capital city. 

How did you decide to study in Russia?

I have always been an admirer of Russian culture. I am a fan of Russian movies. It was my dream to study at a Russian university. The scholarship opportunities made it easier for me to enroll at ITMO.  

You mention you like Russian movies. Any favorites? 

I don’t remember the name but it was a romantic movie. The hero’s name was Sergey and the heroine was Svetlana. The movie portrayed Russian culture and family very well. I fell in love with Russia and since then I have been looking for an opportunity to live in this beautiful country. 

Did you pick up any Russian phrases?

Not many but a few common words like благодарю вас (thank you), привет (hello), and пока-пока (bye-bye). 

So how does it feel to actually be in St. Petersburg?

It feels amazing to be in one of the most beautiful cities in Russia and Europe. St. Petersburg maintains a wonderful balance between everything traditional and modern.

Kaykhan is enjoying the summer and white nights in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy of the subject

Kaykhan is enjoying the summer and white nights in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy of the subject

What do you like the most about this city?

Besides the excellent architecture, the city has some fantastic parks and gardens. I enjoy taking a stroll in its parks, breathing in pure and clean oxygen. I also enjoy traveling by metro. The engineering done here is so fascinating. Sennaya Ploschad and Nevsky Prospekt are the two metro stations that I visit the most and both of them are extremely well-maintained.

As an admirer of Russian performing arts, have you had a chance to watch a movie or go to a theater here?

Unfortunately, no. I haven’t had the opportunity yet. Currently, I am extremely busy with my classes. However, I am really interested in attending a few concerts, operas, and ballets here. I know it will be a truly worthwhile experience.

Sounds like you’re really busy with school. What are you studying at ITMO?

As of August 4, 2022, I have completed my preparatory course in the Russian language. Now, I will be starting my Bachelor’s degree program in Computer Systems and Technologies. I’m already preparing for it with online lectures in web development, my major area of interest. In this day and age, web development skills are really important. But it takes away a lot of my free time to be honest!

What was the preparatory Russian course like?  

I enjoyed it a lot! Most of my Russian classes took place on ITMO’s Lomonosova St. 9 campus. This campus is a relatively new one. The building is very futuristic. The teachers of the Foundation Program were very cooperative and kind. Whatever they taught, they did so with compassion.

Did you try anything from ITMO’s stolovaya (cafeteria)?

I did, but I was not impressed by the food. The only dishes that I liked there were salads.

Do you prefer eating out or making something on your own?

I do like cooking, but I can’t do it every day due to my other commitments. So, for most days, I eat out.

Have you ever used any food delivery apps in Russia?

I have used them a few times, but I don’t really like ordering online. Instead, I prefer getting takeaways. Whenever I crave something, I walk down to a restaurant or a cafe.

Tell us something about your dormitory.

I live in the dormitory located on Vyazemsky Lane, the largest ITMO dormitory in my opinion. It is very clean and well-maintained. The dorm is located near the Petrogradsky metro station, which is one of the most happening areas in the city.

I share my room with another guy from Nigeria. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree. We have bonded quite well together. We help each other grow and become a better version of ourselves. 

“I like traveling. My dream is to go on a world tour someday,” says Kaykhan. Photo courtesy of the subject

“I like traveling. My dream is to go on a world tour someday,” says Kaykhan. Photo courtesy of the subject

What are your hobbies?

I like music, especially electronic dance music (EDM). I spend a lot of time mixing tracks in FL Studio, a digital audio workstation (DAW) software. 

Who is your musical inspiration?

I am a big fan of DJ Avicii. Although he is no longer with us, his music has made him immortal. He inspires me every day, in every possible way.  It has become my ritual to listen to his music while waking up in the morning (chuckles).

We wish you good luck on your musical journey. Our readers will be eager to listen to your compositions.

Thank you so much. I will be making some music pieces exclusively for ITMO.Family!