Please tell us something about yourself.

My name is Emre and I am a 19-year-old Turkish guy. Currently, I am a student in ITMO’s Foundation Program. From September onwards, I will start my Bachelor’s program in software engineering. My goal is to become a successful software engineer. I really like traveling and learning new things. I look for new things to learn in every area of my life. I wish to further improve myself and contribute to science in the future.

What do you like the most about your country?

Turkey is well-known for many things but for me, it has to be the food and history. The stories that I have heard about my ancestors and fellow countrymen make me proud each day.

What are some of the best places to visit in your country?

If you are traveling to Turkey, you should visit these cities – Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Mardin, Marmaris, and Fethiye

Do you have some favorite traditional food from your country?

I love Turkish food in general, but my favorite dishes are the ones that are prepared in olive oil. You can read about some of the popular dishes here.

Why did you decide to study in Russia?

I am a great admirer of Russian culture and language. Russian universities are also quite famous around the world for their education and achievements. I chose Russia as the destination for my higher education because I believe I can become a good engineer here and fulfill my dreams.

What do you like the most about St. Petersburg?

It is a very charming city. But what I really like the most is the calmness of St. Petersburg. I feel so peaceful here. Also, I am someone who appreciates history a lot. Hence, I adore its history, its architecture, and culture.

“I am a big fan of Russian culture and art,” says Emre. Photo courtesy of the subject

“I am a big fan of Russian culture and art,” says Emre. Photo courtesy of the subject

How does it feel to be an international student at ITMO?

I feel very comfortable here. In case of any problems, I have the support of the International Office staff, who are always ready to provide solutions. The hospitality of my teachers and Russian friends makes me feel at home.

How much Russian have you learned already?

I think I have already learned enough Russian to survive in the country, to understand what is being said, and to explain myself easily. Of course, there’s a lot more to learn and I am looking forward to it.

Do you have a favorite Russian dish?

Yes, I really like Russian food. My favorite dish is borscht. I didn’t expect to like it that much at first. But once I tried it, I became a fan.

What are your favorite places in St. Petersburg? Have you been to some of the popular destinations here?

I have been to almost every popular destination in St. Petersburg. But my favorite is Lakhta, a historic area situated to the west of Lake Lakhta. This region was previously owned by Peter the Great, which makes it even more special.

An explorer at heart, Emre has seen almost every popular destination in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy of the subject

An explorer at heart, Emre has seen almost every popular destination in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy of the subject

Have you been to Yagodnoe?

No, I never got the chance to go there. But I really want to visit it at least once. Fingers crossed!

Can you share one good and one bad experience in Russia?

My best experience in Russia was when I first arrived. The people here helped me a lot to adapt to the city. Whenever I was stuck in a tough situation, I received help from the locals.

As for bad experiences, I don’t remember any significant ones.

How did you adjust to the cold weather here?

I easily adapted to the weather in Russia. With proper clothing and lifestyle, one can survive comfortably here.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include traveling, learning about new places, photography, and sports.

Are you a part of any ITMO club?

Yes, I am a part of the Russian-speaking club at ITMO. It is a lovely community of native speakers and international students where we practice speaking Russian together.

Any advice that you would like to give to future ITMO students from your country?

Students might have some negative ideas about Russia, thinking that it is very cold and the language is difficult. I would assure them not to worry. The Russian cold can be tolerated and the language can be learned with some dedication and practice. The most important thing here is to feel a part of Russia and to adapt to every situation you are in. ITMO University always provides the necessary assistance to its students.