Please tell us something about yourself.

I am Durhel Ghislain Kibamba, a 21-year-old international student from Congo. Currently, I am enrolled in the Foundation Program at ITMO where I am learning the Russian language. Past its completion, I intend to pursue a Master’s degree in infocommunications and digital media.

Tell us something about your country.

First of all, there are two Congos, namely, Congo-Brazzaville and Congo Kinshasa (bordered by the Congo River). I am from Congo-Brazzaville and although our country is small, we have very beautiful tourist places where you can enjoy beautiful views of the river and our neighboring countries. I really like our culture, traditions, and education system, which is quite good. We also have very good universities and qualified teachers in Congo-Brazzaville.

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

There’s the Loufoulakari Falls, Pont Du 15 Aout 1960, the Basilica of St. Anne, the African Circle Museum of Pointe-Noire, Memorial Savorgnan de Brazza, Odzala Kokoua National Park, and many others.

Do you have a favorite traditional dish from your country?

There are many dishes in my country that I like. But my favorite one would be peanut butter coconut with smoked fish. It’s simply delicious.

Why did you decide to study in Russia?

I decided to come and study here in Russia because of its advanced education system, especially in information technology. Here, students are nurtured well and made into able professionals who can solve real-world problems.

What do you like the most about St. Petersburg?

Well, right now, I can't say much because I haven't roamed around the city properly yet. But I can say, for sure, that I like my life here a lot. The weather and the ambiance are phenomenal. 

Photo courtesy of the subject

Photo courtesy of the subject

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

It gives me great pleasure to be a student of ITMO because it is a university that has an excellent reputation. I am happy to be here. I am excited about everything at ITMO and I know that I will be getting a good training here.

How did you adjust to the cold weather?

At first, I had some trouble adapting to the climate. But I was able to ward off the cold with proper clothing. With time, I got more used to it.

Do you stay in a dormitory?

Yes, I'm staying at the dormitory located on Vyazemsky Lane. It is a very comfortable and well-maintained dorm.

Do you like Russian food?

I can't say anything about Russian food right now because I haven't tasted any dish yet. I don't know anything about it. However, I am really excited to try something out soon. 

Have you been to some of the popular destinations here?

I had the chance to visit the Hermitage, the Gazprom Arena, and Catherine Park, and I really liked them a lot. For now, the Hermitage is my favorite place.

Durhel is a football fan and he recently watched a match at the Gazprom Arena. Photo courtesy of the subject

Durhel is a football fan and he recently watched a match at the Gazprom Arena. Photo courtesy of the subject

What are your hobbies?

In my spare time, I like reading, watching movies, playing football, and walking around the streets of St. Petersburg.

What are your favorite movies or series to watch?

I watch a lot of web series. My favorite ones are La Casa De Papel, Wednesday, and Squid Game.

What’s your favorite football club and player?

As you might be able to guess, I am a big football fan. My favorite club is Real Madrid and my all-time favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo.

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

Studying here is great. However, nothing happens like magic. You have to study a lot and work hard. Have a mind of steel and you will be good to go.