Last year, we interviewed Hossain in English; this year, our conversation took place entirely in Russian.

How did your life change since our first interview?

I experienced some challenges at the start of my Bachelor’s studies because I didn’t have a lot of Russian language practice over that summer. When I came to class, everyone was talking really fast and I needed to catch up. But then I started chatting with my friends and classmates and things improved. Now it’s easier for me to get the language, but the classes themselves got more complicated than they were last semester.

You were excited about starting to learn software engineering. How has your study experience been so far?

I like studying and I am pursuing my dream of becoming a software engineer. Even if it gets hard, I will do my best to overcome any obstacle. A dream is a dream, after all, and we give our all to make it come true.

Do you feel comfortable in St. Petersburg? 

Yes, the city has become a second home to me, so I can reach any destination and talk to people anywhere. I also know how I can solve my problems if I do encounter some.

Did you get the chance to visit any of the famous suburbs of the city?

I went to Pushkin and the Pavlovsk Park. The park is huge, we couldn’t even cover it in a whole day. There are beautiful buildings there. We had a really great time that day; I even managed to meet tourists from different countries.

Hossain enjoyed his day trip to Pavlovsk Park. Photo courtesy of the subject

Hossain enjoyed his day trip to Pavlovsk Park. Photo courtesy of the subject

In our previous interview, you mentioned that you’d like to join the university’s chess club. Did you join it or are you practicing another sport at ITMO?

Even though I haven’t signed up for the chess club, I’ve joined the running club at my dorm. It’s very convenient – I stay fit and get my PE points at the same time. 

You are still staying at one of the university’s dorms, then. What are your impressions of it?

Yes, I am still living in the dorm on Alpiyskiy Lane. It’s a little far to the nearest metro station from here, but it’s okay. It’s a clean dorm and the manager is very nice. I’ve heard some less positive reviews of other dorms, so I am really glad to be where I am.

I’ve met several people from my program at the dorm, so now I know there are friendly faces I can reach out to if I need help with an assignment. 

What do you do in your free time?

I got a part-time job at a supermarket near ITMO’s main campus. I would like to work in my field of studies, but for now I still have a lot to learn and catch up on – we don’t study computer science at school in my home country. It’s a little hard, combining studies and a job, but I make it work. The downside is that I don’t really have that much free time.

That’s impressive. I bet many students would also like to combine work and studies successfully. Do you have any advice for them?

So as not to be behind on your studies, take the time to study and fully understand the topic as soon as you’ve had a class on it. Find all the additional materials you need and study them so that you can proceed to completing the related assignment right away. That’s the key thing: complete and submit your assignments on time, even if they are challenging.

Photo courtesy of the subject

Photo courtesy of the subject

What does being an ITMO student mean to you? 

I’ve learned a lot here. As a Foundation Program student, I have earned a reputation as a hard-working and diligent person. Now I know that I can turn to my Russian teacher for help if I need it.

Also, here I can be more than just a student. For instance, I now help applicants and students from Afghanistan who come to study at ITMO. I show them around and help them with all the official things you need to tackle when you get here. I don’t think I’d be able to do that as a student of any other university. I like doing this, it is my source of strength and support. At ITMO, I feel comfortable. I feel at home.