Hello Hassan, so good to meet you. How are you doing?

Hello, I am doing well. Thanks for this interview.

Tell us something about your hometown.

I am from the city of Bamyan, one of the most historical cities in Afghanistan, well-known for two famous statues of Buddha. These statues were built in the heart of the mountain in Bamyan province many years ago during the spread of Buddhism in Afghanistan.

What motivated you to come to Russia?

One of my childhood dreams was to come to the beautiful country of Russia and see it closely and learn about its history and culture. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I did not waste time to grab it.

How did you find out about ITMO?

I found ITMO online when I was researching on the internet about the best universities in the world. I was massively impressed by everything ITMO does and choosing it as my study abroad destination was not difficult.

What are you studying at ITMO?

I am a Bachelor’s student of software engineering.

What has been your experience of studying at ITMO so far?

My decision to study at ITMO has proven to be my best decision yet. I am very happy and proud to be a student at ITMO.

Did you learn any Russian before coming here?

No, I did not know the language before I came to Russia. I regret not learning it before because knowing the language can massively help international students settle in quickly in Russia.

Hassan with his friends at ITMO. Credit: ПОДФАК ИТМО 2021-2022 on VK

Hassan with his friends at ITMO. Credit: ПОДФАК ИТМО 2021-2022 on VK

Did you get a scholarship?

Yes, I am studying on a full scholarship from the Russian government. 

Has St. Petersburg impressed you as a city?

Yes! The city is historic and very beautiful. The architecture, ambiance, and vibe of St. Petersburg are simply special. 

What do you think about the weather here?

When I landed in St. Petersburg, the cold weather terrified me! However, over time, I have gotten used to the cold temperatures and I am enjoying the clean environment very much.

Do you like Russian food?

Yes, I like to eat Russian cuisine. It's not very spicy, but I find it very delicious, especially their salads and soups.

Which Russian app do you use the most nowadays and why?

Ever since I came to Russia, I have been using all the apps by Yandex very frequently. Apps such as Yandex Maps, Yandex Go, and Yandex Metro have been life-changing!

Hassan enjoys kayaking with his friends. Credit: ITMO.Water Way on VK

Hassan enjoys kayaking with his friends. Credit: ITMO.Water Way on VK

What are your hobbies? 

I like playing sports such as football and badminton whenever I have free time. I also like to participate in various ITMO activities. They are very interesting and fun.

Any advice for future international students from your experience?

I would advise them all to start learning the Russian language a few months before coming to Russia. Having a basic understanding of the language can help you enjoy your time in Russia.