Please introduce yourself and tell us about your hometown.

Hello, my name is Myint Myat Kyaw and I am 24 years old. I am a Burmese from the city of Pantanaw, located in the south-west of Myanmar. My hometown is known for being the native city of the third secretary-general of the United Nations, U Thant. The renowned modern painter Ba Nyan was also born in Pantanaw.

Quite interesting! But what motivated you to come to Russia?

Studying abroad was always a dream of mine and while searching for countries where I could find a program aligned to my interests, I came across ITMO’s Faculty of Physics. After doing a bit of research, I was convinced that ITMO is the right place for me to get my Master’s degree. 

What are you studying at ITMO?

At the moment, l am enrolled in ITMO’s Foundation Program, where I am learning the Russian language. Once I complete it, I will be starting my Master’s program in physics

How does it feel to be a student at ITMO?

It feels really good to study here; it is convenient. The class schedule is very balanced, allowing us to indulge in numerous other activities and also take better care of our mental health.

How has your experience been learning Russian at ITMO?

It has been a difficult journey so far. Russian is a difficult language, especially for Asians like myself. But I hope to ultimately conquer it. Let’s see.

How does it feel to live here?

I am very happy to be in St. Petersburg. It is an amazing city – traditional with a hint of modernism. The cost of living is not crazy high and I really enjoy the vibe on the streets at night.



Have you adapted to the weather here?

That’s the only thing that makes life somewhat challenging here. The weather in Myanmar is hot year-round, but here it is very cold during the winter. So, adapting to this new climate is difficult at first. Having said that, the summers here are amazing and very enjoyable. I am highly looking forward to this year’s summer.

What are some of your favorite places here in St. Petersburg?

It is difficult to choose, but my personal favorites are the Hermitage and the Peter and Paul Fortress. Both of them offer immersive experiences in history and culture, making them must-visit destinations in St. Petersburg.

What are your plans for the future?

For now, I am focused on completing my Master’s program with good grades. My goal is to receive a red diploma. After that, my decision would depend on the situation and opportunities I get. I might return to Myanmar or continue here in Russia. 

What do you do in your free time?

I like to keep myself busy, so whenever I have some free time, I listen to music, read books, and play tennis.

Any advice for future ITMO students?

Being a successful student at ITMO takes a lot of effort. So, I would urge every future student to be diligent and ready for hard work. With consistency and discipline, you can achieve all your dreams.