Can you tell us a bit about your home country?

It is really interesting. People hear the name of Iran very often. It suddenly becomes interesting for them. They think that Iran is a very hot country and that people live in difficult conditions. I often explain to them that Iran is a very balanced country. In Iran, we have four seasons a year. This means that summer is always very hot and winter is always cold. This can vary from -20°C to +40°C throughout the year. Iran has a rich culture that spans several thousand years. The biggest trait I see there is unity. Iran is made up out of different ethnic groups so we have to learn how to live together.

Something very curious is that in Iran we do not use the Gregorian calendar but our own. Our New Year begins on the first day of spring. The official language of Iran is Persian (Farsi), and the country has a population of about 85 million. But in Tehran, my hometown, there are about 14 million people. Tehran is a big, advanced and beautiful city.

Could you share what was in your mind before deciding to come to Russia? Did you have some fears or dreams?

Before coming, I had already researched about Russia and realized that it would be a good opportunity for me. In my opinion, Russian people are very kind and lovable. My only fear was that I had no experience travelling outside of Iran before. But when I finally decided to do it, I could certainly say it was the beginning of a new life for me.

Did ITMO University surprise you in any way?

All parts of the university are coordinated with each other, which I find important for a promising institution. All of the university’s staff, guide and share their energy to all students. I can see teamwork and hard work amongst university staff.

Why ITMO University?

I think this university will always be at the top. ITMO University is always trying to apply new teaching methods. The professors of ITMO University are at a high level, also, ITMO gives students many opportunities to develop themselves.

What do you think makes a good student?

Study, study and practice. A good student should always strive to acquire the skills needed to better their curriculum. This means that students must take advantage of all study opportunities offered at the university and, in addition, participate in practical exercises.

Do you have any favorite places in St. Petersburg?

It's really hard to answer that question. This city is beautiful and spectacular. I mostly enjoy the city's old parks, historic streets and calm rivers. You must visit the museums and theaters of St. Petersburg. This is a special and different city.

What inspires you the most?

When I look at the night sky, I imagine a bigger world. Something better than normal human life. Understanding the depths of galaxies allows me to move more energetically towards the future.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I am never satisfied with my situation, so I am constantly working hard towards my goals.

Can you share some ideas and insight about life?

Our main purpose should never be forgotten. Life won’t give us a second chance. Each second is important and you have to organize your life with an aim in mind. It is very important to connect with others. In choosing friends, we must pay special attention to moving in a common direction. If you are in St. Petersburg, long walks and conversations with people in public places are a must.

Written by Ethan Avila