DVIZH is an academic mobility program between five Russian universities: ITMO University, Russian Foreign Trade Academy, National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, as well as Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. ITMO students are granted the opportunity to join one of the four Moscow-based universities, while 50 students from Moscow will be welcomed here.

This program’s key feature is the opportunity to form your own individual learning track, which can include subjects that aren’t related to your specialization. For example, ITMO’s photonics students can enroll into a modern art course at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, while economics students from the Russian Foreign Trade Academy can study digital humanities at ITMO University.

The program is available for second to fourth year’s Bachelor’s students at any of the five partner universities. The deadline for applying is August 15.


Firstly, students get to enhance their learning experience by gaining new connections, knowledge, and memories. Secondly, they’ll find out what it’s like to study at another university. Thirdly, the participants are given the chance to study a new course unrelated to their specialization, or, vice versa, deepen their expertise in the chosen subject area.

“Each partner university is great in their own domain and we think that our students will enjoy studying various subjects, including the ones in the humanities or social sciences. We’d like to diversify our curricula by, among other things, supplementing them with subjects taught at other universities. We also value the social networking and communication between students from different institutions. 

Plus, we believe that students from other universities might benefit from immersing themselves into ITMO University’s values and environment. Perhaps, they might even bring some of them back to their alma mater,” says Evgenii Raskin, head of the Department of Youth Policy.

Evgenii Raskin. Credit: ITMO.NEWS.

Evgenii Raskin. Credit: ITMO.NEWS.


The duration of the exchange program is one semester. Some universities provide a place in their dormitories, while ITMO offers apartments at reduced rates. All classes take place offline.

Students can choose courses at any partner university. There’s no need for these subjects to be relevant to their specialization. They can choose anything as an elective course, be that a course on leadership and presentation or a seminar on data journalism and visual storytelling. All of them will be listed in the diploma.

However, students should keep in mind that upon returning to their home university, they will need to cover all subjects from their curriculum. This will be done either by transferring credits or, if the subjects they’ve studied while on exchange don’t match the curriculum at their home university, by passing the corresponding exams. 

Plus, the individual learning track and study schedule will have to be approved not only by the program’s head at the home university, but also by the deans and tutors at the host university. Therefore, students should be ready to justify their choice.

Subjects to choose from

Each partner university offers a unique range of subjects, including some totally unconventional ones. At ITMO, students can sign up not only for photonics, programming, or information security, but also storytelling, creative practices, emotional intelligence, modern art, and dance improvisation.

MEPhI offers courses in math, quantum and chemical physics, as well as process modeling and experimental design. At the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, students can sign up for humanities courses, such as history, philosophy, law, and international relations. At the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, you’ll learn about PR, economics, markets, and game theory, while at the Russian Foreign Trade Academy – about financial management, human resources, and commerce.

Terms and requirements

The participants will be chosen based on a selection with various criteria, depending on the preferred university. Some institutions require a letter of motivation or an essay in addition to the transcript, while others pay more attention to personal achievements and research results.

One common requirement is having a high GPA (“good” and “excellent” grades) in the spring semester. Winners of student competitions and contests, as well as receivers of an enhanced academic stipend are in top priority.

Some of the courses have prerequisites. For example, many IT courses require basic programming skills.

Each university is ready to welcome a limited number of students: 10 for the Russian Foreign Trade Academy, 15 for MEPhI, and 30 for the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. ITMO is ready to accept 50 students from Moscow. They will be offered to rent an apartment at a reduced rate, as well as granted access to all the infrastructure, including ITMO’s library, coworking spaces, gym, as well as sports and student clubs.

How to apply

1. Choose a university to spend the next semester at and courses to take.

2. Fill out the application form on the DVIZH website until August 15.

3. Wait for the results until August 24.

4. Get your individual learning track and schedule approved by the head of your program at ITMO, as well as by the host university.

6. Prepare and sign an explanatory note.

7. Spend a semester at one of the partner universities.

8. Submit a certificate of study to your faculty until December 27, 2022.