1. Don’t miss ITMO.GO
A new exciting chapter in your life starts on August 31, with a welcome event for all first-year students. Attending it, you can automatically put a tick in the following boxes: see the rector, go to a concert, meet your dean and adapters, and receive official ITMO merch. Can you imagine it all happening just in one day? There’s way more to go!
2. Get your student ID
You probably already know how important your student ID is – it proves you’re a part of ITMO.Family and is crucial for getting various discounts. What else do you need it for? The picture of course! It’s an absolute must-do to take a photo with your student ID in front of the main university building and send it to your mom, so she can proudly show it to all your relatives.
3. Make peace with your schedule
The first day of studies is approaching, it’s time to open your my.itmo app to check your schedule. Compared to school, you’ll find a couple of updates to get used to: the schedule varies for even and odd weeks, classes can start both in the morning and afternoon, and sometimes you will even have a day off during the week. If you’re “lucky” enough, you’ll face the main sorrow of ITMO students, widely known as 8:20 am classes. The earliest of all, those classes are cried upon and often ignored by sleepyheads. From my experience, I’d say they are bearable, but it may be challenging to encourage your half-awakened mind to process new info. On the bright side, that means you finish earlier and have more free time for pleasant shores. Consider it as the test of a real ITMO student.
4. Get lost on your way to the first lecture
Finding a classroom can be a quest even for an experienced student. So it’s almost a tradition, just in case, to arrive in advance on your very first day of studies, wander around halls and staircases, ask for help from a security guard and find the desired door just in time. Don’t forget to take a groupmate to keep you company through the labyrinthine walks, nothing brings you closer together than an adventure.
5. Feel busy at the coworking space
Even though you aren’t loaded with homework yet, drop by one of ITMO’s coworking spaces, just to soak in this productive energy from the students around (the best part is, it’s contagious). As you'll be back here more than once during your studies, get comfortable straight away: find a place that you like, connect to the Wi-Fi network, or simply stay at least for half an hour to plan the rest of your day!
6. Find a club to your liking
Being a student doesn’t mean you have to abandon your hobbies for the sake of your studies. On the contrary, it’s high time to get cooler by acquiring new skills in your area of interest and meeting like-minded people. For that, ITMO has about 100 student clubs, from sports to beatboxing. They usually present themselves in the first weeks of September, stay tuned for updates!
7. Have a meal at ITMO’s cafeteria
The first week in the new environment is hardly the best time for culinary experiments, and we totally get that. So as not to turn into every parent’s fear, i.e., a student who lives on instant noodles and pelmenis, check out the cafeteria at your campus. It's an affordable and safe option, tested by generations of students, and a great place for making new acquaintances (starting a conversation in a queue is easier than you think). What’s more, every campus has its own features: the main campus boasts a self-service checkout, the Chaikovskogo building offers a plant-based menu, and at Lomonosova you can get a hearty meal for a price of a large cappuccino.
8. Explore the area around the campus
All ITMO campuses are located downtown, so you’re guaranteed stunning views and well-developed infrastructure. Nevertheless, it’s okay to feel lost in a new location, so try to learn what’s around your campus step by step to make it more personal – find a favorite coffee shop, a nice park, or an unusual museum. Here are our guides to help you out.
9. Meet your groupmates outside uni
Talking to your groupmates between classes is cool, but it’s even cooler to get to know them in an informal setting, especially in the very beginning, when everyone is open to a conversation, and just like you, wishing to find new friends. There is a bunch of events and warm-ups at the university, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Self-organized meetings are more voluntary and flexible in locations: you can spend time over a drink, a meal, a board game, literally anything. Some of the go-to picnic spots for freshmen are the Field of Mars and New Holland Island, where even a large group of people can take a seat and enjoy a quiet conversation. So drop a message in a group chat (or wait for someone else to do it, shy kid), and let’s get social!
10. Get to know useful resources
Here at ITMO there are a lot of useful services and resources, and knowing how to use them is your superpower. Luckily, we’ve already compiled all the essentials for preparing for the new academic year in this article. Read it carefully and dive into student life!