One of the university’s longstanding traditions, the bike ride has been held twice a year, in fall and spring, since 2014. Led by ITMO’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev and First Vice Rector Daria Kozlova, the participants cycled from the Krestovsky Ostrov metro station down a route with picturesque views of the Neva Bay, Lakhta Center, and Gazprom Arena. As established last time, the route passed the lighthouse of the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg Park, finishing on the embankment near Lakhta Center.
Every bike ride brings together both regular participants and those who are making their first steps at ITMO. For this story, we asked students from Nigeria, Egypt, and different Russian cities how their lives changed since they joined ITMO.Family and why the bike ride is one of ITMO’s most beloved traditions.
Ike Holy Destiny
a first-year Bachelor’s student in computer systems and technologies
I am from Nigeria and I am studying at ITMO with a bilateral Nigerian-Russian scholarship. I like living in Russia: I love the weather and the rivers, and I’d love to travel the country. I’ve been living in St. Petersburg for a year already. Last year, I was studying Russian as part of ITMO’s Foundation Program, and this year I joined the Russian-speaking club. In my free time, I also play table tennis and football at the university. This bike ride is a great opportunity to meet the rector and hang out with my groupmates.
Studying at ITMO is really nice and effective. The professors are very good and friendly and the laboratories are well-equipped. The only challenge is that my classes are in Russian. Although I can understand spoken Russian very well, speaking is still difficult for me. I'm a very social person, so not being able to express myself well is a problem to me, but I know with time it will be fine.
a second-year Master’s student in data analytics
I am starting my sixth year at ITMO, but it’s my first bike ride. Alongside my studies, I work as a business and systems analyst at an IT startup. When I have some free time, I love travelling, dancing, taking pictures, and writing.
I’ve always admired ITMO’s corporate culture – I believe it can be an example for businesses, as well as other universities. Year after year, I notice how ITMO changes for the better: there’s improved infrastructure and a growing number of social activities and academic opportunities for students. Also, I just love the my.itmo app, where I can keep track of the class schedule, grades, and university news.
a first-year Master’s student in robotics and artificial intelligence
I came here from Egypt, where I used to work as a journalist. My grandfather was a famous journalist in the Middle East as well. He was friends with most world leaders. For example, he was a close friend of Mikhail Gorbachev. I realized that I liked programming and solving problems, so I decided to change my career.
I came to Russia because it’s a partner of Egypt. Also, Russia is among the first in the world in the field of information technology. Moreover, Russian people also respect foreigners and treat them well. I chose ITMO because it is one of the best IT universities in the country. I am glad to see that here at ITMO the staff is very tactful and knowledgeable, and everyone is ready to help you. As for the bike ride, I decided to join it because ITMO is not just a university, it’s a family with whom I want to spend more time.
I plan to continue my studies here to get my PhD and then start a software company in Russia. In Egypt, I already had my own software company. But it closed after COVID-19.
first-year Master’s student in game development technologies
I am from Kazan and my friend Ekaterina is from Nizhny Novgorod. It’s our first bike ride and it’s great. I am also still under a great impression from ITMO: everything here is bright and new, from the cafeteria to the classrooms – including the teaching approach. My friend and I are planning to do cheerleading at the university, as well as join the dancing and English-speaking clubs.