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Yesterday, on February 6th, a new exchange semester started at ITMO University. 22 students from 9 countries came to Russia to learn IT, economics, business and cross-cultural communication.
Now in December it is the time when our international students are close to the end of their double degree programs and research internships. They came from different European countries — it is very typical in Europe to spend several semesters abroad but Russia is quite an extraordinary choice. Here are four stories by our visiting students.
When we met Dheya Al-Saeedi, we were struck by his positivity, ambition and hope for the future, especially as he began to reveal his history. Still young, he has experienced what many hope not to experience. For those of you who don’t know where Yemen is, it’s on the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, wedged between Saudi Arabia and Oman. It also has its fair share of issues. The south wants to separate from the north and the country is in a constant state of war. It’s also the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula.
It’s not every day you see a Frenchman walking the halls of ITMO, casually speaking Russian with his classmates. Nicolas Charlon isn’t just any Frenchman though, he speaks four languages fluently, French, Polish, Russian and English. When he views Russia he perceives opportunity, a potential future and a chance to grow. He appreciates the wonderful people and the fact that Russia isn’t quite Europe. After an exchange trip during high school to a small town south of Moscow, he knew he wanted to come back for something more.