David Avena: "I Am Glad that I Took Such a Step as Studying in another Country"

David Avena:

In an interview, David Avena, a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, shared his impressions of student life and art groups at LETI.

29.06.2022 170

David Avena is a third-year student at the Faculty of Industrial Automation and Electrical Engineering of LETI. At the university, he continued to pursue his hobby: he joined the Hello vocal studio and performs at LETI concerts.


– I came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and have been living in Russia for 4 years. And after a while, I can say that I am glad that I decided to take such a step as studying in another country. It was a rather difficult decision for me, but my family supported me and said that it would be a wonderful experience: a new country, a new culture, and new acquaintances.

Initially, I did not plan to move to Russia, but my friends at home recommended I study information about LETI. Many of my compatriots came to study in Russia and spoke very warmly about the country. I studied all the information, and of course, I was impressed by the fact that LETI is the first electrical engineering institution in Europe. Now, I can say with certainty that this is true. There is a very strong program and excellent teachers, and most importantly, assistance in adapting for international students. I was very warmly received and quickly became friends with many guys. This is a great start for my future career.

I also immediately fell in love with St. Petersburg. It is a delightful city with beautiful architecture, culture, and people. Of course, in the first year, it was difficult for me to adapt to the cold winter since I came from a warm and sunny country. However, this also has its advantages, so for the first time, I saw snow, the beauty of which is incredible. Many of my friends have already tried various winter activities: ice skating, skiing, and snowmobiling, but for now, I'm just getting used to the new climate. In the future, of course, I plan to try everything.

When I first arrived in Russia, I attended preparatory courses for one year, where I studied Russian. In the beginning, I had some difficulties, but I coped with everything. Most of it was about learning Russian. In my homeland, everyone speaks English and French, so I speak those languages fluently, but Russian is very different from them. Russian is a complicated language, it has a lot of rules and exceptions, so I have to spend a lot of time studying.

I am also glad that I was able to continue my vocal studies at LETI. Since childhood, I have been fond of singing. Before studying in Russia, I sang in the choir and performed solo. So in LETI, I joined the Hello group, and now we perform at various events at the university and city concerts.

In the future, I would really like to travel around Russia, and I hope my dream will come true. I've already been to Moscow, and it's just an incredible city that I want to come back to again and again.

What does LETI mean to you?

– Of course, it's worth saying that LETI has become an important part of my life that I will never forget. This is the place where I grow up and improve. This university gives me excellent knowledge, introduces me to a new culture, and most importantly, provides great opportunities for further education.

Highlight of studying at LETI

– For me, the most memorable was the first session. At that time, I was just starting my studies, and I had quite a lot of difficulties and complex subjects (physics, mathematics). I remember sleepless nights before exams when I was preparing. Now I understand that it only made me stronger.

What would you like to take to your country from Russia?

– Since I am a member of a musical group and also often perform solo, I have accumulated a lot of awards and diplomas here. I really want to take them all with me as a memory of the wonderful moments of student life.

Favorite places in St. Petersburg

Winter Palace. This is an amazing place that impresses with its scope and beauty. Every time I visit it, it feels like it's the first time.

Nevsky Prospekt, which fascinates with its architecture. There are many historical sites, museums, and gardens nearby, so wherever you go, there is beauty everywhere.

Petrogradskaya. Since our university is located here, I most often walk right next to the Petrogradskaya metro station. There are also many beautiful places here. You can walk along the embankment along the Neva River to the Cruiser Aurora or along Kamennostrovsky Avenue to the Peter and Paul Fortress.

Advice to those who think about studying in Russia

– First of all, prepare diligently. Start learning the language as early as possible, and then you will have fewer difficulties. In the process of studying, pay attention to all subjects, listen carefully to lectures, and do not be afraid to ask questions; teachers will always explain and help everything. Think of this period of your life as an adventure, during which we can make new friends, visit new places, and try new hobbies!