Meet LETI: How the University Helps International Students Feel at Home in St. Petersburg

Meet LETI: How the University Helps International Students Feel at Home in St. Petersburg

Orientation meetings and excursions as part of the "Meet LETI" program accelerate the adaptation of students from abroad to the university and the city.

15.11.2021 134

Despite the restrictions brought by the pandemic, LETI remains a popular destination for international students. A warm welcome awaits them at the university – LETI's International Students Office helps them understand Russian culture and create conditions for comfortable living and studying in St. Petersburg as part of the "Meet LETI" program.

Due to the closed borders at the beginning of this academic year, students gradually came to Russia throughout September, and some of them continue to study remotely. Offline and online meetings were held for them, where LETI's representatives told them how to use the student's accounts and the Moodle platform, how teachers would assess their knowledge, and many other features of the educational process. Students who are still in their home country learned about the rules and procedures for entering Russia. They also raised questions about life in St. Petersburg: what things to pack, where best to buy a SIM card, and how to exchange money.

"Life in the world today is largely affected by the pandemic. This is not a good time to study in another country. However, LETI manages to keep the share of international students at a traditionally high level. About 20% of our students are from abroad! Now we are looking for new formats so that even those who have not yet seen the university and Russia can feel like LETI students. For this purpose, we developed a comprehensive adaptation program, which we implement online and offline. Thanks to a team of tutors headed by Anna Kungurova and continuously arriving students, it has become a year-round event."

Renat Yalyshev, Head of the International Students Office at LETI

International students experienced the spirit of the city on tours of the historic center. First-year students visited the Admiralty and the Kazan Cathedral, threw coins at the Chizhyk-Pyzhik sculpture, and sat on the New Holland stage. More than 70 students abroad were able to walk the streets of Petrogradsky District and Nevsky Prospect without leaving their room, thanks to online tours on Instagram. The students got acquainted not only with the history and culture of the city but also with each other and made new friends.

"I came to Russia in July to do a master's degree in biotechnical systems and technologies at LETI. Checking into the dormitory went quickly because the people in charge of the dormitory were so kind. Then we immediately submitted the required papers to complete the registration process for the master's program. Anna Kungurova and Daria Uverskaya at the International Students Office made the process very easy, so the registration ended quickly. I visited a lot of churches, theaters, and museums. I spent hours walking to enjoy the urban beauty of the city and discovered that on every street, you can find symbols of Russian civilization. I am very happy to live here in Saint Petersburg because it has a lot of wonderful people and beautiful places."

Salar Sali (Syria), a first-year master's student of the Faculty of Information Measurement and Biotechnical Systems

The International Students Office employees gave a tour of the First Electrotechnical, describing the history of the university and showing key locations – libraries, dining halls, and dean's offices.

At the end of the program, students will make presentations of their countries for other students.