Городской вуз международного партнерства / Государственная лицензия АБ 0137478
Международная аккредитация ACBSP (США) / Институциональная и специализированная аккредитация НКАОКО (Казахстан)

Kurmangaliyeva Ajzhan


Kurmangaliyeva AjzhanUst-Kamenogorsk, Kazakh-American Free University

There is such a big variety of different international programs nowadays. And I was very fortunate to win one of such scholarships – Eurasian Undergraduate Exchange Program which is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State (organized by the International Research and Exchange Board, IREX). Throughout the school year 2004-2005 I had an excellent opportunity to study in an American university. My major was business, so I was a full-time student and I was taking Business and Economic classes at the University of Wisconsin, Marinette. The UW system has about 150,000 students, and although my campus wasn’t very big, there was a large group of international students there.

I went to the USA after having studied one year in a Kazakhstan university, so I could compare the American educational system with the one in Kazakhstan. Firstly, I would like to say that American education is based on a credit system, which, I think is very effective, because a student can choose all the necessary classes he/she needs for completing a degree, and also he/she can take some classes that are different from the major ones. For instance, besides Economics and Business I took such classes as Sociology, Psychology and Public Speaking that I really liked. Secondly, I liked the informal relationships between professors and students. I think such type of communication helps to make the learning process easier, and students don’t have any fear of some professors’ attitudes towards them and etc. But at the same time I noticed that American students respect their professors, I mean informality doesn’t show itself from the negative side.

The school (university) life in the US is very different from the one we have in Kazakhstan, because American students have a great opportunity to take part in some big events, play in the university’s theater, for example (American universities have such nice big campuses with the library, theater, gym, etc. buildings on their territories). I personally played in Marinette’s theater and I enjoyed such activities a lot.

What I also liked is that there are a lot of different clubs on each campus: Sociology, Psychology, Business and etc. I was a member of the Business and the International clubs throughout the two semesters and I think it is such a great idea to have such clubs, because you can meet a lot of new people there, to go field trips with them and to participate in different interesting and exciting activities with them. While I was the member of the Business club, I went to a lot of trips with its members. We had a great opportunity to visit banks, big companies, to talk to the CEOs, and, of course, we had a lot of fun. The International club always organized so many fascinating events not only for its members but also for other students on the campus. We had a lot of potlucks, our countries’ presentations and etc.

I think what is really important for achieving outstanding results in the development of the educational system is to have all the necessary facilities for that on campuses. I strongly believe that when students have big libraries, good computer rooms, gyms and etc. it influences the quality of education a lot. And that is one of the weakest sides of Kazakhstan universities. But at the same time, I think the universities in our countries are making big steps toward educational innovations, and especially we can notice such positive changes in the private Kazakhstan schools. In our Kazakh American Free University we have a nice library and a Research center, and I’m sure that after some time we’ll be able to create more facilities for our students.

After having lived and studied one year in the USA, I changed a lot personally, have become more independent and responsible. Communicating with American people and other foreigners from all over the world helped me to expand my outlook, to learn more about other cultures; and living in an American host family made me change some of my stereotypes and to get more positive experiences.

All UGRAD students had to get a community service experience and work as an intern in a company, school and etc. In my community service I was helping in organizing Special Olympics for people with some disabilities. During my internship I was working at the “Aerial” company in the Accounting, Marketing and Human Resource Departments. All the experience I got while working as a volunteer and an intern also helped me a lot not only in developing my professional skills, but also in communicating with people.

Throughout the school year I made a few presentations about Kazakhstan. I told my American peers, professors and other international students about the life in Kazakhstan, our educational system (about KAFU particularly), economics, political system, our traditions and National holidays. All that things were new and interesting for the people over there, and I hope that they got useful information.

I think it is such a great thing for any student to go and study abroad during one school year. Thanks to IREX program I had a brilliant opportunity to study in one of the best US universities, to live with nice host families, to communicate with many international students from all over the world, and to get an unforgettable experience.

I’m sure that the number of such students that win scholarships in highly competitive contests for studying in the USA and European countries will grow with each year, because our young country Kazakhstan needs excellent qualified professionals that will work here and will help our country to develop more dynamically. As for me, I’ll try my best to help my university and community to develop and prosper.

2005 year

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