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

Ospanova Raushangul, Mursalimova Ulpan


Ospanova Raushangul, Mursalimova UlpanKazakhstan, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakh-American Free University

Every journey starts from the first step.

We did our first step at KAFU. It was a participation in Summer Business Immersion Program 2008. When we were chosen students which were given an opportunity to have an internship in the USA we had different meetings with our professors to be prepared to go there.

Then we had four days of orientation after arriving to the states, from June 14th to 18th in Portland Oregon where we faced some of the different, interesting and unique culture of America. Each culture is unique and American is not an exception. So we had to be prepared to not only face but even live day by day in that culture. We had different trainings such as: “Making Every Immersion Experience Successful”, by P. Mitchell, “Dress Etiquette for Professional Women in America”, by Tanya Gerritz; “The top Things for Success”, by Doug Marshall, “Advice for those who just started their Careers” and some others, which helped us to understand that their culture is not good or bad, it’s just different from ours. And if you understand that, you will easily get used to live there even for the short amount of time.

We arrived to Connecticut State; Avon city which is located between New York and Massachusetts states and our internship was in one of the biggest cities of CT State called Hartford.

One of the companies we worked in was General Electric Company (GE) where our mentor was Rodney M. Young, Senior Counsel Intellectual Property. GE Industrial produces the modern conveniences that keep the world working through appliances, lighting, factory automation systems etc. GE also offers equipment leasing, as well as management and operating services. Some of their technologies and products are really unique and up to date. Therefore they need to protect their rights and techniques and have good legal support. That’s why they do different projects and have conferences for not letting other companies to duplicate their products.

As we know GE is well known and global company so they have subsidiaries in the different parts of the world. That’s why they have to have phone conferences which let them to get together and discuss their projects and do other work of the company.

We were invited to give our opinion on a problem where a foreign company was using GE products without permission or payment. We suggested that there were two approaches: one through the courts and one by negotiation to fix a fee for future use. GE chose to negotiate…But we left before knowing a result. We were aware of negotiation from the western teachers whom we had here at KAFU.

We were also able to learn something about how huge multinational corporations work through their subsidiaries in many lands to accomplish corporate goals.

The second place where we had practice was Superior Court of CT State where our mentor was Judge Johanatan E. Silbert. We were introduced to a Judicial system of USA compared to Russian because he was one of the lawyers who helps Russia to improve their judicial system. We were able to observe some similarities as well as differences in judicial system of Kazakhstan, Russia and USA as the judge took us to the court rooms that were in action.

However, most of our time we spent in the non-profit organization called “The Children’s Law Center of Connecticut” protecting the Legal Interests of Children. This organization consists of: Executive director, three Staff Attorneys, Paralegal, Social workers, Director of development and Administrative Assistant. The organization gets its fund by word of mouth solicitation.

The mission of the company is to protect the interests of poor children in family court by providing high quality legal services and advocating for policies that advance the well being and best interests of children.

They have programs and services such as:

1.  Children’s Law Line. It is a statewide legal help-line that is staffed by professionals who can answer legal questions, give advice, information and referrals to those with concerns about children or to children themselves. It is an ongoing program that originated out of the need to advise families, caretakers, and others about children’s legal rights in an accessible fashion. We were allowed to take some of the phone calls because of our western law training at KAFU.

2.  Legal Representation Program provides court-appointed attorneys to indigent children involved in high conflict custody and visitation cases.

3.  Families in Transition. It is a unique program in that it combines both parenting education and meditation. We had an opportunity to observe a meditation teams which are designed to be gender balanced and include one attorney and one mental health professional. We learned that meditated agreements tend to be longer lasting and more honored by the parents; this results in a more stable environment for the children. In addition to the conflict meditation, mediators also can discuss the stages of child development and help implement new communication strategies for parents that are designed to minimize conflicts and put less stress on their children: courts can not do this things.

4.  Advocacy. Professional events designed for legal professionals and child advocates. Legislative and legal advocacy supporting children. Judges appoint their attorneys to speak for the child in family court. So they advocate for what is the best interest of the child or children. And we were given chance to go with them for three days of the week where we could see all the processes and make some notes, ask  questions that we were interested in about their court processes. By going there we had an opportunity to observe the differences in our court system, gain some knowledge and practice our law skills. It was very interesting to compare because some were different and some are similar: for example my experience in Kazakh court is one case at a time in the room but in the US I saw twenty cases waiting in the court room at one time. And the interesting point about advocacy program was that qualifying low income families do not have to pay for this service.

All of these programs were provided   in order to protect children’s rights and have the best life for the child or children.

This internship helped us deeply understand the theory that we were thought here by practicing everything we have learned.

We would like to tell that for having a successful internship it is very important where you live. It is very helpful when you are in the different country and so far from home to have loving and carrying family. We were so lucky because in our families we could feel ourselves as if it is our own home. Our host dads and moms let us feel warm feelings and they supported us as much as they could. It is very important to wake up in the morning and to be willing to see the members of the families as you wanted to see your own relatives because good relationships with them make your day. You do not feel yourself alone because you know that there are some people who care about you, who always willing to help you, who support you and love you. And none of those families are paid. We noticed that in American culture there are a lot of people who are willing to help others without being paid. We think it is awesome!

We came away from this experience with two great thoughts. First we need to establish in Kazakhstan law related non-governmental organizations like the Children’s Law Center. Second we should consider establishing special courts for dealing with family and children issues.

2009 year

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