Exchange Programs


As you know, this year is considered to be Korean year in Kazakhstan. And due to it, there are events are organized in our country. As a matter of fact, I had a chance to watch one of such events in Kazakhstan Concert Hall, Astana. A friend of mine invited me to the concert a month ago, I agreed though I was indifferent to everything connected with Korea. On the contrary, my friend is fond of Korea, she has been learning the Korean language for 2-3 years. In addition, she likes watching Korean films and “soap operas”. And you know, there are a great deal of them. Three of all Kazakhstani TV channels show these films, and as I have found out, after the concert, it is not in vain, but for youth.

Moreover, Koreans did their utmost to make that day memorable and grandiose. Actually, it was colossal. Driving to the concert hall an hour earlier, we had some difficulties in entering the hall. The square in front of the hall was crowded, so was inside. Everybody wished one thing: to get seats as close as possible so that they would be able to see their favourite singers and actors better. That’s why there was a rush, there was a crush.

And only then I realized that there was much to expect from the performance of Korean people. To tell the truth, I thought it was supposed to be one of those boring events that people like to organize just for “check and tick”. I was wrong. I was glad that I was wrong for I did really enjoy the performance. It was bright and lively. Of course, it was representatives of Korean show business, who made the event memorable. Frankly speaking, I do not watch Korean films, do not listen to Korean songs, that’s why I don’t know any of the Korean stars. However, I can say that popularity of the stars invited to the concert was  conspicuously perceptible. The audience exulted and screamed every time someone appeared on the stage. However, the most interesting thing that I have noticed was popularity of the Korean film “F4” among out youth.

When a quartette of boys-singers appeared on the stage, “the hall exploded”. Everybody welcomed them with blusterous whooping. As I was informed soon after, one of the singing boys played in the film above mentioned.

By the way, when I studied in Aktobe, lived with the girls from Atyrau. They were fond of the Korean films and never missed any series. I remember, one of them even used to watch THREE different films a day. Every day. In addition, her phone was full of those “F4” boys. What a love!

Looking back now, I realize that there are even more people, who likes Korean films in the same way. As “an independent expert” (a person, not fond of Korean films and stars) I can say that the concert turned out well. So why does Kazakh youth love Korean stars? … because they watch Korean films the whole day.

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I am sure you already know my passion to a foreign education, to an international exchange in general. Yesterday I went to the Educational Fair in Rixos Hotel Astana. The fair presented universities from the United Kingdom and Turkey mostly. There are so many universities all over the world that are open to international students from Kazakhstan. Some of them even support these students by scholarships. There were universities like Cardiff University, London Business college, University of Management and Economics, Newcastle University from the UK, and Malpete University, Istanbul Aidyn University, Istanbul Culture University from Turkey and many other universities.

Also, if you dream of going to Germany to study, you can apply for DAAD program offered by German government. There you can find universities with English language teaching as well. So don’t bother if your German is not good enough. Find more about DAAD here.

If you want to work abroad, and have no or little experience, you can apply for AIESEC. AIESEC gives a good opportunity for young specialists to go abroad and work in more developed and competitive sphere. It is a great possibility to use your high potential to succeed in future career. Find more about AIESEC here.

As for me, I have a Bachelor Degree in English. And now I think about getting my Master’s Degree abroad. I tried to find out what kind of scholarships have these universities to offer. I noticed one interesting thing about these universities. None of them offer full scholarships that will cover all the expenses. The sum of scholarships vary from 3000 to 4000 £/TL. This money covers only a part of your study cost. The highest scholarships offered for international students reach 50% of the study cost. And here I remembered “Bolahsak” scholarship offered by Kazakhstan. I think students are lucky to have such kind of opportunity to go abroad, where all expenses are covered by the Kazakh government.

Nevertheless, there are many other scholarships instituted by foreign countries. Some of them also covers all the expenses of going abroad. For example, FLEX, Muskie program, Fulbright, etc. As a matter of fact, there are many opportunities of getting an overseas education, the matter is if one has a passion and will for it. As we say, if there is a will, there is a way out. I hope, one day I will be able to write you about my own experience in a foreign country. Study abroad! Don’t wait until an opportunity presents itself, go for it right now! Study abroad!

I was excited to speak in front of the quests. In addition, the majority of the listeners were expats, living in Astana. Knowing this fact, I felt a bit nervous for I didn’t want them to go away unsatisfied.  The first day of spring for me lasted in the following way:

In the morning I had less confidence about my presentation and speech as well. The main reason was unpreparedness to speak along with slides on the screen. To that moment I had only a rough draft of my presentation. Having looked through my speech material, I found my ppt very hard to follow: the outline was not clear, the data was not sufficient enough to support my each idea and I didn’t like my own work. However, adding some changes and showing it to my teacher, I felt perfectly confident, which lasted till the presentation. Right before my speech, I felt nervous, but it vanished after I began speaking. Telling about the feeling after presentation, I cannot not to mention Aliya’s words of excitement. She said that it was very good. Her eyes showed me what she really meant and, of course, I was cheered up. I didn’t expect such evaluation.

However, I was looking forward for the assessment from the expats and NIS teachers (except my groupmates). I had comments from 12 people. Having read all the comments, I have found out very good results. I converted the comments to the chart so that one can judge easily. ( Couldn’t put the data to post).

Looking at the table, it becomes clear that conclusion was my strongest point. However, I need to improve my voice and interest gained. Concerning the first one, I can say that I have such voice from nature and even though I know I should keep my voice exciting, I can hardly do it. I guess, my intelligence that is responsible for acting, changing voice and tone is quite passive. It can be explained by a simple fact: at school if we had acting, I was always a narrator. What I liked the most is that my overall evaluation is, equally, better and best (the last, but one in the chart).

Nevertheless, I have many things to add and change in my final research paper. It seems that after the presentation I had most of the points of my topic cleared and I hope it will help me to end my research article well. As for my presentation, I like it very much and won’t do any changes at all.

Now, when the responsibility for the presentation passed well and, hopefully, I didn’t disappoint my teacher’s expectations I feel a stone off my shoulder. I want to wish good luck and pluck for tomorrow’s presenters.

You know I am leading research on the theme of international exchange. Yesterday I presented my first speech called “Are you still here?” The reason I talk and write about international exchange is passion to go abroad, passion to motivate others to do the same.

Recently, I saw a cartoon in Toastmasters journal. It shows a woman of a higher rank giving advice to her employee. She says

“Always start your presentation with a joke, but be careful not to offend anyone! Don’t mention religion, politics, race, money, disease, technology, men, women, children, plants, animals, food.”

So what is he to joke about then? Furniture? Is it the only thing that won’t offend people of different cultures?! The moral of the cartoon is diversity – diversity in international exchange. “Going abroad to study is hard, so is coming back after completing one’s studies”. We used to see only advantages in study abroad experiences, but here I want to draw your attention to the disadvantages students in China have once they go abroad to study. The Chinese students, who have studied abroad, find it difficult to use their knowledge in their home country, because of low incomes in working places, shortage resource funds and excessive everyday pressure. And what is the most interesting thing is that while Kazakhstan is lacking students, who have studied abroad, in China it is even difficult to serve for their Motherland. Isn’t it diversity of policy? Their strategy, in no way, supports students from abroad.

Fortunately, we are happy to have another situation in Kazakhstan. In general, Kazakhstani students go abroad to study because of future perspectives they gain as they come back. In comparison with China, Kazakhstan is open to all students, who wish to study abroad. As soon as they return home, students are given a good job, offered a place to live, and have no restrictions in working places.

Even though all students in our country have opportunity to study abroad, most of them do not make use of the chance. Though the government supports studying abroad through different programs. Only Bolashak scholarship sends thousands of students to oversea countries each year. In addition, there are other programs offered to Kazakhstan by foreign countries. “Why are you still here then?” (Students, who really wish to study abroad.)

If someone tell you that he wants to study abroad, you understand him at once (how?) and ask no questions (why?), because deep in heart you also hope to study abroad. Still there is one thing wrong. We are lazy, we like saying “later”. Sometimes later becomes never. Knowing about this problem, I want to present you my conception that I like calling “Lazy student’s wish to study abroad”. Recently, I was sent a message – introduction to MyUface.

What is myUface?

MyUface helps you get into the best U.S. university, college or certificate program for you. At myUface.com you’ll be able to create an online academic profile and share it with U.S. universities. You can also get advice on applying to U.S. universities, studying in the U.S., preparing for standardized tests, and much more – all from the myUface staff, who have decades of experience getting international students into U.S. universities. Best of all, myUface is absolutely free to use.

International exchange means everyday new things to learn, new ways to look at the world around you. I want to tell you about interesting case as an example of international exchange. Once Japanese Prime-Minister was about to have an official meeting with Bill Clinton. Japanese Prime-Minister just wanted to greet his colleague in English, and let the rest of the work to be done by his translator. He was explained to see “How are you?” and “Me too”. So it is the day of meeting. Here is Bill Clinton. Japanese Prime-Minister asks “WHO are you?” instead “HOW are you?”. Confused Clinton answers “Well, I am .. Hilary’s husband.” What do you think Asian Prime-Minister’s the next answer is? … “Me too.”

So, dear friends, have a chuckle and remember you won’t understand another country better until you live by their rules, until you have a proper foreign experience. Have an international exchange. Study abroad. Go for it right now!

While British people say cricket is a game, many Continentals think the life is a game. A game is a necessity of perfection, if you win the level, you are not a winner yet, there is Level #2, #3, #4… And the life? Isn’t it the same? What is interesting is that your life is also has different kinds of levels. But the question hard to answer is what level you are in and what level you are failing, failing and losing. What is strange is that your chances to fail in real life is much more than the chances to lose in a game. In any case, you can replay the game. Are you strong enough to relive your life?! Why people, sometimes, get tired of trying?! Why people prefer to win only in a game?! Imagine, you are playing a car game, for instance, you win one level, then the next one, then the third, but the fourth is not so easy to pass it and go to the fifth. So what is your action? Certainly, you play the level again – if you fail1, you play again…, you fail 23, play again. And in dizziness of replays you do not notice the time passed. And now, would you imagine the same situation in a real life? You are living your life successfully, happily, but one day you face something that requires more than you usually used to do. Surely, you try more1, more2, more3! And that is all, certainly, you won’t try for the twenty-third time. In a game you did!!!

Make your life to be your own game, where the winner is always present. You. Once I listened to the presentation about Muskie Fellowship Program, and I applied my documents for the scholarship. It is difficult to explain, but I believe in passion. I used to think if a person has a passion for something, he will make even the highest mountain come to his feet. At school, I nearly won all the competitions and olympiads, in the institute – the same. I thought the reason was passion to win, because as I found out later I had never thought “What if I lose…”. Later, I was rejected in the scholarship of Muskie Fellowship Program. Though I didn’t think “what if I…lose…” It was my first experience when life wanted me to try again. Perhaps, I won’t have been writing this post, if it wasn’t for. In the end I concluded ” My plan A failed, still I have the rest of the alphabet’. [Original by Loesje] (  For others it can be “My plan #1 failed, still I have the endless amount of numbers”)

That’s why nowadays, I am leading research about study abroad. It is what never makes me tired of. International exchange. Actually, all of my fellow students are doing research on different topics. A few days ago we listened to informative talks about their issues. There were good things to remember, and mistakes to learn from. So for those of you, who want to present a good speech before your audience, never do these things.

5 methods to get your audience tired of your talk:

  1. Absence of contact with the audience. E.g., eyes on the walls and windows;
  2. Dry humor. E.g., if you decided to add some humor to your talk, use its full potential.
  3. Monotony of voice, words, body, of everything. E.g., manipulate with your tone of voice, use flashy words, gesticulate.
  4. Absence of smile. E.g., You can have a slight smile on your face, even if you are speaking about something serious.
  5. Absence of confidence. E.g., Be confident, nobody but you knows the subject matter of the research.

So the next week I am to present my persuasive talk about my issue. Research topic is study abroad. I hope, advising you to keep away from unsuccessful speech reasons, I won’t get into it in my public speaking.

In an era of globalization it is impossible to deal with educational problems independently in a frame of one country only. Internationalization is one of its components. In many instances, in Kazakhstan, studying abroad is not a question of dreaming or not, it is  matter of having international experience in developing the system that needs novelty from the west. Study abroad is a familiar topic to the students of all countries. And the reasons for it, in most cases, are the same. If someone says that he wants to study abroad, you understand him and do not ask why, because deep in the heart I also dream of going abroad to study. It is the mutual desire of all people, who are in favor of studying abroad.

Studying abroad is the best way to understand the people of different countries, to acquire their way of thinking and joking. Yes, we gain some understanding of other cultures through newspapers, books, magazines, TV and internet. However, they only give you the limited knowledge of what you want to know. Once a person goes abroad, he finds out even more that no books, no magazines, and no TV, internet resources cannot convey the slightest idea of foreign experience. To understand it one should go there once than hear about it thousand times.

First hand foreign experience is the best way to improve the relations between the countries. The main reason of different conflicts happening in the world is in misunderstanding. It happens because of the lack of communication and international exchange. Many people go abroad for various reasons: to study, to do research, to rest, to earn money, to see the life of another culture and to learn a foreign language. International exchange is good in accomplishing all these tasks. For instance, learning a foreign language requires a foreign environment.

Q: What do usually teachers do in teaching a foreign language?

A: They create an artificial environment of a foreign language. The reason they do so is the necessity of linguistic environment to learn a language. “Without good linguistic capability, especially in foreign languages, internationalization of the individual is like strategy discussed on paper.” There are many factors that define international exchange to be effective in teaching and learning. Many scholars admit that going abroad is indeed a good training for a person to widen his world outlook. If a person with narrow outlook thinks about the coffee someone prepared for him, a person with rich world outlook will think about the peasants who collected each coffee all day, all night. On the other hand, going abroad is good examination of the feelings: for the country, for the dearest person. As proved, the feeling of love strengthens once a man goes abroad. The love for their country and for their family has never been so strong.

A man, who experienced such feeling says, “My girlfriend has entered a new environment and new level, and if I keep treading the same ground and fail to advance with her, the two of us are quite likely to lose our common language as the distance between us increases.”

Recently, this fact was proved when one of my friends told me about her students in America, who watched the Opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Astana through internet and said ” We feel a real pride, being here, in the U.S., for our country –  Kazakhstan”. I was glad to hear it, because when I was in the opening ceremony I really cried. Cried because of happiness!

As a matter of fact, these games are the result of international exchange policy. I hope after this great event many people found out more about our republic and they no more ask themselves “Kazakhstan!? Where is it?” trying to find an answer about that little country. Little country with strong ambitions and rich heart.

Even though, today, many students of Kazakhstan dream of going to the U.S., Canada, Britain to study, I hope that in future representatives of these and other foreign countries will desire to study in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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