Dealing with “Culture Shock”

Everyone warns you in orientation that you may experience something known as “culture shock” while studying abroad. Personally, I think that culture shock is quite the misnomer. I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced “shock” in the typical sense of the word, and therefore I began to think that culture shock didn’t exist. It implies …

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My Host Mother in Almaty

One of the biggest highlights of my summer in Almaty has been my host mom. It is just my host mom, her orange tabby cat, and me. I was excited about my placement because knowing my preferred study methods, I knew that being with just her would get me to open up a lot quicker. …

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Guest at the Dining Table

It’s been a month since I’ve arrived in Almaty. This is my first time in Kazakhstan, and it’s been lovely so far. The city is beautiful, the people are generally kind and their open and welcoming nature is reflected in their traditions. One tradition that I’ve encountered more than once occurs at the dining table. …

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Excursions in Almaty

Being in Almaty, I have been given the opportunity to experience several cultural experiences.  Some of these are required excursions, others are events of my own accord.  I hope by sharing these experiences, others will be inspired to visit Kazakhstan. Last semester, I visited Altyn Emel National Park.  A huge expanse of steppe with no …

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People, Places, Things

Almaty is a pleasant surprise.  Whenever I dreamed about my time abroad, I mostly thought about the academic personality I should expect here.  The whole people, places, things aspect I never completely thought out.  While every new place has its unpleasant surprises, so also it has its own remedies. Being in the city every second …

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Academic Culture- KZ to USA

This fall, I began to teach a class of students on how to write essays in English for college applications. It has easily been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had since my arrival. The students here have such a thirst for knowledge, regardless of how boring the subject material may be. …

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Why I’m studying Russian in Kazakhstan

My choice to studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan was an unusual pick considering I was a Russian major. But when I went to Moscow for a 6 week study abroad program at Moscow State University I was exposed to Central Asian culture. I took a liking to their cuisine and became interested in this region, …

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Visually Impaired and a Year in Kazakhstan

Individuals with disabilities are often hesitant to study abroad because of the lack of infrastructure in less developed countries along with the fear of not getting support. As a person who is visually impaired and understands these challenges, I would like to share my experience studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Along with linguistic and cultural …

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